Thursday, December 30, 2010

Its more than 'just joy'- It's Fresh Joy

From Ann’s blog post yesterday

The snow’s falling and my mind’s racing ahead with all of the things that need to be done and there’s still the pots and pans soaking and the laundry to be switched over and learning plans to be sketched out for the new year and how many emails that should have been responded to last week because there are real people that I really care about at the end of those notes and I have to get to the post office today and the calendar squares are fattening a year that isn’t even born yet and I am only a little bit terrified of how to live.
The snow’s so quiet, coming straight down… knowing where it’s going. I’m wiping off the table. It strikes me: I am not here. My mind’s lunging ahead, already dashing onto the next and the next and the next, tripping over this and that and falling all over the future that isn’t.
I profane this moment when I won’t stay in it.
“Oh,” my heart says.
I get this…. I live this….
Each day I struggle too with not getting ahead of myself….
Struggle with learning to stay in the moment.
I find you miss the best parts of the moments when you are too busy racing on to the next one….
These are the words my heart spoke last nite as I sat in the moment with my family and the moment simply and completely enveloped me.
It was like watching time tick…. my heart felt near to bursting as I was swamped with the thoughts and feelings of how completely and utterly blessed I am.
Indeed I am.
The blessings come in the midst of the moments…. Those crazy, life-living moments….
Moments of
Doing school
Washing dishes
Folding laundry
Reading stories
Cooking dinner
Baking bread
Picking rocks
Taking photos
Riding bikes
Eating picnic lunches
Watching the kiddos quiz
Cleaning messes
Going to church
And so on and so forth….
It’s all in the moments.
Naming our year…. This I have done.
Last year was the Year of Abiding.
And I learned to abide in the moments.
The good moments
The painful moments
The special moments
The hurtful moments
The dazzling moments
The sorrowful moments
The pleasant moments
The crazy moments
And I learned in abiding that there is contentment in abiding in the moments….
Being all here.
And so 2010 was about learning to abide…. To be…
2011 will be the year of
Fresh Joy
Not just joy but Fresh Joy….
Fresh joy that comes from being right there in the midst of the moments and experiencing it all
Good and bad
Awe inspiring and awful
Glorious and painful
Overwhelming and underwhelming
Contented and chaotic
…. Joy- real, fresh joy can be found even in the difficult painful moments of this life.
I do believe this is the hint to the focus I need to have for this coming year....
That’s what 2011 is going to be
The Year of Fresh Joy

Weeping may last through the night,
but JOY comes with the morning.
~ Psalm 30:5b

But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with JOY
about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.
~ Psalm 59:16


  1. Hi Amy, We also had a very thin XMas as far as gifts, but made a lot of cookies and had fun. I thought you would like this story. Our elderly cat died three weeks ago. Our oldest daughter really wanted us to get another cat. My husband thought we should just keep our dog as our only pet to cut down on pet costs, especially vet bills. A new cat would need to be spayed, or neutered, get shots, etc.
    After searching the internet, my oldest realized the best way to go was to adopt a stray, young cat from the SPCA or other rescue group as they have their shots and are spayed. We found one that looked good on the internet and went to PA to see it.
    It turned out the cat we went to see was not friendly with other cats or dogs, so it was not a match for us. My daughter looked at the other cats and found a young, pretty cat, probably around 9 months old. She is a combination of cream and grey tabby. The SPCA woman helping us told us that this SPCA runs a special on Thursdays, called "30 Thursdays". Basically, any animal that has been in the shelter more than 30 days is $30 on Thursdays, and any cat that is more than three colors is $30 off the normal $80 adoption fee on Thursdays. So, this cat was $30, plus $30 off, so it was free.
    My daughter gave them a $20 donation from the money she earned as a lifeguard this summer. The little cat (she named it Echo) is very sweet, affectionate, and a little lap cat. It also is up to date on all shots, has been wormed, treated for fleas, and is spayed. Perfect.

  2. Wow! God gave us both the same word... JOY!

    I just found your over at A Holy Experience may the coming year be filled with Fresh Joy and blessings!

    Alida from Blackpurl's Knitpickings

  3. I want to let you know first, that I found you from Ann’s

    About your banner – so true. People have always told me, “Doesn’t take much to please you.” It’s often been a cut down. But it’s true – very simple things make me happy. Which is good, because I have very few “things”.

    Your words “Fresh joy” are perfect. And I heart your verses.

    I have prayed for year fresh joy – that you live in the moments and have real joy – not just happy happy joy – but God joy in them all.

    My word is connection and I’m glad I connected today with your word and words.

    God Bless and Keep you and yours.

  4. Amy, I have 2 more fresh joys for you. First, our church started (today) changing to three services, 2 traditional and the new 1 being contemporary. This has been very controversial and caused a lot of division in our church. We previously had 2 morning traditional services.
    There are a lot of people who won't consider any change.
    So, today we went to the new contemporary service, and it was wonderful. The style was very informal, with the minister conversing back and forth with the congretation during the sermon, and music that was more of the liking to our teens. It also starts at 10am, so the kids get to sleep an hour later.
    The other very fresh joy I have is about the kitten and my 15 year old. The 15 year old has been going through a stage where she barely speaks to us, and then only in one or two word answers. She likes to spend a lot of time in her room with the door closed to get away from us. Now, she is leaving her door open so the kitten can visit her. It is frequently on her lap. Tonight she came out of her room smiling and told me the kitten tried to take a bite of her grilled cheese sandwich. This sounds small, but it really isn't. It's like this little cat has become a bridge between us to open up communication again.

  5. Amy,sounds like you have found the keys to the kingdom! May every moment of every day this new year bring you love, peace, and fresh new joy.



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