Might have been bad timing….or not?

Can you believe I chose “Joy” as my One Word for 2017?

Joy. Really?

When I picked this word back in January, my crystal ball was evidently malfunctioning. For who in their right mind would choose Joy knowing their husband would be facing brain surgery in a month and a half? How in the world is one to be able to pay attention to Joy in the middle of crisis and chaos?

I had good intentions choosing Joy for my word this year. Yep, those good intentions were to try to see moments of Joy around me. But it’s oh so much easier to notice Joy when life is beautifully smooth, isn’t it?

Joy seems more elusive when we’re weary with one challenge after another. It’s hard to see the Joy in life when we’re up to our eyeballs in worry and anxiety. Choose Joy is a phrase batted around by those trying to offer help for people facing hopelessness, despair and uncertainty. Like “choosing” joy is as easy as choosing which pair of shoes to wear…or choosing what to order for dinner.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34

Isn’t that the truth.

Back in January, it was so easy to write that Joy doesn’t come from a worry-free, prosperity-filled life. In a more self-reflective moment, I wrote this:

I believe Joy is something felt deep in the soul. Something apart from the temporary warm fuzzies of pleasure and happiness. It’s something intangible that grounds the mind, despite the circumstance. Joy settles deep in the heart and soul, creating peace and a strength that makes a person feel they can endure the worst life will throw.

Very profound if I do say so myself. I just don’t know how well I’m doing in this department while in the middle of these “circumstances,” which are hard and more than little overwhelming at times. Left on my own, I don’t feel anything has settled in my heart except mental exhaustion, much less peace and strength.

But there I go again, confusing Joy with Happiness.

I have discovered my hindsight is working fairly well. In hindsight, I’m thankful for the flu. Yes, you heard correctly. I got the flu the Sunday before we were to leave on vacay. By Thursday, Entrepreneur was showing the first signs of it. A flu headache, coupled with the headache he already was experiencing is was drove us to the ER…and to the discovery of the cancer mass.

As terrifying as this event has been, in hindsight, I see it did provide opportunities to repair some family rifts, and opened up heartfelt conversations that otherwise might not have happened. I suppose there are things to be thankful for in the middle of chaos. Focusing on being grateful can result in experiencing Joy.

So, even though 2017 has not started the way I’d hoped, I am going to try and feel those moments of Joy in the middle of chaos and confusion by focusing on being thankful and grateful.

february-rose-72

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Risk Assessment

risk-Tuesday
Textures by Kim Klassen: Letgo 100% multiply
and Nancy Claeys: Deanna, soft light 100%

Yes! The sunflowers just keep on a comin’.

Today’s life lesson from nature is that every bud must bloom…even if opening those petals is outside its comfort zone; that no matter how tightly it tries to stay contained, the life force of nature simply won’t allow it to remain closed off from the rest of world for very long.

Comfort zones. We love them, don’t we? They’re safe. They’re familiar. They’re…..well, they’re comforting. We can put ourselves on auto pilot and just cruise along. No detours…no curve balls…no problems.

But there will come a day when the comfort zone becomes boring. Predictable. Unchallenging. And that’s our internal life force telling us we need to let go of the status quo, take a risk and bloom.

It could be a career change.
It could be a geographic change.
It could be an attitude change on how we’ve perceived something or someone all these years.

Whatever it is, there’s a good chance it’s going to cause anxiety. Depending on how upside-down the change is going to affect our world, will determine how eager we are to embrace it…or resist it.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Do we risk the embarrassment, difficulties or..¡gasp!…failure a new direction could cause? Do we pass on an opportunity because it’s too scary to think we could possibly do something different from the life we’ve always known? Is it better to cling tightly to the familiar instead of throwing the door wide open and embracing new possibilities?

When we’ve come to the end of our time on this earth, will we look back on our life and say, Yessireeeeee, I’m sooooo glad I didn’t take that risk.

Doubtful.

Linking up with Tuesday Muse and Texture Tuesday
Tuesday Muse
Texture Tuesday