On one recent occasion when I remorsefully apologized for essentially blowing up at my four-year-old for being an annoying, over-tired, wired and immature little human boy, E. nodded and mmm-hmmmed as I listed my transgressions. Then he spoke soft prophet-words: the way to not be bad is to just relax (pronounced wuh-lax, in case you were wondering).
I’ve been turning those words over and over in my head the past couple weeks, considering them from different angles as I’ve reflected on goals and what kinds of changes I want to make. Relax wasn’t the exact word I wanted to focus on for this year, a’ la Oneword365, but it lead me to a few. The word I keep circling back to, though, as I consider a central theme for this year is joy.
Some broad-strokes for how I want this word Joy to color 2014:
I want to not stress out so much, to relax into the joy of being with my little ones.
I want them to remember me smiling, rather than scowling, in their young years, to have a deep, abiding sense of being delighted in and loved for who they are.
I struggle with discontent; I want not only to find God’s grace in each moment but also take joy in every circumstance.
I want to clear away the extraneous, the clutter and dross–physical, mental, and emotional–that are obstacles to nurturing my relationships and doing the things I enjoy.
Taking care of myself is a challenge and sometimes, I hate to admit, a chore as a mama of littles. I want to revive some of the ways of self-care that have brought me joy in the past, as well as find new ones in this season.
Cooking and food has not involved much joy lately, a result of the combination of too much information, too many choices, and too little energy. I want to worry less, and eat with joy.
Joy seems like a good antidote to perfectionism, and I want my goals to be process-focused as I learn, grow, and practice this year; however much or little I accomplish or produce, I will take joy in the process, knowing my Heavenly Father sings over me with joy.