Sunday, December 02, 2012

ode to joy

I had this idea...and then I forgot about it {shocking!} and then remembered today so I thought, "hey! I should just do it instead of thinking about it!"  I know.  random brain.  my idea was to do a series of blog posts throughout the advent season on the four themes of advent:  joy, peace, hope and love.  it's like lighting my own advent candles in blog-land.  metaphorically speaking.  I may not be going in the same order as y'all, but this is my little order.  and this week, I'm going to focus on joy.  if you'd like to join me in this little quest, just comment below and leave your blog address.  I'm not fancy around here - there's no graphic, linky thing or badge - I have no idea how to do or make those things, nor do I have the time or energy; however, I would encourage you to join in and reflect in some way on the advent season.  count down with me.  celebrate with me.  pause with me as I reflect on how to make christmas about giving.  gratitude.  grace.  and about how I celebrate the christmas season.  with a heart focused on the gift given to me.  and a wee babe, lying in a manger.


this morning we sang this song and the last verse caught my attention in a new way:
mortals join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began
father love is reigning o're us
brother love binds man to man
ever singing march we onward
victors in the midst of strife
joyful music lifts us son-ward
in the triumph song of life
stop and read it again.  it's so incredibly powerful.  and I feel so small next to it.  my life is bigger than me.  I am a small piece of a very large puzzle.  singing in unison with the choir.  my measly voice in unison.  in joy.  nothing makes my heart happier than when I am engaged with music.  in worship.  in dance {okay, well I can't dance to save my life, but once in a while I move these hips with some wee boys!}.  in life.  life is a song.  and I am just a small voice in the choir.  I wear this tattoo on my arm that says "choose joy".  and some days this is so incredibly difficult.  because joy does not equate happiness.  joy is deeper.  joy is immense.  joy is a way of being, not a fleeting emotion.  joy creates such consistency in my soul.  I don't even know what I mean by that exactly, except to tie it to something I heard today.  and really, it reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad about seven or eight years ago.  joy creates an atmosphere where nothing can make me or break me.  nothing is so overwhelming that I can't deal with the blessings that life gives me nor is anything so threatening and awful that it can break me.  when I choose joy, I am choosing it in all situations.  not just the good.  "victors in the midst of strife".

have I had to put this to the test?  yeah, kinda.  but not totally.  do I wish to try this out?  not really.  I don't want bad things to happen in my life.  that said, life is not perfect.  and things happen.  what I want to practice in the meantime is how to have joy permeate my soul, so that I can live "in the triumph song of life".

all that said, I still have to choose it.  I still have to be conscious.  I still need to see myself in context.  so this week, and heading towards christmas, I am going to choose joy.  in the busy.  in the chaos.  in the shopping and wrapping and baking and concert prep.  I am going to choose joy.  because luke 2 says this:  "But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  this season is about the news of great joy.  and I want that joy to be in every part of my being.

oh, and I can't leave you without THIS:  {my fave! and I *heart* lauryn hill, even if this is old, old school!!  if anything, the clothes alone will make you smile...}

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