Five Minute Friday scribblings, Joy

Happy: Happiness and Joy

Rain kissed flowers

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—HAPPY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


When Kate announced our word this week, I had to stop and think. I had John Denver going through my head (Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…”)


I frequently struggle with living out happiness and living out joy. Sometimes happiness seems the more shallow emotion, the more temporal choice.

But really, there are times when I’m. Just. Happy. Period.

When the boys make me laugh big. When my husband wraps an arm around me, or pulls me into a kiss.

When a friend confides something to me.

When I have the privilege of praying for someone struggling wth something BIG.

I’m happy.

Joy is something that comes when things are rough. Joy is something I can choose. Good has given us joy. And this is wonderful. It’s a part of who He is.

With Edmund and Peter

He’s filled us with it. “The joy of the Lord will be my strength.”

Joy helps us through the most difficult of times. The struggles. The heartaches. The fun times.

Happiness seems more ethereal at times. More temporary. But it sometimes fills every cranny of who I am.

Happiness fills me when God paints the sky in bright vibrant colors. Ribbons of peach with soft hues of creams and yellows, make my heart sigh in wonder.

I feel happy.

God shows His artistry with the changing leaves. The spring flowers. The contrast of white on tree branches against a deep azure sky.

Happiness is something we can feel in the moment. It may not always last. But that doesn’t make it a lesser thing.

Joy runs deeper, but happiness sometimes fills me. Fulfills me, shining a bit of light in a dark season.

Happiness comes when

Happiness comes when we can look beyond our hard and see God’s handiwork all around us. Or maybe just in front of us. The point is, we can look for, and find Him.

Then we can know happiness and joy.

What about you? What makes you happy? When is one time when you chose joy?

Click to tweet: Happiness is something we can feel in the moment.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung at Five Minute Friday—Happy

And, just in case you’re interested, here’s the song by John Denver I mentioned above:


28 thoughts on “Happy: Happiness and Joy”

  1. Interesting distinction, Jeanne, and you handled it well.

    I am finding that I simply have to find an excuse to discover the happiness offered in each moment, without looking forward to achievement, without looking back in comparison, without a ‘what-if’.

    And the process is acceptance. Its corollary, of course, is letting a moment’s happiness fade, and picking up the next, which may be quite different in nature, focus, and, yes, mood.

    Happy can be exuberant, or content, or grim. It doesn’t differentiate. It simply waits in that moment, and will pass away if not drawn out.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    1. Discovering happiness in each moment. That’s a deliberate choosing to look for it. I like that. I find that I do this so well at times, and then at other times, my eyes get stuck on the temporal and discouraging aspects of life. Thank you for your example, Andrew. That choosing to find happiness in each moment is important.

      Praying for you, friend.


  2. Thought provoking post. Have you read the Happiness Dare yet? It’s so so good. I think you’d love it. I’m in the 5 spot this week.


  3. Yes and Amen. These words are beautiful…”Happiness comes when we can look beyond our hard and see God’s handiwork all around us. Or maybe just in front of us.”

    And I love John Denver. He has always been a favorite of mine.


    1. My mom used to listen to John Denver all the time . . . on 33’s. And record players. 🙂 Some of his songs still float through my mind sometimes. 🙂 I’m so thankful for you, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happiness comes when we can look beyond our hard and see God’s handiwork all around us. Or maybe just in front of us.

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS QUOTE, it is so true. We have to pursue happiness and relish in God’s handiwork.


  5. Jeanne,
    I think you know that your post made me so HAPPY! And that you even put that song at the end! I’m moved! My parents had the LP, so to hear it at the grocery store made me stop for a moment. I hadn’t heard it in many years. Those childhood memories from the great state of Colorado and the majestic mountains…I’m so glad that I’ve always ended up flying through Denver International on trips and had a glimpse yet again of the Rocky Mountains.
    The absence of happiness in the other moments will hopefully give us cause to savor the moments that truly are happy and fill us. 🙂 And you bring happiness to me that cannot be taken away. Your encouragement has brought me up so much in the short time I’ve been a part of FMF. So Happy Anniversary to you and our friendship here!
    (#7 again)


    1. Tammy, you make me smile BIG. My mom used to listen to John Denver all the time. I grew up singing his songs. I even learned how to play, “Country Roads” on the guitar, once upon a time ago. 🙂

      I like the idea of savoring the happy moments, not just rushing through them. It’s good to recall them when the season is hard. I am so glad God connected us. You bless me, friend!


