Sunday, February 2, 2014

Choosing Joy in January

"Joy does not simply happen to us. 
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."
--Henri Nouwen

You may remember that I shared my special word of 2014 - JOY! I had chosen a word, rather than a resolution. The first month of 2014 has come to an end and I thought I'd share how I chose joy this January.
There were 3 main areas that really brought me JOY so far this year.


1. New Hobby - Things always settle down A LOT after Christmas and every January I seem to seek my next project! I had been purchasing bubblegum bead necklaces for my little girl, Claire, every now and then for special occasions. I got to looking at them and thought, "I can make these!" So I did. I watched some YouTube videos and learned how to make them. I ordered all the materials: beads, crimp tubes, wire, spacers, clasps, and a beading tray. I began experimenting. It took me a good week or two to get in the groove, but when I finally did, I was hooked! Sometimes when I close my eyes, I am seeing beads and envisioning new color combinations! I have found great JOY in creating these pretty little things. I have given a few away as gifts and sold some too. Claire has been beading with me and we have both been wearing our creations! It has been very fun and a wonderful new creative outlet for me.

2. Singing for JOY - With 3 kids to get out the door every morning, I admit, it gets hectic and the rush each morning has zapped my joy in the past. I found such a fantastic way to transition from our crazy mornings to getting everyone to their correct classrooms in a calm, happy mood. Each day when we finally all get loaded into the car, we sing together. This is what we sing....

"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart to stay!"

"I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.
I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart to stay!"

"I've got the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart.
I've got the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart. Where?
Down in my heart to stay!"

Myself and the three kids all sing this together and have even worked out special parts! Hugh does the "where?" part and Claire sings "the peace that passeth understanding" as a solo with us filling in the rest of the verse. It is fun! It is really quite amazing how our moods lift, my patience and energy increases, and we get a great start on our day! Singing every morning with my babes, praising God, and declaring JOY in our hearts has brought us all great joy every morning this month!


Psalms 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

3. Snow Days: Joy in Home - Being snowed in at home is not my choice. I must credit mother nature for that. We had more days at home than we did at school this past month  - TONS of snow, ice, blowing, and near record low temperatures. We have been forced to be "stuck" at home. And what a blessing it has been! The days at home have provided ample time to keep up on the laundry, make delicious home cooked meals, and still have time to have fun together! We have all eaten together at the dining room table. We have snuggled and watched movies with hot cocoa and popcorn. We have played board games, read stories, had tea parties, and played Play-Doh. We have cleaned closets, mopped floors, and sorted clothes the kids have outgrown. We have taken naps! After a very busy month of December, being forced to stay at home has been such a wonderful time of rest. This time at home has brought me such peace in multiple ways. I feel refreshed, more organized, more content and just happier with the time I've had to focus on family and our home. It has made the days we are in school much better. I feel like I have things a little more "balanced" right now! What a blessing!

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


Choose JOY!

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