My New Year’s Word is …

I’ve already regaled you with why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore – are you ready for why I didn’t pick “balance” as my word for 2015?

Reason #1: I’m too serious. Seriously!

Reason #2: I spend too much time thinking.

The Thinker, RodinI’m always thinking of what’s coming up: What I’m cooking for dinner, what errands I need to run, what chores are waiting, what I’m going to blog about or what’s the next scene I’m writing in Shimmer 2.

I think of how my children are doing (being a parent to adults is a whole nuther ballgame) and wonder what I can do to help. And wonder if I’m doing too much, poking my nose in where it doesn’t belong anymore.

Scriptures, Book of Mormon, Bible

Image courtesy of LDS Media Library

I study scriptures and try to figure out how to apply them in my life, which leads me to thinking about changes and sorting out what to do: what’s right vs. what’s just in the front of my mind.  I wonder if the Lord is pleased with how I’m living my life, if I’m spending too much time and energy on books and if they’re even the books I should be writing.

And so I’m always thinking about things – things I want to do, things I need to do, things I ought to have done.

And yet . . .

I am blessed in innumerable ways. With family whom I love dearly, with more than basic food and shelter, with time and freedom and health. And especially with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Shouldn’t someone be able to see the joy of my life in my face? Shouldn’t I be more consistently aware of it?

dc69Ldqc9Unfortunately, because I’m focused on what I have to do or what’s coming up, several things happen. First, unless I’m in a relaxed situation not thinking about any of that, nobody meeting me would think I’m particularly happy. The concerns show on my face, not the good things. Second, I don’t feel the joy that I ought to very often.

So while pondering my word for the new year, these thoughts have taken precedence. Instead of “Balance,” I’m choosing Joy.

Joy by itself can have several connotations: happiness, delight, momentary pleasure. If I link Joy with rejoice, it brings a deeper meaning to mind – a deep and abiding feeling that permeates the soul.

More specifically,

I’m choosing to “Take Joy!

I don’t want to just Have Joy – that sounds like I’m waiting for someone else to drop it in my lap.

I don’t need to Find Joy – Joy is already here.

But “Take Joy” is an active phrase, something that puts the responsibility on me to reach out and grasp it.

Photo by Bruce Robertson

Photo by Bruce Robertson

There is much joy in my life. I have a solid, loving marriage and three children who have grown into awesome young adults.   I have a great son-in-law and time to spend with the Cutest Granddaughter in the World. I have a supportive husband who works hard at his job to bless us with the necessities of life – a warm house, a choice of food to eat, reliable cars, and new clothes once in a while. Not only that, but he supports me in my writing instead of expecting me to earn a steady paycheck.  I have enough of a yard to let me grow fresh vegetables, flowers that make me smile, and a huge backyard maple from which I can feed my little bird friends. I have a mother and brother and sister whom I don’t get to see much, but with whom I share loving relationships.

So this year, 2015, I’m going to Take Joy.

  • I will make a point of stopping to realize the joy in a particular moment.
  • I will not only count my blessings, but dig deeper into them.
  • I will try to live a bit more in the moment and realize the joy that moment contains.

And I will share that journey with you. I’m sure I will have ups and downs, joyful moments intermixed with days I forget about it.  I’m also sure I’m not the only one who has many blessings but doesn’t stop to acknowledge the joy.  And I know that since I’m a master at letting good intentions slide, blogging about Taking Joy will keep me from forgetting about it by February!

What about you? Do you already Take Joy? Do you have a different word to guide your life this year? Please share in the comments – enquiring minds want to know! 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Deep Thoughts, TAKE JOY! and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to My New Year’s Word is …

  1. What a great post!! I really like the idea of choosing a word (or two) as one’s theme for the year, instead of doing New Year’s resolutions. I think I’m going to do that.

    Hmm, what word will I choose? I’ll blog about it when I figure it out.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Kassandra Lamb recently posted..HAPPY HOLIDAYS From Us!!My Profile

  2. Melissa G. says:

    Love your word of the year. Look forward to hearing more about it throughout the year ahead. 🙂

  3. Tammy Rizzo says:

    Take Joy. That’s beautiful. I see a lot of depth in that phrase. Take Joy. It sounds like something one of the General Authorities would say. Taking joy would almost automatically lead to feeling gratitude, wouldn’t it? That’s one of my major stumbling blocks. I like to complain too much, especially about little nitnoy things, or things I could do something about. Or things I can’t do anything about, too.
    Can I use your words, too, this year?
    Tammy Rizzo recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  4. K.B. Owen says:

    Jen, what a lovely guiding phrase for 2015. I share a lot of the same blessings (though not grandkids yet – my kids are definitely not at that point!).

    Best wishes for a joyful, productive new year!

    ~Kathy
    K.B. Owen recently posted..A Santa Claus MashupMy Profile

  5. Jennifer Jensen says:

    Kassandra, I can’t wait to read your blog and see what you pick for your word!

    Melissa, thanks so much for your frequent comments on the blog – and I want to hear how you do with “change!”

    Tammy, as I think about it, gratitude is such an immense part of taking joy. I don’t think you can have one without the other. And maybe I’ll include a conference quote in a post sometime. 🙂

    And Kathy, we are richly blessed, aren’t we? May we have many happy hours writing this year!

  6. Angela says:

    Excellent word for the year! I have a Bible verse ‘theme’ every year and 2014 was about JOY – “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Prov. 15:13 Your blog, writing and attitude is refreshing. Happy New Year and Happy writing!

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      I like the Bible verse idea – what’s yours for this year? Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment – hope to see you back soon!

      • Angela says:

        This year’s verse is “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (That’s actually 2 verses!) I want to kill my anxiety with peace and joy! Hopefully, last year’s JOY will segue into this year’s PEACE 🙂

        • Jennifer Jensen says:

          Love it! The “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” has been a favorite verse for many years (although I use the KJV). Joy into peace – YES!