my word for the year is:
joy4x5

after spending the weekend thinking about it and worried that the word sounds too flippant and trite… I prayed about it some more and it still stuck. i think it sounds too trite because iI don’t think we, as Americans, really understand what Joy means. i’m afraid that when I say my word is JOY you all will think it’s my goal to be some fake-happy-all-the-time kind of Christian. that is NOT what JOY means to me.

joy does NOT equal happiness.

how do i know this? because God calls us to be Joyful ALWAYS.  He says so multiple times in His word. {James 1:2, Phil. 4:4 for starters} He means all.the.time. even when life is good…and even when we’re walking through the impossible. Rejoice. even when we’re facing the worst things imaginable, we’re still called to be joyful. And that’s hard.  even impossible at times.

but He doesn’t say, “be happy”.  even Jesus got angry and even Jesus cried. these things aren’t wrong. But that is why Joy doesn’t equal happiness.

see, i am a pessimist.  i hate it about myself but i know it’s true. i always have wanted to be an optimist, but i just can’t make myself be one. i don’t see life that way. so for me, it’s really easy to live with a negative attitude all the time. It’s really easy to come home from work, and say the day was “just fine”. it’s really easy to think about all the things that should have been better.  i’m REALLY good at pretending to be joyful all the time and even desiring it, but i don’t usually have a very joyful attitude if I’m honest with myself.  but I know, and hope, that God has some things to teach me about living in Joy this year.

living in joy to me is about living in thanksgiving, living in hope, and living in peace. i know, it looks like i’m cheating by incorporating more words. HA. But i’m not, i promise!

the dictionary defines Joy this way:

a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :delight

 b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety

I am going to say that the first definition:  the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires -is the closest that it comes to what I’m trying to say:

I possess the love of God. I possess the hope that HE has a plan and purpose for me! I possess the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness at what HE has done for me on the cross! And I posses true peace because I know that HE has me in the palm of His hand. These possessions will never be lost. They are my treasure that i delight in . And because they are my treasure, through everything , I can have joy.

this year, as i explained last week, is making me nervous. it is going to be another year full of new changes, new places and uncertainty as we wait for it all to come to fruition. but through it all, i pray that JOY will fill my heart and soul because i already possess everything i need. i want to be a girl who looks with Joy at the moment instead of the pessimist who can so often be filled with bitterness.

God has a lot of work to do in this heart of mine this year. may i learn how to truly live in HIS JOY.

thanks for being here, friends! have you decided on YOUR  “word of the year” for 2013?! i’d love to hear!

xo-kimberly renee

 

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