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This weekend my fiance and I watched our first baseball game of the 2017 season, and as I sat there I couldn’t help but think about how much joy this sport has brought to my life.  Growing up my dad played high school and college baseball, he then coached high school and legion ball.  While he coached I kept book and helped maintain the fields.  We watched baseball all the time!  Then I met my fiance and he grew up playing baseball and knows more about baseball than I can believe.  Now, he and I are season ticket holders of our local minor league baseball team.  We go to every home game and each game brings back great memories.  It’s the sounds, the environment and the people I get to share it with that bring me joy.

This particular game however, started to cause me some frustrations.  We’ve been to this stadium before and it’s a lot larger than the one at home.  This night also happened to be a Star Wars themed night and there were a lot of people in attendance.  I found myself in lines and away from family longer than I wished; and while sitting I found myself watching people walk by more than the game itself.  I started getting really frustrated that I wasn’t able to focus on something that brought me so much joy.  I had to work at being intentional with my focus and keep my joy, the game and my family, at the forefront of my thoughts.  When the game ended and we left the stadium I still had a great time and enjoyed quality time with family.

The reason I chose to tell you this story is because it’s a great example of how quickly and easily our joy can disappear.  You see, our joy is what keeps us moving.  It keeps us putting one foot in front of the other, it gets us up in the morning and it’s our joy that helps create our dreams.  This is not to say that with these distractions our joy is gone forever, but it’s important to understand what is robbing our joy so we can determine how to stop it from happening.  I’m sure that you can look back on your week and pick out one or two things that have distracted you from your joy.  Was it the 10 minutes of gossip at work?  How about the kids running around screaming and hitting each other?  Whatever your distraction was did you realize it was a distraction?  What were your feelings during that time?  If you are anything like me I am guessing that you got pretty frustrated and/or you felt disappointed.

Today though, I want to give you permission to have those feelings.  I also want to give you encouragement to be intentional about the thoughts and actions you have and take each and every day.  Remember that what you do today should take you closer to your joy and your dreams.

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