Some years, turning the pages on the calendar comes more easily to me than other years. Seasons change, and I change with them.
Labor Day rushes past, and I start baking with apples and winter spices.
By Halloween, I’m pulling out scarves and mittens and writing to-do lists for the holidays. The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas swirls past me like a whirlwind, with days full of wrapping and decorating, nights full of fun times and thoughtful moments.
A brand-new year brings quiet evenings and thoughts about the future.
Spring flirts with winter, and by the end of April here in Michigan, I’m already planning what to grow in my garden during the summer. And then the cycle begins all over again.
Looking back on the seasons of my life, I recall spending far too much time in waiting, anticipating, longing.
Grow up. And—now I long to be young again.
Graduate. Only to learn the importance of becoming a lifelong learner.
Get married. But then I learned it’s neither easy nor guaranteed to be a Happily Ever After.
Gain weight and height. Those wishes resulted in years and tears as I tried to lose those pounds and habits I unwittingly gained, hoping they would make the pain go away.
Gather around the table once again. Now my table has more empty chairs than occupied places, and I realize who and what I miss.
Get good news. Does good news always offset the bad? No. I’ve had times when I wasn’t sure I could handle any more bad news. So, I froze and feared instead of confronting issues head-on.
As the decades passed, I spent too much time wishing and waiting—and not enough time doing and exploring.
Can you relate?
As we prepare to begin a brand-new year, let me share five things I’ve discovered that can produce joy.
START a gratitude journal! Nothing fancy. Discover a way to record who and what you are grateful for every day.
SMILE! I’ve heard that it takes more effort to frown than to smile, so turn that frown upside down. Your smile can be contagious! Spread it around to as many people as possible.
SING! Discover the truth of lyricist Joe Goodwin’s marvelous song, “When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles With You.” Smiles make the world a happier, safer, and better place. If you aren’t familiar with the song, click here to listen to Michael Bublé’s rendition to inspire you.
SEARCH! Seek ways to help a neighbor, family member, or co-worker become happier, more productive, more connected, more at peace. We seldom realize what we have until we see someone else’s needs and realize we can help.
SHARE! When I share Jesus with others, I find joy. Sharing my stories of God’s blessings automatically improves my attitude and charts a path for others to find Him.
I hope this holiday season brings you the very best gifts: Love, Joy, Hope, Peace, and Contentment.
And I hope you carry them with you as you cross the threshold into the New Year. Join me in actively seeking joy as the last days of 2021 rush past us and the New Year welcomes us. On the journey, you just might trigger joy in someone else’s life. Like Frosty the Snowman, Joy snowballs and brings smiles wherever it goes!