Navigating Joy

How do you find joy? In my case, I put on my shoes, slide in my earbuds, and start walking.

Some days this means getting up really early. I’ve headed out as early as 5 am to avoid the Texas heat. Notice I did not say summer because that would indicate that there was a seasonal weather expectation. The area of the country I live in just remains warm most of the year and becomes almost unbearable for a good long spell between April and October. However, I refuse to succumb to that and walking just before dawn has some unbelievable bonuses. Have you ever watched a sunrise from before the sun even began to rise? The sky is inky black and then slowly the orange reds seep in low down in the sky. Then incrementally but so surely the yellow light trickles in until it is like water dripping, flowing and then flooding in to the scene and filling it completely with fresh light. The world is a dewy fresh glittering landscape.  Morning has indeed broken.

The other vital part of my walk in the morning is listening the “Daily Audio Bible” (DAB). This podcast features someone reading an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm and a verse or two from the book of Proverbs. The reader, an Anglican priest then gives a 3-4 minute devotional based on the reading. If you listen every day, you will read through the whole Bible in one year. The entire podcast runs for about 30 to 40 minutes. After the devotional, the priest prays for all of us to take God’s word into us and allow it to transform us. After that people from the DAB community share prayer requests and some of them pray. Sometimes I listen to that section and sometimes I don’t.

For me movement out in nature and listening to God’s word before my day really takes me out into the world has been transformational. Sometimes I find myself thinking about some of the passages of scripture I have heard all the rest of my day. Other times I am genuinely surprised to hear certain passages. This is not my first time to read through the Bible in an orderly way, but there are still parts that surprise me. God uses His word to convict me in so many unexpected ways. Then there are those days when God has all ready made a particular point two other times recently through a Bible study, a sermon, and now here we go again. The same topic, verse, point or Holy Spirit conviction bubbles up and I almost gasp.

Recently during an international trip, I was able to trot down a path on the Isle of Mull in Scotland as I listened to my daily portion of scripture. I was thousands of miles from home, but still walking and listening to the word. This daily discipline has truly given me so much joy. Ask the Lord to direct your path to a joyful practice. He’s such a good and generous Father who longs to give his beloved daughters all that they need. Joy is an essential companion for each of us on this journey.

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Anthea Kotlan

Anthea attends St. Timothy’s Anglican church where she coordinates women’s ministry and spends her free time enjoying both her grandchild and her grand dog.

This is the second entry in a series on joy to help us prepare for 2020 DWGC Ladies Retreat: Joy on March 6th and 7th in Spring, Texas at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church. Registration is open now at

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