So like always, this idea came to mind like a ditty that you can’t get out of your head and played constantly as my year of love waned. Good, I thought…I could use some lessons on joy. While it may come as a surprise to some people, upon reflection, I am not a very joyful person. That is not to say that I’m not hopeful, faithful, loving, optimistic or other positive adjectives….I am just not very joyful about it. Chalk it up to many different factors, from personal, cultural as well as institutional, but all the things I was taught or told to be joyful about? never really brought me the kind of joy I thought it would. That’s a lot to pack into one sentence, and at least I get the year to figure it out. But considering the strife in the world, I think there are a lot of people like me who fake joy, more than they feel it. And given the kind of learning curve I’ve been on the last few years, I’m sure faking it till you feel it isn’t part of God’s program. So even though it may seem trite, here are a couple of things that popped into my head when I thought about joy:
Cooking really good food.
My youngest son gave me a gift card to my favorite art store.
My oldest son put together my drafting table.
I made some beautiful pieces of jewelry from a picture in my head.
Reading the Gospel
And now I’m stuck. For now, though, that’s OK…even though I feel a bit pathetic about it. I know I’m capable of joy because I’ve felt it in the past. I just need to figure out what it really means to me and celebrate that instead of someone’s definition of it. This year I’m looking for authentic joy.