on joy.

January 3, 2015


Does anyone else have the “post-Christmas blues?” I may be alone in this but I have a creeping suspicion that many of you share with me in this sense of sadness that another Christmas has come and gone.

I love this time of year. I love the anticipation. I love the hustle and bustle. I love fact that you can wear gold sparkly nail polish and it is considered festive.

Truly, it IS the most wonderful time of the year for so many reasons.

Families gather around tables, new faces come through the doors of our church, strangers seem to be kinder to one another, and there is an overwhelming sense of joy surrounding all that we do.

That joy really is the best part.

With the Christmas season comes this unifying joy that brings us all together in a way where we focus on the good, celebrate one another, and have hope for a brighter year ahead.

The abundance of joy in this season does not mean there is an absence of heartbreak. Tough things still happen. Sadness sets in. We lose people we love, we fail and make mistakes, and things beyond our control take place every day. I know for many the holidays can conjure up a feeling of loss; whether focusing on what we once had and is now gone, or focusing on what we long for, and yet don’t have.

In the midst of tough stuff, I’ve become more acutely aware that there is a unified spirit during the Christmas season. A heightened awareness of joy. A hope for newness and fresh starts.

So, now that it is January 2015, instead of going through my typically wallowing that the Christmas tree is down, and N*Sync Christmas is not going to be appropriate to play again for 10 months (I start a little early)… I’m trying something new this year: I’m keeping the JOY of the season with me and embracing what is ahead, good or bad, with the same sense of hope and optimism that I believe in during the holidays.

How am I doing this? Well, it is probably going to be one of those philosophical life decisions that involves lots of trial, error, and prayer. I want to know how to sustain this sense of joy, or at least be mindful of when I’ve lost it and need to recalibrate…

But I’ve got some ideas!

Here is a rough list of my values for this year and where I’m starting:

  • Being kind. To myself. And to others. Without question.
  • Extending grace. Again, to myself (which is harder) and to others.
  • Doing things that I love and not feeling bad for it.
  • Doing things that are hard and stretching but I know are good for me.
  • Reading. Praying. Resting.
  • Sticking to my 80/20 lifestyle of exercise and clean eating the majority of the time but allowing for the percent of chilling the heck out and having french fries.
  • Leaning into friendships. New and old. Discovering what makes people feel loved as individuals and then trying my best to honor that.
  • Focusing on my families needs and dreams. Without apologizing for it.
  • Writing. A lot. Even when I do not feel like it because I’m extremely extroverted.
  • Learning how to be comfortable in my skin in all situations. (this will take a lifetime, or more!)
  • Being honest.

I am sure this community I long to build via blog will be a huge outlet to process this continued journey. I want to invite each of you into my story and would love to be invited into yours. Please join me in this. Make a list for yourself. Use some of mine. Or if you’re not a list maker, no biggie, just spend some time reflecting and meditating on hopes for this next year. And please, PLEASE take a moment to share your ideas with me! I’d love to hear and treasure your hearts!

Cheers to 2015!




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