Monday, January 4, 2016

Finding Joy

Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing that the King is in residence there.

 New. NearYear. A New Year. The New Years.. 

Where have we been? Where are we going? For me, the new year brings an insatiable urge to clean house. To get myself in order. To take back some control. It is such a drastic contrast with December's warm homey festivity. January seems cold and stark. No comfy cozy fleece blanket here. There are super awesome things to do, like drink protein shakes and organize for taxes...

2015 - After

The New Year offers so much hope. Decadent Christmas is behind us and the toasts of New Years Eve bubbly are just memories now.... We start to feel all powerful. Ready to conquer. Ready to climb. January offers the seduction of time - resetting the clock. Transformation allures us - this will be the year all my dreams will come true...... all the memes on Facebook say it's the start of a new book... a new chapter... a blank page... write a good one. Have you seen it? It's everywhere. The gift of new.

I get it. Wrapped up with a bow, January is just preying on our desire for more. Get what you didn't - do what you haven't. Oh, January. You two faced .... 

But maybe this isn't a beginning. Maybe you don't want to wipe the slate clean of 2015 but you want to marinate in what you've learned.. practice... do more... do less... refine. build... grow.... mold. Maybe this January isn't new. Maybe it's just, well, January. Another month to try to do better.In 2015, many events changed the course of who I am as a wife, a mother, a person. Most of them have been good things. I've grown and I've remained the same. I've gotten back to basics. You could even say I've dialed in. So, 2016.... my goals are largely unchanged from 2015- at least, the resolution-y type goals... 

Build on my 2015 accomplishments. I've lost 75lbs. I've gotten stronger. I'm more fit than I've been in years. Now I want to:

Lose 18 lbs. Run. Be healthy. Sounds kind of simple and boring really. The goal isn't to finish the race. The race won't end. It is a daily grind for me. 

But those big inexpressible spiritual resolutions? What about those? They're not so easy to nail down. Over the past 48 months, I've adopted the words grace, gratitude, gathering.. I've reached outside myself and then I've pulled back. I've put myself out there, and I've been saved from myself. I've seen happiness but better yet, I've seen joy. I've experienced joy. 

I'm not sure what 2016 will bring into focus for me. A couple of themes are coming clear:

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." Matthew 5:8

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..." Ephesians 1:18

"The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes." Psalm 19:8

I am captivated by the idea of being pure in heart. I so desire to hear and see God. We've often been talking about the different of happiness and joy in our household. These ideas are swimming around in my head. I don't know what they have to do with my journey in 2016 but I suspect, in the way that grace, gratitude, gathering, have been themes in prior years... that Joy has got a part to play in 2016. 

I wish I could tell you that I know what all this means. I don't know yet. While I live it, I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Finding joy in 2016 is a good way to start!

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