Monday, January 7, 2013

Joy in the Journey

I'm back!

I've had a GOOD break from blogging over the holidays. A much needed one, actually. Things ended up being so busy that it was clear that taking a break was what God had in mind for me!

At the beginning of a new year, I always take a second to "rethink" what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and what I where I want to go with life... this blog included.

As I thought of what I wanted the focus to be for my blogging, a phrase kept coming to mind. One I've probably said before on here.

You'll find it on my newly, homemade blog header (a work in progress... I do NOT claim to be any type of webdesigner!).

I want my blog... and really my books as well, to be about finding joy in the journey of life.

It's one thing God's really been teaching me lately.

It's why the whole "do what makes you happy" motto I blogged about a few weeks ago irked me.

Real JOY in the journey of life can't be found by just doing whatever makes you happy in the moment.

Because life is full of unexpected highs and devestating lows. Many of them are completely unavoidable and just part of the course that is "life."

No. Joy is not about "doing" something that makes you happy.

It's about finding joy in the life you've been given. It's about searching out for that pearl of beauty in life that can make you smile, and clutching it for all you've got.

It's about finding what can make you laugh amidst the pain. Like in a hospital with your child on a ventilator, yet you're able to smile at a new blanket for her bed or a sign you've made for her door. You're able laugh with the parent in the room next door or joke with a friendly nurse/doctor/respiratory-therapist.

Finding joy in the journey is a choice. You have to actively look for it, seek it, and accept it. It's about focusing on the good and giving the hurt to God. It's about embracing a very big God and resting in the fact that even though life seems like it's one big random, vomit-inducing tilt-a-whirl, God has it all in control and will shelter you with His strong arms if you let Him.

This doesn't mean you sit in denial. That you ignore the truth of your circumstances. In fact, finding joy many times means that you accept that things are how they are. Acceptance of your situation is the first step in being able to move beyond and find joy.

We just celebrated the birth of the ultimate symbol of joy... a baby boy, God in the flesh, born among the filth of this world. If you can look past the lowly circumstances, you can see the sweetness that is the greatest gift that was ever given.

I held Annabelle in my arms tonight for a moment.

She hasn't been feeling well the last few days, and as she sighed and snuggled against my shoulder, her small, hurting body pressed against mine, my heart soared.

I turned to Scott and said, "This. This right here is Joy."

The joy came not from her not feeling well, but from the knowledge that I am blessed to be her mommy and can still snuggle my sweet, special miracle baby to make her feel better. That I can feel her breath against my cheek and can press a kiss to her sweet head.

Some people say that God gives them a "word" for the year in lieu of "New Year's resolutions."

I've never really participated in that before. I'm more of a "goal" oriented girl.

But I'm thinking that "Joy" is a pretty good word for 2013.

Discussion: What do you see when you look ahead to 2013? Where do you find YOUR joy today?

***note*** The new year brings a few other changes. The biggest one is my quest to keep my priorities straight and be a better wife/mom, not to mention devote more time to my writing. Thus, I'm changing my blogging schedule to 2 times per week, Monday and Thursday. The exception will always be for "special" occasions and urgent prayer requests!

8 comments:

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Love the new header and look! And I love your new motto. There is such truth to it. We can find joy in every situation, for with God there is joy.

Can't wait to see what God does with your writing this year!

Katie Ganshert said...

I'm chasing peace this year. I'm actively pursuing it. Putting on my peace-shoes and walking in it, no matter how crazy life gets around me.

Christin said...

I love the new look of your blog! Nice work!
2013 will be focused on homeschooling my youngest sister while my mom fights cancer, looking for a steady job, and taking some online college classes. Next year I hope to start midwifery school! I'm so excited to be pursuing a career I can put my whole heart into!
As for finding joy, I've been finding it lately in finding God in all the nooks and crannies of my life. I'm becoming more and more aware of His presence, and this is bringing me joy!

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks, sweet friend!!! I totally agree, you can find joy everywhere... it's the looking for it that is hard sometimes!

Krista Phillips said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Peace, IMHO, rates right up there and goes hand in hand with joy!

Joy and Peace.

I see some character names in our future, ha ha!

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks, Christin!

Oh goodness, you have a BUSY 2013 ahead of you! Am praying for your mom and for your homeschooling endeavors! You're a GOOD big sister and daughter!!!

Yup, Those nooks and crannies are fabulous joy hiding spots!!!

Tammi T. said...

Very nice, Krista! I like your new header (especially since it is home-made). It clearly represents what is important to you. Also, I really like your topic ... JOY! You hit the nail on the head, girl.

Jessica said...

YAY your back! This makes my heart happy. I have missed your words of wisdom. Anyway, yes joy is something that is so great. But I have learned that joy should not be found in your circumstances because they can change. But there is one thing that does not change and that is God. God stays and will always, always be the same. Lately, I have been resting in his promise and his joy that he has my life under control. When he tells me no, its because he has another direction for me. When he tells me Yes then I am supposed to grab his hand and see what he has in store for me. Joy is something that is so beautiful and yet something that is sometimes so hard to grasp the full meaning of. I literally have no idea what I was just writing so I hope that all makes sense in some sort of twisted way. I love the new blog template and know that i am praying for your beautiful family. Many blessings!

Jessica