I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions set me up for failure. I am successful for maybe the first three weeks of the year, and then it is all downhill from there.
However, a word to focus on, character quality to work on, or a verse to live by has been a tremendous benefit to me. It keeps me focused and working, and it gives me a goal to strive towards without ever feeling like a failure.
So with that being said, I have been really thinking about what my word for 2017 will be. And our Christmas season has played a huge part in the word I have chosen.
My word is JOY.
JOY is different from happiness. Happiness stems from our circumstances. We had a good day, our kids had a good day, the party we went to made us smile, we had a great experience with family and friends and we are happy.
But happiness comes and goes.
JOY is a Conscious choice that has to be made every day despite what my circumstances look like.
JOY is experiencing God’s peace in my heart regardless of the circumstances. Joy is knowing that my salvation is secured no matter how unstable our world feels. Joy is being content with what I have been blessed with and not wishing or wanting for more.
JOY has order: Jesus first, others (my family) second, and you (myself) last. When I keep that order in mind, serving my family becomes an extension of serving Christ and my attitude changes. After all, who knowingly serves Jesus with an attitude? When I voluntarily put myself last in the order, I choose to give up my “rights” and choose to serve my family with a joyful heart. The grumbling spirit that says, “I am not your servant” changes to, “I choose to serve you with joy.”
For the Holiday issue of Strong and Courageous Women, I made a set of pillows that spell out the word JOY (you can get a complimentary issue of SCW here). It sat on my bed for a few months and moved into the living room for Christmas. It is a visual reminder to me of the word I have chosen for the year. Even when the letters are played with and end up on the floor or the O is used for human ring toss (true story!), as I pick them up and put them back in place, I am reminded of the attitude I have chosen to have. Before I begin complaining about how long it took me to hand sew the letters (because the sewing machine needle broke in the process), the very act of picking up these three particularly chosen letters quiets my heart. How silly I would look putting the letters J-O-Y on our sofa with a huff and a grumpy heart?
How Can a Purposeful Woman find JOY in the every day?
How can we as Purposeful Women find JOY on a daily basis? When we remember that JOY is not based on our circumstances, we will see all of the situations in our lives where JOY can be our modus operandi.
I can show JOY despite my dress size.
I can show JOY despite how long or short my to-do list is or how well my children follow the daily routine.
I can show JOY regardless of how a fellow customer or cashier treats me as I run my errands.
I can show JOY when the dishes are piled high and the laundry is begging to be folded.
As much as I want to pursue JOY, I cannot do it in my own strength. I must have God’s help. Finding out what He has to say about JOY is important. After all, JOY is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Here are three verses that have spoken to my heart as a woman and a mother in regard to JOY.
John 15:11- These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Habakkuk 3:18-Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
As I go into 2017 with JOY on my heart, I pray that His JOY is reflected here at Purposeful Moms.
If you are tired of resolutions and are looking for a change in your New Year’s focus, I hope you consider finding a word for God to work on in your life and heart. Search the Scriptures for His input on how to approach your year, and may it be your best year yet!
If you choose a word, feel free to share it with us. We would love to hear from you!