The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
–Psalm 28:7 NIV
October is a wonderful time to be at the beach in my opinion. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. Goldenrod is in full bloom with its mustard colored flowers growing wild here and there. Sea oats look rich in a golden amber hue as they wave back and forth on the dunes in the ocean breezes. Salt spray covers everything. Where tourists once sunbathed on the summer beaches, large flocks of pelicans and gulls have reclaimed those places as their own again. It is sweatshirt weather on most mornings. Pots of seafood chowders and stews are put on simmer all day for early autumn suppers to stave off the evening chill. October spells pure joy to me as it is the one month that everything seems to be just perfect at the beach.
For a while, I have collected everything I could find with the word “joy” written on it. Tree ornaments, plaques, magnets and more. I use these little messages throughout my home as a daily reminder to stay in joy and not complain or find fault with myself or others. I have learned that it doesn’t take much to get hooked into the emotion of complaining and grumpiness and that is a trap the enemy uses to steal our joy. We have to be on guard against this happening. My favorite definition of joy is “the expression or display of glad feelings”. Being filled with joy can cause us to want to do and share good things for those around us. It is like having a new song on the inside of us. When we can, I think we are supposed to spread our joy outward and see how God uses it to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.