Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rejoice and Be Glad

Do you find yourself a bit let down after the excitement and anticipation of Christmas is over?

 Although we celebrate til the very last day possible {usually being Epiphany, but, this year our pastor explained to us that Christmas does indeed extend to the Baptism of our Lord}, I still find myself let down after it is over.

To me it is similar to giving birth...although I was thrilled to be holding that new, sweet little bundle of joy in my arms and to love him first hand, I somehow always found myself missing being pregnant.  Yes...I know, you are saying that I am weird, but, I truly did.  I loved being pregnant...each and every minute of it.  I was very blessed and had three amazingly uneventful healthy pregnancies and absolutely *loved* carrying and feeling those little people inside of me!

In the midst of an extremely frigid winter, let down can truly get you down!  We've had arctic, bone chilling cold here for weeks and it does not look like things are going to be changing much tomorrow!  I need something...


to look forward to.

I need to find my inner happy.  It has seemed to be a bit lost right now.

I find myself running rushing {even though we are inside due to cold} all day long.  There seems to be a constant race, inside my mind, to get things done.  Things, that ugly word that sometimes takes over our lives and makes us run like a chicken with its head cut off and away from what we should be focusing on!

So...I am on a quest to find more JOY and less chaos.

According to Mirriam-Webster, joy is defined as

JOY (noun) 
: a feeling of great happiness
: a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone

It's origin comes from  from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudēre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gēthein to rejoice.

Intriguingly enough the antonyms of joy are:
 calamity, ill-being, misery, sadness, unhappiness, wretchedness

That is how things feel lately...sad, ill and unhappy, like something is really missing or slightly askew.

This is the second year in a row I have felt this way after Christmas is over and January rolls around.  There is so much that needs to be done, and I just am not feeling the love for it like usual.

I recently purchased Ann Voskamp's  One Thousand Gifts Devotional.  I have read her One Thousand Gits and really enjoyed and even began a thankful journal of my own last summer, but, in the busyness of life it was set aside never to be returned to.  I only got to #42 in my journal.  This devotional is AMAZING!  I cannot say enough wonderful things about it.  I think I am loving it even better than the book.  It has 60 devotions to reflect on and I am running through them craving more.  It is feeding my heart and soul and really making me feel rejuvenated.

I even picked up my thankful journal.  The one with the meager 42 entries in it.  I read it over and it made me smile HUGE.  All of the memories from those 42 events just re-filled my heart and soul as well and made me realize how very blessed I am and it also makes me realize that I need to always thank God for the little things in life.  I am pretty good about being thankful and I know I am blessed, but, in all of the chaos in our day to day living, sometimes all of that goodness gets lost.

Can you relate?

I am at a point in my life where I am thinking about things like how my oldest son is only six years away from going to college and that makes me sad that he is growing up SO fast.  I know it is good and wonderful and he is a wonderful boy, but, for this momma, time still passes much too quickly.  As I find myself rushing from task to task I am missing some of the graces that God is showering me with.  I don't want to miss anything and especially because I feel the need to rush on to the next thing {there's that word again}.

I want to be intentional, in the here and now as much as I can.

So instead of hearing all of the noise and chaos while I make dinner {my sons seem to rev up around 4:30 p.m.}, I am intentionally choosing to hear the laughter and watch what they are doing and seeing why it is so funny.  It makes me smile HUGE too!

All that we have is a gift from God.  It is our choice whether we accept the gift graciously and with a thankful heart or if we are like a little child rushing off to the next pretty thing that gets our attention.

There is always more grace, more joy in Him.  God wants us to be happy, thankful and to rejoice in His goodness.  The more we rejoice and are thankful, the more we see how good and wonderful He is.  The solution for chaos and anxiety is loving and thanking God for all of His many blessings that we have in our lives.  Without Him we are nothing.

I have seen many bloggers chose a word for the new year that they feel will encourage or enlighten them.  If I had to chose a word it would be:

Rejoice  (verb)
to feel or show great joy or delight.

I am choosing to rejoice and be glad in all things through Him {psalm 118}. 
I have only been practicing this and keeping my journal for a few days now, but, can tell you that between thankfulness, prayer and adoration I can feel a change in those let down post Christmas feelings.

The days are getting longer.
The sun is getting brighter and the weather will warm up.
I see gorgeous bluejays and cardinals in the snow and rejoice in the gift of their presence and know that their many friends who flew south a few months back will be back soon.

I choose JOY!

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