Seeking a higher power to help a person find and maintain joy throughout their daily lives is a popular concept in modern literature and culture. Many struggle with maintaining joy in their day-to-day lives. There are bills to pay, less than inspiring jobs to go to, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, dinner to cook and a litany of other chores that can sap the joy right out of them. Kingwood author Lorraine Hill offers her devotional approach in her new book, “Reclaiming Your Joy.” Hill is the founder of Captivated by God Ministries and has been teaching Bible studies for 12 years. In the book, Hill provides an eight-week Bible study centered on the topic of joy and maintaining a deep and unwavering sense of joy through devotion to Christ. According to Hill, “As we speak of joy, it is important that we understand the difference between happiness and joy. We often use these words interchangeably, yet there is a great difference between them. Happiness is transient, momentary and fleeting. It is dependent on the fulfillment of a need at a moment in time. If the need is not fulfilled, the feeling of happiness vanishes. Joy goes much deeper than happiness, for joy does not depend on our circumstances, feelings or emotions. True joy is permanent and unchanging. It is a sense of well-being and peace that is unaffected by our external circumstances, an inner gladness of heart.” Hill is no stranger to challenges. Several years ago her twin boys were born prematurely at 28 weeks, weighing a little over two pounds each. The boys spent months in the hospital fighting for their lives. “It was an incredibly difficult and challenging time for me. I could never have made it through this season in my life without the Lord. He carried me when I was physically exhausted, he loved me when I was emotionally overwhelmed, and he encouraged me when I was spiritually weak. He also provided me with his joy. During this time, I did not walk around with an artificial smile on my face, but I had a deep-seated peace and joy, knowing that God would help me and sustain me,” Hill said. In each week of the Bible study, Hill covers a different aspect of joy or discusses some of the common joy-stealers, such as worry, people, disappointment and unforgiveness. Each week includes self-reflection homework with a variety of questions for the reader and exercises designed to apply the material to the reader’s life. Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. Photo: Lorraine Hill with book cover. Photo by Midge Crockett

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