Joy verticalGrowing up, JOY was a vertical word to me.

“Jesus and others and you, what a wonderful way to spell Joy. Jesus and others and you in the life of each girl and each boy. J is for Jesus for He has first place. O is for others you see face to face. Y is for you, in whatever you do, put yourself last and spell Joy.”

The song’s message was clear (or so I thought) – I am not important. There came a time though in my adult life, when that became a real problem for me, I had totally abandoned the idea of taking care of myself because it was all about Jesus and others.  Joy horizontal

I realized I had to change my visual of JOY.  I tried looking at it horizontally, but ended up at the same point – myself last.

 Rereading Scriptures I had previously misapplied (e.g, Philippians 2:4), I now see JOY as a set of gears. As my relationship with Jesus functions properly, it empowers me to move in right relationship to others while also caring for myself.  Now that is JOY!