I’ll keep it short today, especially since today IS short! I know we’re all running around checking off those last-minute items from our Christmas lists. Or maybe, like me, you’re late to the party and still shopping, still making those lists. Either way- today- short is good.
Breezing through my Instagram feed the other day, I saw a meme from Patsy Clairmont, that said in essence, “Begin Again: Add Joy”. It was just what I needed at that moment. It’s what I need all the time!
My sister and I saw a sign in a gift shop that said: “It’s never too late to start the day over!”, so I understand the theory of beginning again. It’s become something of a theme with us. We’ve been known to “start the day over” after dinner! It’s a handy tool to have, the “start-the-day-over” button in my brain. It’s like a reset button.
It is a mindset, really. I don’t know about you, but I can get bogged down in a project and next thing I know, my mood begins to decline (doesn’t that sound better than saying “have a melt-down”?) and the lovely project transforms into a monster that is not going to bless anybody.
Last week, I spent every moment I could eek out working on a project, only to scrap it at the last minute. I wasted precious time at a time of year when time is hard to come by. I was so disappointed in myself. The harder I tried, the worse it became. I was mad at myself. I didn’t hear from God evidently. There was nothing accomplished, nothing complete. I don’t know if starting over would have saved the project but I’m sure adding joy would have made a big difference.
Starting over is one thing. It’s very helpful. But adding JOY to the start-over is like a super-charge to your thought processes. The Bible says the Joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is: feet spread wide, arms outstretched above your head, happy. It’s also a deep abiding peace that permeates your whole being. If I need to begin again, I need joy and that will give me strength too!
JOY can be found by taking a few moments to thank God for what is going well. It’s noticing the beauty in creation. It’s stepping back, taking a deep breath and turning your thoughts away from the problem and toward the Source of all Help. Do I need a short walk? Nap? Water? How about coffee? Maybe a good stretch and some upbeat music will help me re-focus. Joy is there; all i have to do is find it!
So… I am practicing beginning again- and again- and again! It’s better than getting muddled in the middle of something that’s not working. Starting over AND adding joy is like hitting the jack-pot. It’s truly a fresh start.
Starting over and focusing on JOY is my Christmas miracle- at least for today- because I’m at peace (yikes!) even though there is still SO much to do. In spite of all the doing, it’s really about the JOY of the Lord’s birth and His great, joyful love for us!
Disclaimer: I know. There are plenty of times to keep going. Hang in there. Stick it out. The trick is knowing whether to start over or keep going. With all the busy-ness of Christmas, I think it’s good to start over- with JOY added because… really? When we joyfully start over, we are re-setting our mind.
Merry Christmas Blessings! Enjoy. Just do it… in-JOY!
I’m looking forward to seeing you next year! 2018! Let’s make it a great year together.
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