Now that you’ve read a little (ok, a lot) about my word of the year, and my goals for the year you know that I’m really focusing on doing the small but important things. I mean, if you look at my goals, they are really all of the regular, run-of-the-mill goals that most people set. Be healthier, get out of debt, be a better wife, etc., etc. But you know what? That’s ok. Because they are important things — that’s why everyone always sets goals about them! And it’s those little, important things that make your life happier. So, in a nutshell, I’m really focusing on choosing the things that bring me joy. I’m clearing away the clutter and the excess. I’m focusing on me, my family, my relationship with God, and I’m choosing joy.
I love this new shirt of mine, because it helps me remember just what I’m working on this year, and why. It reminds me to choose joy. Whether that decision is choosing to read a book with Abe over posting a picture on Instagram, or choosing to read over washing the dishes, or doing a load of laundry over sweeping the floor 😉 Whatever I choose, I want to choose the things that will bring me joy. And I don’t mean joy in the instant gratification sense. I mean in the “will this bring me long-term joy” sense. Will spending time planning out meals for the next two week bring me instant “joy”? Probably not. But in the long run, it will make my family happy by being able to eating home-cooked meals, and it will make me happy when in a few days time I’m not staring at my fridge at 4:30 in the afternoon, wondering just what the heck I’m going to make for dinner. Washing the dishes over sitting down and scrolling through instant media might not bring me instant “joy” but I will feel so much better about myself and my house when in 15 minutes I have an empty sink and a cupboard full of clean dishes.
Do you see where I’m going with this? I am choosing long-term joy. The kind of joy that radiates throughout your life.
I’ve often thought that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is more fleeting. It comes quickly, and it leaves quickly. Joy is something more deep, and long lasting. It’s happiness that stays inside your soul.
In the world we live in, we are bombarded with things that promise to bring us happiness. Drugs, alcohol, money, and material items are just some of those things. And they do bring us happiness, for an instant. For an instant, we are gratified by our choice. But what happens when the newness wears off, or we come off our high? We are left just as unhappy as we were before.
Am I saying happiness is bad? Absolutely not! I love happiness! I love being happy! But I am seeking after the things that will bring me long-term happiness. The things that will bring me joy. I might feel good for a day or two if I get a high number of pageviews to a blog post. But I will feel genuinely happy if my son comes up, gives me a kiss and tells me he loves me. I might enjoy buying a trendy new pair of shoes, but I will be even happier if I put that money towards a goal and end up with a new car.
I’m excited to do this. I’m so excited to focus on the things that bring me joy. I’m excited to choose joy.
Because in choosing joy, I’m choosing Him. I’m showing Him that I’m grateful for the things He has given me. I’m choosing to be more like Him, and that’s all I really want. I want to be like Him, and I want Him to shine through in all of the things I do and say and choose.
Cents of Style has some great graphic tees – many inspirational and some funny – and today (1/20) through Sunday (1/22) they are offering them for 50% off the lowest price + free shipping with the code INSPIRE17. Graphic tees are easy to dress up or down, and can show off your personality and remind you of your priorities. Which one will you choose?