unspeakable joy.

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landonchristmas

If only this weren’t blurry.  It hurts my eyes to look at it.  But his joy is making me keep it.  And look past the horrible picture documentation.

Joy.

Steve and I have been having this conversation with our kids, most specifically during the last few days of Christmas vacation, and as we traveled for our last celebration.  It’s normal I know (we know) that it is difficult to get along sometimes.  We annoy each other and drive each other crazy.  Especially when together for a certain length of time.  The very family time we crave can and has been a very family time of craze.  How to become for the majority of interaction among each other—love filled, love giving, joy giving, encouraging, helpful, and life giving INSTEAD of stealing joy from each other, intolerance, frustration, irritation, and sucking life out of each other.

As I have prayed about this and will continue to do so, this is my ONE and only resolution for this new year, 2014.  I don’t want anything else.  I want to turn our relationships with each other and with everyone into life giving.  I want people to be better because they know each one of us.  I want any imprints we leave on others’ lives to be that of love.  And nothing else.

Lofty goal?  Yes.  But this where I am at.  And it begins with me.  I know that.

I love this sermon outline from a few weeks ago–from Howard Wagler.   About “taking a look” as we move forward into this new year.

First—we look back.  When did you sense God was most distant from you, and when did you sense God was most present for you in 2013?  Isn’t that an interesting view of the past year?

Next, the obvious–we look forwardIf you were were to give yourself advice for 2014, what would that be?  Relationally, physcially, and spiritually?  What steps do you believe God is asking you to take to improve your relationships with Him, your family,  your community?

And finally—look around.  Is there anyone you need to forgive or be forgiven by to reconcile relationships and move forward together?  So powerful, and so convicting–this has stuck with me.

girls christmas

There is nothing more that I want than to see joy shining through my kids.  But as we all will experience, true joy only comes through Jesus.  And to show that to others is a work within each of us.  It’s not easy.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

May just be my verse for the new year.

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