I tried to complete a 365 project 2 year in a row and in the second year I think it really burned me out. I stopped taking pictures for most of the fall because I needed the break and my kids said they didn’t want their pictures taken any more but it is a new year and I have a new photo challenge, a 52 project. My kids, well 2 of my kids, have asked why I don’t take their pictures any more so I thought it was time to start. Surprisingly my 2 most photogenic kids are not the ones who asked about it.
My first word for week 1 was resolution….I know….a big stretch right. I have never had a New Year’s resolution. If I thought something needed to be changed in my life, I would start right away, right when I had the idea. As a few of you guys know, we changed churches in September. With the new church, I got to attend a new Bible study with new women most of whom I have never met before. One evening while at Bible study, a lady said that she had a word that her family was really trying hard to learn, to see it in their life, in the world around them and to show it to others the way God wants it to be demonstrated. The word was LOVE. They have studied it in the Bible, read scripture, talked about what it really means and how to show Love to family and others.
I thought it was an interesting concept. Around the beginning of the year, I saw a website talking about picking 1 word to focus on for a whole year. The concept was similar to what my friend’s family did. The idea is to get rid of the long list of things you want to change in your life and just focus on 1 word and how to carry that out in your life. Well…..I decided to give it a try. I was thinking of all these different words that I could focus on but when it really comes down to it, I think I need to focus on the word JOY. I really need to find joy in my life instead of always thinking about what else I need to get done. I need to enjoy the life I have and the people that are in it. I don’t think this means or entitles me to an extravagant vacation, a huge shopping spree or anything else that may give me a temporary happiness because that is all it would be, a little bit of happiness that comes and go depending on my circumstances. I want the kind of JOY that comes from within, that fills me. I found this verse in the Bible, John 15: 11. It says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my JOY may be in you, and that your JOY may be full.” Actually I really like the whole section of John 15: 9-13 which is the part I highlighted in my Bible but it speaks of joy only in verse 11.
I am not sure how this year is going to go. I know there are a lot of things weighing me down right now yet at the same time it seems really empty but I hope to find the joy in what is before me and to live out God’s purpose he has for me. And because I am not very good with conclusions, I will end it with a picture from our recent vacation from Florida. I asked Ryan what would happen if we found a real alligator on our path. He told me not to worry, he has it covered because he still has one good arm to protect me (1 more week and the cast comes off the other, yeah!). To have a one armed son protecting you against a 10 foot alligator, who can’t find the joy in that.