Happy New Year

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I am sure most of you would expect a new year resolution blog today. Been there done that. Or maybe I’d write a contemplative review of 2017 where I share lessons learned. Not doing that either. I actually want to write about cleaning up Christmas.

We are starting the process today. The tree will be bare of ornaments soon. Lights will be removed. The living room will be full of pine needs with a trail leading to the front door as we drag it outside for the trash. I already cleared out the bathrooms of Christmas decor. I have 2 Christmas mice that are toilet paper holders. My kids think they are hideous, I think it’s tradition. I am gathering all the miscellaneous decor that we spread around the house. I put it all on the table then try to find the box it came from. I truly dislike this part of the holidays. It’s not depressing or sad to pack it away, it’s mostly annoying.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to decorate. I decorate for other holiday’s too, just not as much. The process of packing it all away makes me think – why? Why do this every year for such a short time? Why save all of this stuff for just one month of the year? Well, as annoying as it is to pack it up, it brings great happiness for the month.

I’m happy when I turn on the tree lights and the front yard display. They glow for an entire month. They make me happy and they also bring me joy. You know the difference between happy and joy, right? Happy is when the situation makes you feel good. Joy is when you feel good regardless of the situation.

My goal is joy. Happy is fine and filled a lot of December. Joy stays with me when I under cook the potatoes or break an ornament I love. Joy fills me when I see the pictures of family and friends in our Christmas cards. Joy tingles from my head to my toes when I hear a song about Jesus playing in a public setting. Joy wraps me in a cozy blanket as I lay my head on my pillow at night.

My wish for you for 2018 is that you will choose joy. Daily, seek joy, regardless of what you are facing. Joy makes it all worth it and makes the tough times lighter. Jesus is the source of all joy. My relationship with Him is what makes joy possible. Put your trust in Him and choose joy.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” – I Peter 1:8

Dream Big! Pray Big!

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