Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Finding Joy

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the mad holiday rush. In years past I’ve found myself worn out and joy-starved by December 26. I felt like Christmas was careening out of control, but I finally grew tired of letting it run me down. This year I took back the holiday cheer and refused to let anything steal my joy.

Christmas has always been a wonderful time of year for me, but being part of a blended family can make things a little hectic during the holidays. Much like the movie Four Christmases, my husband and I have spent most of our lives bouncing back and forth between multiple families and houses.

We typically take a week off, drive more than 850 miles round trip and are more tired when we return home than when we left, but this year I wasn’t focused on the drudgeries of travel. Instead, I prayed to see the amusement in unforeseen situations and looked forward to seeing family and friends.

In an effort to prevent any major disasters, we triple checked the packing list, loaded the car and headed out. An hour and a half into our journey, we stopped to eat lunch. When my husband reached for his wallet to pay, he realized he’d left it on the dresser. We laughed and drove back home, adding three hours to what would have been a five-hour trip.

A year ago that hiccup would have been a big deal to both of us, but we had a new attitude this year. Our pastor recently ministered on focus and the things we complain about. He basically told us to ask ourselves one question, …one hundred years from now, will it really matter? That question has changed the way I view and respond to each situation I face.

By the end of the weeklong adventure I was utterly happy. I hugged more relatives, kissed on my precious nephew, spent time with my beautiful nieces and had wonderful conversations with everyone. No, things weren’t always perfect and didn’t go exactly as planned, but that didn’t matter.

Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to him a new song…and shout for joy (NIV).” I truly believe our view of a situation will either magnify it for the good or the bad. This Christmas I chose to sing a new song, a song of joy. Instead of getting weighed down by all the negatives, I experienced a whirlwind of gladness that left me feeling complete.


  1. thanks for stopping by my blog.-

    to answer your question - I would keep your blogs/web sites separate if the writing does not bridge over both.

    I have my web site for my marketing and my blog and another web site for my writing.

    hope this helps! :)

  2. Thanks for visiting Book Dreaming. I love getting to know new blogger friends! :-)

  3. "In a hundred years time... will it really matter?" You have a wise pastor. Make time to find the joy in simple pleasures - nothing is more pleasureable than family.
    Thanks for stopping on your way by my blog, it was a lovely surprise to find you there. Greeting others - another of the most simple but effective pleasures.
    Please, call again soon. :)

  4. I wish I could have read your post before my holiday season because this is a great reminder of how the holidays SHOULD be! It's so easy and I am surely guilty of getting way too stressed and missing the joy!

    Love your blog!

  5. I ran across your blog! Always looking for new blog buddies!

    I agree with you about the holidays, no joy stealing! My husband and I travel over 1000 miles to visit family, and it takes a lot of work!

    Look forward to future posts!

  6. Thank you to all my new blog buddies. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts about the wonderful world of writing.

    Shelli, thank you for your response. Great advice. I am looking at starting a web site that is specific to my writing and will probably start a new blog with more of a children's writing focus since this blog doesn't really fit that mold.

  7. That's a great perspective, "Will it matter in a hundred years?". I find it hard to put things into perspective sometimes in the day to day.

    And the holidays can be especially tricky to keep a positive attitude! Good for you. :)