It’s that time of year. Everyone is making resolutions to make their life healthier, less-stressed, happier, etc… I’ve made resolutions in the past and could have a laundry-list of things I need to do better in 2015 such as:
- prepare healthier meals
- be more consistent in my quiet time and prayer life
- learn more patience
- keep the house cleaner and de-cluttered
- be more consistent with my exercise routine
- make friends
- establish a daily schedule to increase productivity at home
- worry less
- procrastinate less
- be bolder in sharing the gospel
Truly, the list could go on and on. I have much to improve upon. So this year I’m keeping it simple - I am choosing joy.
2014 has been a long, somewhat trying year. First there was the frozen tundra that became the Midwest. So much cold. So much snow and ice. So little sun. In January I was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. My already somewhat fragile kidneys (thank you spinal birth defect) have been damaged due to too many UTIs. And though I’m following doctor’s orders, my numbers aren’t stable (up one month, down the next) and that’s frustrating me. Don’t worry I’m not actively dying just not where I want to be. Almost two years into life in northeast MO I know a ton of people but I have no truly close girlfriends - no one I talk to or see on a regular basis. No one I hang out with or do stuff with. I’m finding that that’s causing much heartache for my extraverted self. I was in the hospital for ovarian cyst torsion for several days. While I’m OK and thankfully cancer-free, it was yet another reminder of my broken body and just how fleeting health is. Ministry-wise, we’ve not seen the visible fruit we’d like to see. That’s really, really bothered James, which inturn bothers me. Hudson’s super independent two year old spirit brings its own challenges. I have focused on negatives a lot this year and it’s caused much solemnness. That’s not the testimony I want to have.
So I am choosing joy.
I have a Savior who loves me, died for me, and lives again interceding on my behalf. That’s cause for joy.
I have a husband who loves me. Seven years this May. That’s cause for joy.
I have a son. A strong, independent, spirited son who is growing up so fast it makes my head hurt. Today he told me that it’s currently winter and will be spring next. Where did he learn this? That’s cause for joy.
I have a sweet church, a group of believers striving to love the Lord more each day. That’s cause for joy.
I have friends back home who listen to me babble for hours (literally) on the phone as an outlet for my loneliness. That’s cause for joy.
Making traditional resolutions would help me in my endeavor to live more joyfully, but they aren’t the end in themselves - just the means so I’m not going to focus obsessively on them. Rather, I am being intentional in looking for the joy in life. I have much about which to be joyful.
Do not be grieved - the joy of the Lord is your strength.
- Nehemiah 8:10b
Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him! Let all the upright in heart exult.
- Psalm 64:10
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
- Proverbs 17:22
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
- Romans 15:13