One of the best compliments I received when I was pregnant with Ellie (after I already knew) was when I was at work and a not-so-friendly employee looked at me in passing and said, "You smile way too much." They weren't joking and they probably expected me to shut off my smile and walk away swiftly. Instead, I said "Because of JESUS!" and they rolled their eyes and kept walking. If they had stopped I would have probably continued to talk about it until they shut me down, but hey, you can't win them all.

Today, I was at a store and went to checkout when the cashier, an older gentleman, looked at me and said "You look like you are having a GREAT day, and if not, you're a pretty good faker!" I said, "I AM having a really great day." But he moved right along to tend to the other people around. Was I having a great day circumstantially? I mean..not day was the same as most..praying and fighting hard for little Elsie...but Kingdom joy doesn't depend on your circumstances.

I walked away so happy that I don't LOOK like I'm walking through the valley, but I walked away even happier that I don't FEEL like I'm walking through the valley.

You guys. THIS is the joy and the peace that passes all understanding. This is it.

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

Let this verse be true for you! I promise that if I can do it, you can do it...but His joy will never flow out of you if you do not let it.

So make them wonder why you're so joyful, and tell them about Jesus if you get the chance. And if not..pray for them when they walk away. They might not believe in your prayers, but that doesn't mean they can escape 'em. :)

P.S. Just because you have joy that surpasses understanding doesn't mean you are always in a good mood or always smiling or always a bubbly pinata bursting with rainbows and sunshine. It's so much deeper than that. We all have our days. Trust me, I know. I'm an advocate of allowing yourself to feel what you're feeling, but never ceasing to pray through it and EXPECT that God will shine through you. He will!