Friday, January 1, 2016

Another New Year

Somehow last year has quietly slipped away and we’ve turned the calendar to another new year!  A long time ago my dear father told me that time seems to move faster the older you get.  I didn’t believe it!  It didn’t make sense to me back then – but it does now.  I know what he meant.  Each year seems to go faster than the year before.

Two thousand fifteen was a hard year in many ways.  Commitments to things that required much prayer and wisdom, watching the decline of my dear, little mother, loss of a grandbaby born too soon and so much more.  But in the middle of it all, there was so much to be thankful for.  Time with dear ones, answered prayer, seeing God’s hand in things that seemed impossible.  Birthdays celebrated, grandchildren’s smiles – hearing them say ‘I love you’ – and more than we could ever have imagined.  Hearing God’s voice give direction, peace in our hearts when things seemed to go wrong, knowing we are right where He wants us to be for this time and surprises He planned long before we knew about them.

Over the last few years I’ve listened for God’s still, small voice to my heart – listened and waited for Him to give me a word for the new year.  A word that would be an anchor, a reminder, an encouragement and – at times – a challenge.  Many words came to mind through the last weeks of this past year but one was like a flashing neon sign in my heart.  It’s a word that I’ve had before and I wondered if I was missing something.  Shouldn’t I have a new word?  But God kept bringing it to mind in ways I couldn’t miss.  So, I embraced it and gave it much thought.  It might be just another word to you but I know God has things for me to learn as I live out this word through this new year.  My journey may try to pull me away from this word.  At times it will be hard to let it show through my life – at other times it will be easy.  As this new year – and this ‘new’ word - takes hold in my heart I feel a bit of excitement to see how this is going to play out.  How is God going to use this word?  How is He going to use me because of what this word can show through my life this year?  How will I grow because He’s working this in the deepest parts of my life?

My word for the new year is J-O-Y!  Sometimes simple.  Sometimes not, but the thing that’s most important for me to remember – no matter what’s going on around or inside of me – is that JOY has nothing to do with circumstances.  It has nothing to do with emotions.  It has nothing to do with my attitudes.  It is His JOY shining through me.  His JOY speaking to the hearts of dear ones or strangers.  The Bible has much to say about joy.  It makes it very clear that JOY isn’t something I can drum up, paste on my face or put on like a coat.  The Bible tells me that ‘the Holy Spirit [God’s Spirit] produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!’ (Galatians five)

So, for this new year, I choose JOY!

  ‘Joy does not simply happen to us.
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.’
Henri J.M. Nouwen

14 comments:

  1. Joy, such a great word for the new year! It speaks to my heart too. Happy new year!

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  2. I love this, Adrienne. Such a meaningful post. I wish you much JOY in the new year!

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  3. Joy is a word that has been much on my mind lately too. In a world that sometimes appears so evil, and amongst the things that happen in life, it's a challenge to find the path of joy. Wishing you many blessings and much joy in the coming year!

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  4. Hi Adrienne ,what a wonderful word for the new year. I'm glad the God brought you through a difficult year, still praising and giving him glory. My word is perseverance. I like your word much better, but I know that the Lord to teach me some things this year, so that's the word he gave me :). I'm excited to see how he is going to grow me this year. Love you my friend

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  5. His joy made clear . .
    bless you dear friend. hugs.

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  6. I wish you ALL joy this year, my friend. It is a beautiful word. Each year brings it's own sadness, but also it's own special joys. May you have more of the latter than the former. Blessings to you and your family.

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  7. Wonderful word my friend. Joy is something we choose isn't it? I told a dear lady recently that was struggling to find any joy in her life that if the only joy she ever had was simply knowing Jesus as her savior then that was joy enough! That things and people can bring us happiness but only true JOY can be found in Christ. Praying for you for your new year and asking God to show you insurmountable JOY. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  8. So glad to hear from you and no, I have seen the article and if you really want to I'd love to have the magazine! You're so sweet and I really appreciate you. I loved your pretty wedding snap you put on facebook! Have a great weekend.
    Be a sweetie,
    Sheila ;)

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  9. Oh, sweet friend, it's so good to see a post from you again. This is such a good post. So encouraging and filled with. . .JOY. A perfect word for the new year and always. Hugs, Nancy

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  10. Just wanted to pop back in and say hi! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  11. I love this. So many people think that joy is a feeling when in fact it is a person - Jesus is love, joy, peace etc., and as I know you know His Life within us produces these gifts. In the darkest of times, despite all our feelings t the opposite we can know joy. Thank you Lord. Many blessings in this coming year Adrienne. New beginnings I would say is the word for me and would never have believed this in my 78th year!!

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  12. Thanks for popping in to see me and I hope all is well with you and your family. I'm excited for you about your project in your kitchen and can't wit to see it and the design for your mixer Kathy made! Happy Valentine's Day!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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