‘The Joy of the Lord is your strength’ – Nehemiah 8.12

From Helen Machell

This month started very differently to how it is now.  It turned cold, it was the earliest I have put the heating on, I had been discouraged about a lot of things, including the small ones, not sleeping – I was in a really negative cycle that I knew I wanted to get out of.

As I was blindly scrolling through Facebook, I came across a person I follow who had come up with the idea of #Joytober. She called it crazy, I knew it was God’s timing. She challenged her followers to be thankful for one thing every day and to find joy in this.

I knew I wanted joy and to be really thankful for things. I knew it would be hard but I took on the challenge – each day I use the sentence starter from a list and complete it, being thankful for it for that day. I even started journaling about it (fancy word for writing stuff down!). I knew thinking about the little things would be great, but that if I searched deeper, I would find a Joy in the Lord that was much better and a far more joyful place to be.

At this time of an ever changing situation, we could all do with a little more Joy. So many things it seems are being taken away from our control and looking to the Lord for our guidance and joy is a real comfort. We cannot change the situation we are in but we can change our outlook and where we look to. I do not find joy in hearing the news over and over again. I do not find joy on social media/games or …………(insert your own here).  

As each day has gone on I’ve found that I am more thankful for things throughout the day and in turn finding more joy in each of those. The Joy of the Lord really is my strength.

I’m so thankful to God that this lady had the crazy idea of #joytober because now I do have joy back, and I know where to find it if (when) I lose it again. Beginning one small thing that God has given me at a time and being thankful for that.

Want to take the challenge? Download for free at

Published by St Patrick's Church

We are a friendly Anglican church in the centre of the community of South Wallington. At the heart of our church is the wonderful news that God loves us and has demonstrated that love in the most incredible way through Jesus' life, death and victory over death. Thank you for engaging with our blog, we hope and pray it is a blessing to you.

3 thoughts on “Joy

  1. Reminds me of a little rhyme .” Count your blessings one by one , then you’ll see what God has done.” Thanks for the reminder Helen!


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