This year I decided to select one word to focus on. I've seen many of my friends do this for themselves or their family; some have even chosen a few words to focus on. The word I decided on was JOY. The idea of joy is something I have been intrigued (for lack of a better word) with for much of the past year. It was Bishop's idea to explore "rediscovering" joy over the Advent season that got me really serious about joy and discovering what true joy is. Hence, the decision to focus on joy this year.
Joy, as defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary - 1. the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; 2. a state of happiness or felicity; 3. a source or cause of delight. I don't know about you, but that definition just doesn't seem right. It says success or good fortune and possessions determine joy. Is that really what joy is? I took the following from theopia.com "Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. Joy isn't just a smile or a laugh. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn't leave quickly." On gotquestions.org, it says "Happiness tends to be fleeting and depends on temporal factors like circumstances or other people. Joy, on the other hand, is true contentment that comes from internal factors like our faith in the Lord. True joy is everlasting and not dependent upon circumstances." Both are little different than Webster's definition, aren't they?
This year, I hope to discover what true joy is - where it comes from and how to sustain it. As I journey, I hope you'll put up with my ramblings.
I want to leave you with this graphic I found online at dwellingintheword.wordpress.com - I was at a recent women's weekend and this was at all our tables. I wanted to find where it came from (and I did - thanks to Google Images). I've kind of "adopted" it as a visual representation of my journey. May your day be blessed and may you find JOY!