Joy Notes #6 – Learn to Ponder

Joy Note #6: Learn to Ponder

Welcome everyone to a glorious Sunday and to Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder!

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through Joy Notes…they were to continue until the Sunday after Christmas.

I am always blessed and receive important reminders for my own life when writing about joy and encouraging those of you who struggle with it.

Today, I want to encourage you to learn to take time to ponder.

Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

Please allow me to shed a little light on the subject.  Pondering and thinking are two different activities.

When we ponder, we are thinking about something very carefully and thoughtfully with the intention of drawing conclusions.

Pondering helps us to understand ourselves; accept who we are; and develop productive ways to make needed changes in our lives.

For me to go from thinking and reacting and stewing to purposeful pondering, I must be still and quiet.


Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

I believe it is important to ponder and seek understanding of what robs us of joy. Perhaps we are giving the joy zappers permission to take our joy and that needs to change.

For me, here are certain joy zappers:

  1. Fatigue – not getting enough sleep or not taking time to do things I love over working too much.
  2. Not taking care of my health – if I go too long not eating properly or exercising, it will wear at my state of mind.
  3. Comparisons – this is deadly for a blogger or any of us.  When I compare myself to other women my age online, if I am not careful I will give those comparisons permission to zap my joy right out from under me. Now, that I have pondered these things with the intention of changing them, I am more likely to throw up my hand in front of my face and yell STOP when they are happening.

It is important to understand what takes away our joy and not give it permission to grow, foster and rob us of a joyful life.  Ponder a plan to shut down the zappers.

If the news, and fear from it is robbing your joy, turn it off!


Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

Now, get something to write with and ponder everything you can think of that you truly, truly LOVE.

What brings you the most joy?  Read over the list and next ponder why you think they bring you joy. 

Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

I have told you this before, but I love to look at houses at dusk and dawn with their lights on.

I have loved it since I was a child.  Now, I like to sit outside occasionally at dusk and watch the neighborhood lights as they begin to glow for the evening.

When I pondered this years ago, I realized that those houses represented something I wanted: a family at home, cozy inside, and a home glowing with joy.

I did not have that growing up…home was filled with angry, unhappy people.  It smelled of cigarettes and was a dark musty place…no matter what house we were in.

Joy Notes Learn to Ponder

I can write all of this and look at the lights of my Christmas decorations and smile.  I no longer feel sadness from my past, and know it was used for good in my life.

My own family is one that was behind a house of lights from joy.  I believe that is the same for my adult children and grandchildren.

Pondering the past and understanding why I am drawn to the houses with lights helped me to love and appreciate more what I have.

Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

My desire is that you come to understand the things that truly bring you joy…so you can do what I have done…surround yourself with those things.

If they are activities, then have goals to do those activities.   Make sure you are doing and understanding what you wrote on your list.

Pondering why you like what you like …and what takes it away…will help you know what to fight for to keep…and will bring you….Joy!


Joy Notes #6: Learn to Ponder

The intention to ponder with understanding in mind…and not to stew over everything wrong in the world is critical to help you practice joy.

There are only two weeks remaining officially of Christmastime…lets enjoy it together. (Of course, please feel free to comment or ask questions below)


By Pamela Lutrell

Season of Joy on Over 50 Feeling 40


  1. Dear Pam. I am so enjoying your Joy musings. Reading today on how you have always been drawn to houses with lights, was very special. You are inspiring in how you cherish and share your blessings. Thank you.

  2. This is such a necessary activity, but one we can easily overlook. I love introspective thinking and list making, so I’ll definitely be doing some pondering. This is something to purposefully do throughout the year to keep ourselves on the right track. Thank you for the suggestion and the reminder. Incidentally, I also have always loved looking in houses when the lights come on. I never thought about why, but your reasoning also applies to how I grew up. I like to think I’ve made peace with my past, but things can worm their way in at times, so this pondering exercise can help on many levels!

  3. Your Joy series is just incredible. Thank you for sharing such heartfelt thoughts. I can relate. You have given me much to ponder and I am grateful. Merry Christmas!!

  4. Thank you for your Joy series, I think it’s really inspired. The concept of ‘choose’ Joy has been very valuable to me recently and had never occurred to me before. Today’s idea of what takes away joy and what brings it is also well worth pondering. Thank you very much

  5. Your Joy series is so joyful to me. I had an ideal home life growing up even though we moved about every two years due to my Dad’s work. There was always laughter, music, and love. My mother was a singer and Dad played the trombone. Then went to college and found a successful job and a loving husband. We have been married 53 years. Had two wonderful children and now two grandchildren. I have always though life has been so good when is the bad stuff coming….well, so far it hasn’t. I just keep sailing along. Your Joy series keeps reminding me just to enjoy the good stuff. My the way, the reason for the spelling of my name is because I was expected near Christmas but arrived in January so they decided to change Merry to Merrie.

  6. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word ponder is Mary pondering things in her heart. She certainly had a lot to ponder in her young life. As a young girl, I always enjoyed visiting my aunt. She lived in a small house that was always neat, clean & welcoming. There was always a sense of calm & peace in her home. In comparison, our home, though filled with love, was always a bit more chaotic from having too many people in too small a space. Neatness & order were sometimes hard to find. As an adult, I find joy in neat, orderly spaces. Clutter & messiness bring me stress & steal my joy. Pondering is what brings joy & what steals it is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.

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