It’s my middle name. It’s my favorite feeling. And it’s said to be the emotion my mother felt when I was born.
There’s two times of the year that I feel this emotion so much more than any other: My birthday… and Jesus’s Birthday.
I adore Christmas. I love the reminder of God’s love. I love the decorations. I love Nativity sets. I love that the word ‘Joy’ is everywhere. I love that it’s an excuse to see family and friends.
AND I LOVE PRESENTS. Both giving and receiving. Seriously, what a JOYFUL season.
And reflecting on this incredibly joyful season on the way home, I realized that all in all, it was actually an incredibly joy filled 2012. And here’s what caused it…
- My incredibly supportive friends. The ones that laughed with me in the highs and cried with me in the lows. The ones that shared a meal with me. The ones that listened to me gush about a new boy. The ones that chuckled as I realized I was maybe a wee bit lactose intolerant. The ones that listened as I debated about moving across the country. The ones that told me to follow God’s path for my life. The ones that encouraged me to pray when I was unsure. The ones that packed a UHaul. The ones that brought coffee and treats for the trip. The one that helped me move and settle in my new home. And the new ones that have taken me under their wing and showed me around my new town.
- Netflix and HuluPlus. I get it. Some of you are early adaptors. You’re so cool. I wasn’t. But for someone without cable for the past 3 years… I must say… those are both pretty amazing and can bring a ridiculous amount of joy.
- My family. I love them fiercely. We may not be perfect, we absolutely have our moments, but their outpouring of love through change this year has been astounding. We had some crappy family stuff this year, but seeing my families band together was truly amazing. We invited someone new to our family meal table. We kicked brest cancer in the a$$. And when I called sobbing because my checking account was overdrawn, my brothers were there to bridge the gap. I am so joyful for each and single member and so blessed to be a part of such a strong clan.
- My house. Sure, it’s not in this town. But I spent 5/6th’s of my year there. I love that house. Pulling up in the driveway brings me joy. So does the fact that it’s now housing people who needed it.
- My new job. Waking up and being excited to go to work is such a blessing. My coworkers are incredible lovers of the Lord and have inspired me in so many ways. My boss it great. My boss’s boss is great. Every day brings a new level of joy at work.
- My apartment. Downsizing is possible everyone and guess what? It can be joyous. It’s prompted a whole new level of frugality. Do you need 400 t-shirts? Do you need 8 sets of bedding? How many bottles of shampoo can you possibly use in one years time? No use in storing earthy treasures. Yesterday, when I pulled up to unload everything from my trip home – some guy was cleaning his truck and blaring Jock Jams from the speaker while another (older) gentleman was yelling at him from the third floor to turn it down. Guess what? That sort of thing doesn’t happen in my old neighborhood. And I loved it. Joy. In. My. Heart.
- My special friend. It may be a year later, but I’m still getting introduced as his special friend. He makes me laugh, allows me to be fiercely independent, drives me insane and then puts up with my crazy. He’s great. And very private. So that’s that.
- Beyoncé. I’ve listened to her music on repeat for hours on end while driving back and forth between states. Yes I’m singing at the top of my lungs. It keeps me awake at 5am. For that I’m both thankful… and gets her on the joy list.
And so many other things that seem trivial but make this year incredible. The concerts, the board meetings, the shopping trips, the road trips, and the adventures. I have a roof over my head, food on the table and plenty of clean water to drink. What a lucky girl.
So to that – I’d say it was an abundantly blessed and joy filled year. I can only pray that 2013 will be half as wonderful, as incredible, as blessed and as joyous.