Waiting, Anticipating, and Longing

December 14, 2021

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.

Waiting to:

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!

Share with Your Friends!

Leave a Comment


  1. I love your suggestions for producing joy! Joy requires action on our part. We can’t just sit and wait for it to happen.

    Wishing you a joyful Christmas!

  2. Jackie as always you inspire me. There is always joy. I must open my eyes a little wider at times but it always there.

  3. Good words, Jackie!! I’ve got my smile on and thinking about what I’m grateful for!

  4. Ecellent article oh how true

  5. I just read your article on the five things that produce joy. You are so “ right on“!!!! I decided several years ago to throw away all the many notebooks I wrote complaining to God about my disappointments in life. I then started a blessing journal, just like your joy journal!! I only write positive thoughts and always, my gratitude turns to joy. You are very talented!

  6. I feel like I was sitting down to a good book by the fireplace and curling up with a warm cup of tea when reading your post. What truth and warmth in your words.

  7. Wow! What a terrific article of inspirits I enjoyed your article very much looking forward to more words of wisdom and encouragement.

    • Hi Mattie, I have tried to answer your email and had some trouble. So I appreciate you responding to the email from me.


    • Mattie, I appreciate your response and kind thoughts. Still working the kinks out of all this technology. Would you mind calling me and letting me know you received this.


  8. ❤️