The Next 359.

suzelaugh

I’m not a big one for resolutions.

In the years I did write things down, I always felt liked I tricked myself into thinking I was someone I wasn’t. Like for 5 minutes at the beginning of a new year, I was organized & structured & disciplined & diligent.

Then…within moments it seemed, I wasn’t reading or journaling or eating right or exercising or praying or well… actually ANY of the things I had written down as a New Year resolve.

So, no more empty words.

Instead, I’ve been thinking about the year that was and wondering what God wants me to leave there and then, as I turn toward the new…

what will it be He wants me to pack up and carry forward?

Leave behind.

Carry forward.

2014 was a difficult year for my people.

There was heartache and sickness & brokenness & death.

People I love – with my whole heart – are not who they were just a few months ago.

Because the doctor called,

the papers got signed,

they lost their way,

God seemed to be silent, or

they stood behind a big empty hole in the ground & put someone they love into it.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of great stuff too – it’s just hard to see thru the haze of struggle.

So, the part of 2014 I’m leaving behind is the ditch.

You know that place you end up when you get punched in the stomach by life?

I’ve spent too much time there – wondering what God was up to.

Doesn’t mean I won’t end up there sometime this year – but hopefully I won’t get stuck in it…

much.

When I turn my head and look at the wide-open space of this New Year and I start to smile.

And I know what I’m carrying forward into it…

JOY.

If you know me, you know I LOVE LIFE.

I love every nook and cranny of living it (even when I don’t understand it all).

I think this affection for LIVING has its roots in the fact that I’ve been told, more times than I care for, that my health is in a precarious spot.

And for reasons I don’t always understand, and I’m really trying NOT to figure out, I can easily access a deep well of JOY.

Even when I wind up in that ditch I was talking about – it’s not long until my heart is pounding, my eyes are squinching, and I’m aware of a deep desire to bounce!

I’m not talking about giddy or silly or even HAPPY.

It’s JOY.

And because God is way more than kind…

I have a strange ability (it’s almost like a superpower really) to access that JOY,

even in the most difficult of times.

Not every time.

But mostly always.

So, what I’m carrying forward this year is JOY.

The deep, life-changing, truth that sometimes is like a groundswell inside me:

Unspeakable. Unquenchable. Unexplainable.

But still so very real – JOY.

Lavished up me by the God of the Universe who has so much LOVE for His children.

Our job is to hold our hands out, turn our faces toward Him, and watch what happens.

No way to earn it.

Just RECEIVE.

And that… is JOY.

And this year, I’m going to hold it high!!

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