The Pursuit of JOY


The pursuit of joy has been a lifelong journey for me. It is an elusive topic and I have always been interested in how people define joy and also how it is found in our daily lives. 

In preparing for a sermon on the topic some years ago, I asked several people to define joy. To my surprise one lady responded : “it is a dish liquid I often use”…

So, today I am interested in hearing from you. How do you define joy?


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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11 Responses to The Pursuit of JOY

  1. Patricia Tryon says:

    For me, joy is able to be free even briefly of the fear, anxiety, and depression that grips me.


  2. Joy …Joy is something that is deeply rooted in the SOUL…it is something that does NOT go away, no matter what the circumstances may be. It is something that CAN NOT be taken away by man, circumstances or anything we are afforded on this earth.


  3. Joy is a state of mind that emanates from our soul!


  4. Now they have my right avatar and that is Joy to me too


  5. Holleygarden says:

    A dish liquid -hahahaha! I write about joy all the time, but to define it is hard! I suppose, to me, it’s a brief feeling of pleasure. Almost like Patricia’s definition.


  6. Gene Kocmich says:

    Joy is a smile, a touch, a smell, a view, a sound. It defines our relationships.


  7. Joy is a gift that we are given, where regardless of our circumstances, we see and feel something bigger and more beautiful than what we may be physically experiencing. That is why we may feel it at the most inopportune moments, or why the simplest things can stir joy within us. I feel joy in my garden at the tiniest hint of growth. The garden is a metaphor for life, isn’t it?


  8. Teresa says:

    Joy is happiness regardless of the circumstances.


  9. Joy for me is a sense of happy fulfillment mixed with excitement and gratitude.


  10. Joy is a sense of being released from worldy worries while experiencing both worldly & divine happiness. For example: looking into the eyes of your love, feeling momentarily “safe,” or knowing that you have given your very best for a person or cause.


  11. Thanks to all for your insightful comments. May JOY be yours this Christmas!


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