Happy Joyous and Free

Happy, Joyous and Free (drawing by Jonathan)

This is one of my favorite drawings named, Happy, Joyous and Free, showing a childlike faith with a carefree and uninhibited attitude and spirit within the hand of God.  Words are not the only way the spirit gets messages. Photos and paintings can also speak volumes to our spirit. Music is another way, which I a sure I will write a piece on somewhere in the future.

I now have developed a pattern to my writing. It may change or be tweeked in the future. I start with a theme, then research it with definitions and then famous quotes on the subject and then pray and meditate and then write on what my spirit is saying to me on the subject. Your views may be different, which is ok. I just ask that you open your heart and spirit to take this journey with me. Take what you need and leave the rest and be willing to grow spiritually, with awareness, honestly. Willing to grow and connecting to the creator, are the keys to spiritual growth. Like I always say, “When I know better, I will do better”.

After learning many spiritual lessons, I basically consider myself as a happy person.  I also portray that “I am mostly happy” to others.  However, for some reason, I have always sought a deeper happiness, which I guess is Joy but I don’t think I truly understand what joy is.   What is Joy?  I think I will learn a lot as I am writing this piece. So here we go.  I am going to be honest, open and willing to learn specifically about “Happy, Joyous and Free”.

I know for sure, that I need to say this outloud (because I believe spoken words have power) and focus to make a conscious effort to be Honest, Open and Willing to learn and grow. So what have I learned so far on how to do that. First connect with God’s power to do that by asking for help to focus, which taps me automatically into his Divine Love, Divine Knowledge, Divine Wisdom, Divine Intellegence, Divine Mercy and Divine Forgiveness. I would be egotisical and a fool not to connect to the Divine.

So let’s get started with the system and habit I have started to implement when I write. Let’s start with definitions, then quotes on the subject and then I will see what sticks in my spirit and what revelations of truth have touched my spirit.

Lets all find out together how to be Happy, Joyous and Free.  I am sure you will be able to add your own revelations to mine.

When I went on the internet and put in the topic, What is difference between Joy and Happiness?, this is what popped up; an article by Rev. Billy Graham.  

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Many people think that being happy and being joyful are the same thing, but there is a difference.

  • We experience a sense of happiness when our circumstances are pleasant and we’re relatively free from troubles.
  • The problem, however, is that this kind of happiness is fleeting and superficial.
  • When circumstances change—as they inevitably do—then this kind of happiness evaporates like the early morning fog in the heat of the sun.
  • Even when our outward circumstances are seemingly ideal, we still may be troubled inside by a nagging hunger or longing for something we cannot identify
  • We say we are “happy” but down inside we know it is only temporary and shallow at best
  • Even from time to time, we may think we have found a degree of happiness, but it eventually vanishes.
  • The kind of happiness that’s lasting is an inner joy and peace, which endures in any circumstance no matter what comes our way
  • It may even grow stronger in adversity
  • This is the kind of happiness to which Jesus summons us in His sermon of the Beatitudes.
  • He alone has the answer to our search for lasting happiness.
  • “He who heeds the word [of God] wisely will find good, … happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20)
  • Such happiness for which our souls ache is one undisturbed by success or failure
  • one that dwells deep within us and gives us inward contentment even in despairing circumstances
  • it needs no outward stimulus
  • “Count it all joy,” the Bible says, “when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2), because
  • happy is the person who has learned the secret of being content with whatever life brings and
  • then to share this secret with others who need encouragement.”

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

Wow, this is powerful.  Happiness is when we are relatively free from troubles, thus happiness can be superficial (fake) and temporary (comes and goes), fleeting, incomplete feeling missing something and can vanish.   

Joy is lasting with inner peace, staying peaceful no matter what happens and we grow stronger in adversity.  We stay joyful and at peace in success and failure and during our trials in life. Joy is when we are content with whatever life brings and have a belief system that life is learning lessons (growth), rather than success or failure. A deep down positive attitude.


Happy – Adj:  experiencing favorable fortune, having a feeling of well-being or enjoyment, triggered externally , consistent and internals

Happiness related to pleasure (i.e. sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery) gives instant pleasure (purely flesh) Happiness can be good or bad.  

Happiness is only achievable on earth (worldy things, concepts, and emotions)

Joyous – a inner attitude, selfless, joy when it is not for personal gain, deeper than happiness

Joy is a sacrifice, thinking of others rather than just yourself. 

Joy does not only think of pleasure, rather, what is right and moral in the eyes of God. 

