A Word for 2016

Tea Party 2

Note: This post was written in response to a Compassion Bloggers writing prompt.

A new year is coming and I am yet again reminded how selfish I am….how much I want to be in control of my environment and the people in it.

I don’t like this part of myself, but there it is again.

December seems to be my tipping point into frazzled discontent. The month is spent racing to get my children ready for their various performances, preparing for and celebrating the FIVE family birthdays we have between Dec. 10 and Jan. 10, juggling work parties, family expectations, the heightened planning and activity at El Crucero, the out-of-town visitors, the unexpected trips to the hospital (3 out of the past 4 years some member of my household has had to go to the ER sometime during Christmas week), the extra traffic, extra sugar, extra chores……

It all adds up to one exhausted and stressed mama.

That is not who I want to be….it’s not who any of us want to be.

The sad truth is that I am not only like this in December. December may be the triathlon, but I spend much of the year training in stressful activity and frustrated inefficiency.

So what is my word for 2016? Perhaps reduction would make sense. Or organization. Or patience. Or peace…..or gratitude.

I think all of these words have a role in how I redirect our family life in the coming year. But none of these are the words I want to define my life this year.

JOY. Joy is the word I want to live by this year. I want to know the joy of walking closely with God, the joy of raising my children, the joy of connecting with and serving others, the joy of being a forgiven, forgiving, grace-filled, beauty-loving, compassionate and unselfish woman.

As with all fruits of the Spirit, joy is both a gift of God and a discipline to strive after, develop and practice.

I will not attain godly joy immediately, but I am going to begin taking steps this very day to release my worries, frustrations, and selfish expectations and to make more time in my day to worship my creator and to recognize his presence and activity all around me.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

This will be my mantra this year.

I encourage you to hold me accountable! And I pray you find joy in your own walk with God this year.

Be encouraged! Let’s focus our hearts and minds on Jesus this year and experience his hope, his consolation, his strength, his salvation, his life-giving PRESENCE.

What’s your word for 2016?

Seeking joy, too? Here’s a helpful place to start: 25 Bible Verses about Joy.

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