  6. Great post, Jeanne! I also find it difficult to find joy sometimes, maybe happiness is a good place to start. See God and find him beyond our circumstances, and that will ultimately lead us into joy…
    Happy Friday to you!


    1. I like your thought that sometimes, we have to start with happiness to remember joy. Yes, when we can see God and find Him beyond our circumstances, that is where joy can begin.

      Have a wonderful weekend!


  7. “The point is, we can look for and find Him.” Yes, this, so much so. In reading Jennifer’s The Happiness Dare I was convicted that too often I’m looking for what’s going to go wrong or I’m letting fear stop me from doing things that would allow me to receive God’s gifts of happiness. And then I was brought to this Scripture: Psalm 116: 7 “Return to your rest,
    my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
    It stopped me in my tracks, as I realized that
    too often I’m pushing on to the next thing and
    bemoaning the lack of progress and that I
    don’t stop to rest in God and His goodness to
    me. If I did this more often, I’d also open my
    palms to more of those gifts of happiness
    right before me.

    I’d always separated joy and happiness, but I think in doing so I’d convinced myself that following God only involves the happiness of looking forward to eternity, of knowing we have an eternal home waiting for us and in doing so I’d failed to see God as the God who calls us to be happy in Him now, the One who says in His Word: Psalm 89: 15 – 16 “Blessed – happy- are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, O LORD. They rejoice in Your name all day long; they rejoice in your righteousness.”

    Acclaiming Him is thanking Him, thanking Him is choosing to look for and receive His gifts…and they’re everywhere, aren’t they? And they’re renewed day by day: He keeps gifting us more and more….and holds onto that which we’ve had to release into His arms till we see Him in heaven. They’re inseparable: happiness and joy, because they’re both found in Him: our mighty God and creator of all things.


    1. Anna, someone else also made a connection with how fear keeps us from knowing happiness. It’s so true. I love how you wrapped things up so nicely. When we are thanking God for things, we’re choosing to look for the gifts He plants in each day. Happiness and joy . . . to an extent, we must choose to live in each. 🙂


  8. I thought along similar lines… Happiness is definitely part of our family but it seems more fleeting; more momentary than true, deep joy. Thanks for your thoughts!


    1. Happiness and joy have some overlapping characteristics, but I think they have differences, as well. I hope that I can learn to walk in deep joy, even through life’s hard. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Annie!


  9. I like the distinction you make between happiness and joy, and I love your photos, especially the one of the sky. It definitely makes a difference when we intentionally look for happiness.


  10. In reading your thoughts, it occurred to me: I can have joy even when I’m mourning. It is underlying. Lasting. It is so true what you say: “Happiness is something we can feel in the moment. It may not always last. But that doesn’t make it a lesser thing.” Maybe happy isn’t always the goal, but it sure is a blessing! Glad I stopped by from Five Minute Friday. Blessings!


    1. I agree, Shauna. Happiness should never be our ultimate goal. But, as we pursue God, He seems to gift us with happiness on the journey, yes? I’m so glad you stopped by too! 🙂


  11. I link joy with determination. Joy is the grit that gets us through the tough moments. Joy is the ability to see beyond the dark of now and into the light of Eternity. Happiness, I link that to contentment. Right now, as I type these words, my dog snores beside me – and I am content. I am happy. Amazingly, God sees fit to grace us with both senses, both emotions.


    1. I love your links, Marie! I’ve really been seeing the link between happiness and contentment, especially as I’ve read others’ posts on happiness. And, I’m so thankful God does give us both emotions, both senses. They truly enrich our lives, don’t they?

      Praying for you tonight, friend.


  12. Jeanne, I’m with you. I have been known to struggle to live out both joy and happiness in my days too. And some are harder than others. And some days I have to really fight to do it, when it would be easier just to be unhappy. I’m thankful our happiness is found in our Creator, and not in our circumstances. Love your words of encouragement and hope, as always. Keep using your gift to help others find their happy! Much love, friend.


    1. I love what you shared, Julie. There are days when we have to choose joy. It may be easier to give into the unhappiness, but those are the times when we need to fight for joy. I’ve been thinking about your words all weekend. 🙂


  13. great post jeanne:) i love your descriptions of happy and joy. i can identify with so many of them.


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