JOY/joi/noun  1.a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

This morning I walk outside at 4am to see a large toad awaiting his buggy breakfast outside the garage door. My friendly dog greets him with a bit wet nose, and leaves him undisturbed. I find joy in that.


We head down the driveway into the morning twilight to enjoy the day.  As we start down the road, the invisible spider webs draped across the road stick to my face as a sign that we are the first people to pass down this stretch of God’s great land today. I find joy in that.  


The weather is cool and calm 50 something degrees and the oppressive tropical weather of the prior day is gone. This morning’s beautiful weather is another example that those tough moments quickly pass. I find joy in that.


The morning is silent, with the exception of many birds signing their morning tunes. More songs than one can count. Baby birds recently started to take flight and sit alongside their mother that spent weeks getting them to that point. I find joy in that.


The glowing sunrise is always a special moment to me. Represents a new day. A fresh start. Endless possibilities. And it oftentimes looks amazing on top of it. I find joy in that.


I enjoy watching the farm crops from week to week.  From tillage to seeding, the new growth. How they little seeds turn into huge plants. How quickly they grow. How they handle the weather.  The corn shoots up like crazy in this hot weather. I pray for the farmers who live off the land and have to simply hope for the best from mother nature. They do it for the love. It’s a passion. And so much inspiration can be taken from this. I find joy in that.


My dog is always along on these walks.So much could be said about a K9. A lab in this case. The seemingly endless smile. A tremendous amount of love. They live to serve us. They care. We all should strive to be more like the dog. Always forgiving. Always full of Energy. Always appears to be looking at the positives. Looking to add value to the lives of others.  I could go on about this. I find joy in that.


All of the things described above make the mornings a natural fit for some spiritual time and some words with God. At least some Thank-you’s and some thoughts for those that need it the most. I know we all come from different views on this subject. As for me, I find joy in this.  


Lastly, My walk each morning is done with a military surplus backpack from Fleet Farm on my back loaded with 35lbs (and increasing) in an effort to keep my back and legs in shape for the hunting season, and also as a reminder of the sacrifice made by many of our friends and neighbors in the armed forces to give us the independence we celebrate yet often take for granted. I’ve never been there, but I’ve read stories and books, and am forever grateful for those that made this sacrifice. My surplus backpack is labeled with “Glaser” written with a marker. I assume this is the last name of the soldier that once owned it. What was his/her story? I’ll never know, but it represents all the stories.   I find joy in this.


The above summarizes the way I find Joy, and put fuel in my tank. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone. Or maybe a similar experience is a short car ride away.  Whatever your joy looks like, find time for it. Someone recently shared with me the book called “Miracle Morning.” It is a short read. Although I have always had a similar routine in the morning, reading this book gave me the extra boost I needed to make these mornings more attainable and impactful. If you aren’t a morning person but you want to be, I suggest looking up this book.  Working closely with a group of friends with similar motivations is also beneficial. My wife thinks I’m nuts that I start getting text messages at 3:45 AM.


I also leave you with this challenge: For every seemingly negative moment or experience you face, require yourself to find a positive in the situation. And focus only on that. Sometimes seems crazy, but it’s truly the only way to live a positive lifestyle.  

Baby kept you up all night – Be thankful that you are blessed enough to be able to have a child.

The weather is sweltering and you work outside – be thankful that you get to be outside.

Flat tire on the way to work? Be thankful you get to learn how to change one!

Didn’t get the position you applied for? Be thankful you work for a growing company.

You got a summer cold? Be thankful you don’t have the flu. 🙂


Joy doesn’t come without some effort. But with some effort it can come easy. It is all around you. You just have to make the decision to find it.  

Sent to my Steve Herriges.  Incredibly inspirational.  Thank you Steve.

— Peace and Grace, Joel

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