Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014: JOY

*This post is way overdue, and most of it was written back in January, so forgive me if it seems out of date and a bit disjointed - things are sitting in the draft folder while I love on a baby!

Once again a new year presents itself.  Once again I consider a name.  Last year, I embraced the word OPEN.  I would like to think I was successful in opening myself to things, and letting go even if it was just a little bit.  When I wrote those words last year, I had just found out I was pregnant.  At that time, we had not shared the news with anyone, and it would be another month before we did.  My heart was full; with love, excitement, worry and fear, so many emotions.  Four years earlier,  I wanted another little one more than anything.  I felt our family was not complete, yet I felt selfish, ungrateful for not being completely satisfied with the joy and blessings God had already given me.  I finally let go of that wish, accepted that was not to be, and embraced the stage of life I was entering.  It was at the moment when I let go of my desires that God placed a new little one in our lives.  I opened my hands, and He filled them.  It was a beautiful lesson in accepting God's timing for things, and realizing how perfect His timing is in spite of our plans.  How many things would be different had that baby come even a few weeks, let alone years, sooner than he did!

Now, one year later, I contemplate a new word.  I hadn't given it much thought until the very end of the year.  When my mind began to turn over the idea of what word I wished to define the pages of this new chapter, I could not help but contemplate the season.  The season of the Nativity is full, pregnant if you will.  So many beautiful moments and experiences,  each one looking toward the greatest gift of all, the Light of the World, the bringer of true Joy.  Joy.  How many times that word seemed to pop up!

Rather than I choose a word for the year, it was as though a word chose me.  In an almost serendipitous way, I found that word appearing everywhere I looked.  I had purchased a lettered decoration for the baptism back in October that proclaimed it.  I bought it because it was burlap, and fit so well with my decorations, and of course, it was a joyful occasion welcoming our little one into the fold of the Good Shepherd.  After the baptism, that word resided on our fireplace above the stockings, a daily reminder to smile and enjoy each day.

Our little princess loves to make cards for everyone at Christmas, and she creates these 'word cards', folded papers cut into the shape of a word.  Last year the card she made me was "love."  This year my card read "joy."

After Christmas, I ordered some items from Dayspring.  When my order arrived, there was a mix up.  They had shipped someone else's order.  When I called to let them know, they graciously told me to keep the mistaken order, and they would ship me the items I had ordered as well.  One of the items in that mistaken order was a beautiful set of letter blocks, to spell out various words.  My eye immediately went to the letters J...O...Y.

So this is the year of JOY.  I am learning more and more that opening my hands, letting go, leads to joy.

 "You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God;  you shall not have both."  
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I will try to rejoice in each day, looking to the example of the bee who finds the flower in the room, rather than the fly who finds the garbage.

"Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness."


tanyakoenig said...

I love the picture of the block letters Joy with our most holy Theotokos in the background...so beautiful.

elizabeth said...

I agree; that icon of the Theotokos is so vivid! beautiful! JOY is a wonderful word for the year! I am so glad for your blessing of this baby. May God bless and keep you!