Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Finding Joy (Laurie)

So apparently it's become a thing at the end of December for people to choose a certain word to reflect their hopes or anticipation for the coming year. For example, I read blog posts this week where one writer chose the word "expect" and another chose "refocus." I like the concept of being inspired by a certain word for the New Year, but nothing really stood out to me, so I set it aside as a blogging trend that would pass me by.

But ever since January 1st , I've been reading a daily devotional from one of the books I mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions post. Nearly every day, the word "joy" has stood out to me, but I passed it off as one of the author's favorite messages. Then I went to my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group on Friday, where we discussed the importance of not just loving our children, but enjoying them. Sense a theme yet? Next came Sunday, where the sermon centered around the wisemen rejoicing when they saw the star that would lead them to Jesus, and how Christmas should fill us with that same overwhelming joy.

It appears God had a word in store for me this year after all: joy. And I'm already beginning to see why. Instead of slowing down after the holidays, life has just gotten busier. New, exciting opportunities have arisen that I can't wait to explore in the coming months, but they've given my days a hectic, anxious feel.

It's okay to be busy, and I think I'm exactly where I'm meant to be as the chaos builds around me. But I also need to remember to experience joy in the midst of it.

Joy in parenting, so I don't miss the many moments each day where my sons make me laugh, do a kind gesture of their own accord, or say something that reminds me how remarkable their unique minds are. Joy in my marriage, so my husband stays my best friend instead of a roommate who helps me keep the house in order. Joy in writing, so I can appreciate the amazing gift of using words to create stories and characters that may strike a chord with a reader someday. Joy in being an aspiring author, so I can truly value the connections I make with others as I try to broaden my reach, instead of seeing them as means to an end.

The coming year will be busy, but it can also be joyful - if I let it. If I remember to pause to enjoy the exact moment I'm in rather than regretting a past mistake or looking ahead to times where I may feel more fulfilled or more successful. Joy can be experienced today, no matter what trials or obligations the day may hold. I just need to make sure to seek it out.

How about you? Do you have a certain word in mind to guide you in 2017? Have you ever felt like God was trying to get a message across using numerous aspects of your life?

I pray each one of us can find many, many reasons to be joyful in the year ahead!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I don't really have a certain word in mind, but after reading your post I remember that last year my word was home. Before New Year's, the Lord put strongly in my heart to be bold, be brave as well as to be strong and courageous. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Laura! "Home" is a beautiful word for a New Year, and I love that now God is encouraging you to be bold, brave, strong and courageous. I think you're off to a great start already with the launch of your new business!

  2. I just stumbled on a word for this year in the Aristotle I have to read for school: equity, which he defines as "right going beyond written law." This year, I will strive to do the right thing and be kind even when it isn't easy or "necessary."

    1. Thanks for your comment! What a wonderful definition of "equity," and a beautiful inspiration for the New Year! I read some Aristotle in college - not the easiest of reading but well worth it :)

  3. Thanks, Laurie! I am not sure. . . Maybe "Light?" I had to speak at chapel this week and I did I talked about finding light in the darkness. . .

    Is. 60:1-3 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
    See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
    but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
    Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

    1. Ooh, I like "light" - I feel like you can take that a lot of different directions. And what a beautiful topic for your chapel talk, we sang a song in choir based on those verses and I loved it! Thanks for commenting, Erin!

  4. This post really resonates with me, Laurie. Now I just have to think of a word for my year! Everyone has offered really good ones here. Light, joy, and home have all been important to me in the past as well as now. Maybe courage especially this year.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Laura, it's so nice to hear it resonated with you! Light, joy, home and courage are all very inspiring words, and there's nothing wrong with having multiple words for the year, it's hard to narrow it down to just one!


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