My resolution, or goal, or one word, or what have you, for 2014 is “choose joy.”
I have lost my joy. This was brought to my attention in a not insignificant way Monday morning, just as I was to leave the house for a much needed time away with God. I was going to go run and then head to Panera with my Bible and journal and try to discern what to focus on for 2014.
I never did make it for my run. But it was made abundantly clear to me before I even left my house that the thing I need to focus on in 2014 is joy. Not happiness, mind you, but joy. True, deep, abiding, found only through and in Christ, joy.
I haven’t gotten terribly far in planning or pursuing that yet, here on the afternoon of January 2, but I have a few things I am already working on. Life (or the Enemy – take your pick) has already thrown all it can at me to hinder the redevelopment of my joy. But I am persevering.
I can’t even really tell you where it went, except to tell you what I am doing to reclaim it:
* I plan to restructure our days. We have gotten away from our routine, and I, we, our little family, all thrive on routine.
* I plan to spend much more quiet time with Jesus.
* I started daily migraine medication. This has been a long time coming, and I’m not sure why I waited so long, but I have gone from daily migraines to every other day to about every two days, so I’m excited about the process of the medication working! And what a difference a day without pain makes.
* Running. For joy! I have one major running goal this year, which is a secret from all but a very small number of people. I will be running because I actually do enjoy it, not because I am trying to raise money (which is not a bad thing), or reach a certain pace (which is not a bad thing), or cross a certain number of finish lines (which is not a bad thing). I will be running because it brings me joy and peace and helps me manage stress and my health.
* Pray more. For everything. And nothing. And everything.
* Settle into our new church. 2013 was a year of church transition for us, and it was hard. It was apparent God was calling us away from our old church, but apparent doesn’t equal easy or painless. It was hard and painful, especially because people either didn’t notice or didn’t care (and I’m not sure which would hurt more, honestly). So it was lonely, too, because there was really no one to talk to about it.
* Find a new friend. I know that sounds odd, but I am praying for one really good, true friend with whom I can laugh, pray and be accountable. And no, I’m not taking internet applications 🙂 I’m just telling you, my faithful readers (like anyone is left!) how I’m reclaiming joy! That person may already be in my life, I don’t know. I’m praying about it.
* Stop comparing. I have realized I am awful at comparison and judging myself next to others, both positively and negatively. It needs to stop. God made me who I am to be who I am, and I need to be the person God created me to be – no one else.
I am going to choose joy.
I went through and copied about three dozen verses about joy into my journal Monday, and I hope to memorize a ton of them over the year. I want to find a “joy” or “choose joy” bracelet on ETSY to wear. I have some great books I want to read. I have a great new note-taking Bible I want to transfer all of my old notes into, so that should be a great “read through the Bible in the year” project. I am simplifying our stuff. You know, typical new year’s resolutions.
But choosing joy. That’s for me in 2014. What about you?