What To Do When You Have Lost Your Joy?

Last week my oldest son called me out!!

I tried to deny it.  I tried to talk my way out of it.  I tried to excuse away my behavior.

But at the end of the day… HE was right!  I was wrong!

If you take a stroll through the EpicParent archives, you will see several posts where I encourage parents to give their kids’ permission to disagree with them as well as respectfully confront them.

And Mr. Coletrain Spradlin took his dad’s advice and he called me out!

Our conversation went a little something like this…

Train:  “Dad, what’s wrong?”

Me:  “Not exactly sure what your talking about?”

Train:  “It just seems like you’re not very happy anymore.  You don’t do stupid stuff that makes me and my friends laugh as much as you use to.”

Me:  “Have you talked to your brother and sister about this?  Have they noticed anything?”

Train:  “No, but my best friend, Travis, said something about it last week.  He just said ‘your dad’s not as much fun to be around as he used to be?’”

Ouch!!!  I hate to admit it, but Train was right.

I think that a couple of years of playing Mr. Mom & Mr. Dad (while my wife attends nursing school), trying to get several EpicParent projects off the ground, seeing my wife very little over the past couple of months and a fairly crazy season at work has just zapped my joy!

Have you ever gone through a season like this?

A season where life, work, demands and stress takes over and wipes the smile from your face?

Or am I the only one?  Come on, don’t leave me hanging!!

Here are a few verses that have encouraged me during this season of life…

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

“There I will go to the altar of God, to God–the source of all my joy.”  Psalm 43:4

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”  Psalm 37:4

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4

So as I was talking to God about my joy problem today, He reminded me that…

When my joy is in anything or anyone other than Him,  it can be stolen or taken away because everything that brings me “joy” apart from Him is temporary.  When my joy is in Him alone, it cannot be taken away or stolen!

So…

To all those tired, discontent, stressed, worried, over worked parents out there…the boat, big house, vacation, time off, large church, professional title, having kids that can play 3 instruments and start on the basketball team…this stuff is temporary and will not bring you joy.

It may be time for you to simply place your focus back on HIM!

Are you in a season where you have lost your joy?  If so, I would love to hear your story?

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ChrisSprad
Author: ChrisSprad View all posts by
Chris Spradlin (AKA Sprad) is passionate about Jesus, he doesn’t drink coffee, is bald, has a chinhawk, lives in Edmond, OK., loves to fly fish and snowboard. He has been married to his smoking hot wife Jodie for 18 years and they have 3 kiddos also known as Team Sprad. Chris if the founder of EpicParent.tv and has been in ministry for 20 years. He has served as a Pastor and Team Teacher with Craig Groeschel at LifeChurch.tv and currently serves on the Executive Team and a Team Teacher at the multisite NewHopeChurch.tv. You can find Chris on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

10 Comments on "What To Do When You Have Lost Your Joy?"

  1. Melissa February 27, 2012 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder on where to find joy is in a seemingly joyless season.

    My husband is right in the middle of a MBA and working fulltime while I hold down the fort at home (3 kids), work part time in children’s ministry.

    Just this past week at our life group we were asking which fruit of the spirit we needed more in our lives and I quickly gravitated to joy.

    Thanks for the timely post – great way to start my Monday!

  2. KC February 27, 2012 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Oh man. So true. I needed that.

  3. Cathy February 27, 2012 at 7:51 am - Reply

    This is good.

    I have been a (VERY) full-time parent since our oldest was born, almost 6 years ago. We’ve had very little outside help, so it’s been mostly ME, all the time. (I’ve had one full day off in 6 years. The hubs and I haven’t had a single night alone without the boys.)

    Anyway, lately I’ve been feeling “burned out,” which of course makes you feel terrible – when you’re “burned out” on taking care of your own kids. The youngest goes to preschool in the Fall, and it feels like the next 8 months will take forever (the years do not fly, for us!) I have been getting impatient, just longing for a few hours to myself.

    However, the other day I found a piece of paper in my purse, on which I’d written something I’d heard at a mother’s meeting: “I am doing an important work, and I cannot come down.”

    That phrase just helps me immeasurably. Doing anything other than what I’m doing would entail “coming down.” Anything else might be more fun, and easier…but it would NOT be more important.

    Good post!

  4. Jeremy February 27, 2012 at 8:17 am - Reply

    WOW…you nailed it Sprad! Had someone call me out on this last week. To be honest, I started noticing it long before my friend called me on it. The sad part is, where I really started to notice it was in my kids reactions to my physical presence. Just this past weekend, I purposed to make a change. I got into the Word, and started seeking times of joy with my two sons and my wife. WHAT A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE JUST TWO SHORT DAYS OF JOY CAN MAKE!!!!! My schedule hasn’t changed, but my outlook has. Thanks for writing this post Sprad! Keep up the great work!!!

  5. Laura February 27, 2012 at 8:39 am - Reply

    I’m totally busted. I’ve been dealing with some physical ailments, stress from new job responsibilities, and an overloaded schedule. I thought some “time off and away” would remedy some of the stress. BUT, you hit the nail on the head…time off is still temporary. At the end of the day, the bottom line is I’m letting circumstances control and affect my attitude. I’m focusing on the temporary instead of the eternal. God is working in all things, perceived good and bad…

    2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV84
    For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    I can keep wallowing and allowing stress to steal my joy or I can look to the source of true joy.
    Thanks, Chris, as always for being transparent and allowing God to speak through you!

  6. Leanne Penny February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Joy is a choice and in busy seasons it’s not always an easy one to make. I’m at home with a one and two year old and my husband’s been busy with Work and School so this is appreciated, true and so needed. Thanks.

  7. Travis February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I am in this boat right now as well! Pastor Mark Crowe nailed it on the head last night for me as well when he said he used to have two emotions “anger and frustration”. I have VERY little joy and only anger and frustration are my emotions right now. I recognize it and see it, don’t like it, and am still struggling with getting it under control and returning to a joyful place! Work, family health, moving houses, moving churches, job strains have taken their toll. I think the most hurtful of these for me was growing stagnant in my walk. No one ever said following Christ was easy, but just try putting it off and you can end up in the boat I am in, all of the above just seemed to hit at once and now I am trying to get through it. I do find peace and strength in Christ, maybe it is time I stop compartmentalizing so much and just turn it all over to him!!!!

  8. Trish February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Chris,
    I can completely relate to what you are saying. I run into losing my joy all the time with working full time, commuting back and forth to Hayden and Steamboat, 4 kids, blended family, and Ex Husband. I have found my weekly bible studies with some ladies in Hayden, helps reminds me the Lord loves me and he does not give more than I can handle.

  9. Tonya February 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Sounds like this is a much needed post Chris! I’m in a season of having very little joy right now too. Good reminder. Many years ago, when we had only 3 and were just beginning to homeschool, I spent an entire year praying, EVERY day, that God would give me joy in this life He has called me to. Guess it’s time to start that prayer over. 14 years of mostly single parenting (Eric works long hours and travels) of moving of homeschooling. I’m just plain old worn out. But God is bigger than my current struggle! Thanks Chris!!!

  10. Leah February 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I am definitely surviving at the moment. My body is on the mend from rolling our 4 wheeler about three weeks ago. Bones don’t mend quickly just because my husband is the one with the paying job, my oldest struggles with school, my middle kid demands attention that’s usually negative, and my baby has double ear infections with a 2 year olds demeanor.
    It all feels like a lot of work and not enough rest. I feel drained and know its not fair to those depending on me. Thanks for the reminder to keep focused up instead of around.

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