Joy is spiritual, only achievable through the love of Christ (Christ provided a way for us to be forgiven (relieved of guilt) for our mistakes given by God’s Grace and Mercy, so we can come closer to God with the sin out of the way.  

“the fruit of the Spirit (God’s Divine Spirit), is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22)   

Therfore joy is a spiritual fruit that is given to us by the Spirit of God.

Joy is only good because it comes from God

 Joy is part of our conquest for eternal life because it is given to us by God through the Holy Spirit (the spiritual part of God).

Quotations on the difference between Joy and Happiness

“We need Joy as we need air.  We need Love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share” by Maya Angelou

“Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God” by Sam Storms

“Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy” by Mother Teresa

“Something that has been very helpful to me is changing the way I communicate with myself. During my internal dialogues I stop asking the question ‘what will make me feel happy today?’ and replace it with ‘what choices can I make today so I will continue to be in a state of joy tomorrow?By Zach Dean, Contributor, Health & Wellness Enthusiast

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. by Nhat Hanh, “Wisdom from Peace in Every Step

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom” by Marcel Proust, “Pleasures and days: and other writings”

“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them” By Leo Tolstoy
“Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness- happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love” by Adela Rogers St. Johns 
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give” by Eleanor Roosevelt
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day”  by Henri Nouwen
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain” by Joseph Campbell
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will” by Epictetus

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 1But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” Galatians 5:22

My reflections:

Whow!!!  Joy is a God Thing!!! Who knew that God would be the supplier of this deep Joy. 

Even the angels are joyful when they see someone who is doing the wrong thing, confess and get right with man and God.  That must mean that God is happy and joyful when we make amends to those we have hurt and when we come back to God or get right with God and seek forgiveness.  I guess since God is the creator and supply of Joy, I guess God feels Joy also.    

And the fruits of the Spirit of God (What God’s Spirit Gives to Us) Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness. 

Through insights I have expanded my definition of Joy

Joy is deeper and longer lasting than happiness

Joy is the presence of God (take action to clear away the blockages that are preventing me from being close to God) (Sin, unforgiveness, worry, fear, distrust, hurt, pain, wounds, loss)

Joy is obtained when I let go of fear and worry

Joy is not just thinking about myself, but thinking of how I can help others

Joy is obtained when I repent and make amends to self, others and God

Joy is obtained when I seek and receive forgiveness from God with a sincere heart

Joy is obtained when I develop a habit of doing the next right thing

Joy is prayer, Joy is strength and Joy is love

I learned we need joy as we need air, we need love as we need water

We need each other as we need the earth we share

Joy can burn out pain 

I can choose joy (developing a positive attitude and spirit)(even in the midst of trials)

I can connect to joy and receive joy from God’s Spirit

I can ask God for Joy and take action to clean house and make amends

God feels Joy

     When I connect to Him

     When I do the right thing

     When I ask for His (God’s) Will

     When I admit my faults and sins

     When I ask for forgiveness

     When I pray to Him honestly and sincerity 

     When I pray for others

     When I thank Him 

     When I love Him

     When I don’t blame Him for others actions and behaviors

On my pilgrimage, I think it will be good idea to tap into Joy as I walk over 500 miles.  I will practice joy and see how it works in regards to pain.  

My prayer:

God help me every day as I walk to tap into your joy and to do your Will.  I ask that you help me realize my blockages to joy.  Your theme for this Holy Year, is that You, God want all of us who are at a distance or lost to come back to you, You (God) want a personal relationship with us, You , God, want us to help us clean up our past and sincerely ask for forgiveness of our sins and wrong doings.  Help me connect to you, help me to ask for help, help me to forgive others and to forgive myself.  Help me to accept your love and forgiveness.  Every step I take I want to get closer to you and clear away any blockages that stands in the way of my relationship with you, God.    

I learned we can choose joy everyday.  I will make my verbal mantra “I choose Joy today” and remember that if I choose joy today, that in order to intensify that joy, I need to connect to God, because Your Spirit is the creator of and source of Joy.    

When we seek God and do the next right thing,  God smiles

Hope your spirit was washed with Joy today!!!   My Joy went deeper.

Lots of Love,  Esther Mae

Published by Esther Mae

Happy, Joyous and Free. Enjoying life and retirement. Oct 5, 202, I completed the FEl Camino de Santiago de Frances, over 550 miles, beginning August 15, 2021 in St-Jean-Pied-De-Port, France and ending in Santiago and walked through the Holy Door. I am 70 year young. Read about some of my adventures. I have a close relationship with my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth and enlightenment are my priorities in life. Please jump on the spiritual soul train with me as I walk and try to practice a spiritual way of life. Esther Mae

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