That was my word for the year. I choose one each January to carry me through the year. Last year was rough, so this year I just wanted to be happy for a while and I was. Until life, Lupus, and the pursuit of crappiness entered in. Then Joy was not so easy to find. At least not the way I was looking for it.
I was really into instant gratification, the kind you get with an ice cream cone. Not the kind you get with endless salads and the cardio death march. The kind that says make me feel better now. But that’s not real and it’s temporary and it steals away precious time. Its the kind of joy that feeds addictions and bad relationships and adrenaline rushes. Real Joy is something else entirely. It doesn’t come in short bursts or in boxes or on Superbowl commercials. It is simply not earthly. I wanted joy that was stable, eternal, grounded and beautiful all the time, not just the rush of sweetness followed by guilt. Enough of that. Since I could not find what I was looking for in this physical life, all I knew to do was pray. It was all I could do. And through those prayers, God changed my expectations.
I realized, like a giddy little girl, that this joy I wanted was there all along but instead of sitting around waiting for it to be served to me like some entitled brat, it was something I had to choose to have.
So many things crashed in on us at one time. It was as if the world was falling and yet, I never really felt it. It was like I was watching it from my favorite spot in my living room, next to a warm fire while drinking tea. I knew in the grand scheme of things, It really wasn’t going to affect my future. I had a peace that laid over me like a blanket all the time because I was sure, absolutely sure that God had all of it well in hand. And I realized during that time that God had sheltered me. He had wrapped me up in His arms and given to me more than I had asked for: Not joy by my human definition but Peaceful, Christ- commissioned, I’m your God and I got this, Just relax and let me handle it, It’s going to be alright; Joy.
I’m Not scared. I’m not sad. I’m not angry. I’m not anxious. I’m Joyful.
On the occasion when I get overwhelmed, Cowboy, my friend’s, my kids and my church is there to say, not today. Today God has got this and we simply believe it and go on. He reminds me of the gift I have.
I realized the difference was that I had truly, given all the junk over to him and asked that He be present in my days, my nights, my children’s lives, my extended families lives, my husband, my home and on and on and He was. I opened myself up to His presence everyday and I realized when God Shows up, So does Joy.
I saw great healings, and lessons to learn and hope to hold on to. I saw things change in my life in ways that I never dreamed could be real for me. I changed. I became softer, a little kinder, and a little more open to change and possibilities….. and I started to dream, as I always do of colors and art and explosions of glittery things, far away from the junk, because that’s what the Joy of the Lord does, it allows you to get on with the business of living
(and allows you to write guilt free run on sentences)
So As always I got down and dirty with some art supplies and this is how it went.
I took my favorite songs and printed out the lyrics, distressed and aged the paper, sealed it, poured some resin on them, used precious metal leafing on the edges, put a hole with some rivets and made charms for my Sari Silk Tassels. that I put together during an episode of 24. I made some charms that express that joy- which made me giggle- which got my mind racing to the next thing….. still in creation mode. Those of you who don’t know me personally should know that inside my head is an entire art studio. In that Studio, no one tells me I don’t have the skill or supplies or knowledge to do something. In there I just do it. Granted it has caused a few real life chemical reactions and an occasional fire, but that’s partly why I married an engineer. He’s got my back and a fire extinguisher.
I’m thinking about how cool these tassels, once complete with dangles and charms and messages and bling would look on a hand bound journal or a chain or even an art journal entry.
Hmmmmm… What if I?????…………