Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A most wonderful quality...

My kids are joyful. They really inspire me. I would venture to bet that not many parents could say this. It's interesting to see how they are joyful in different ways and for different reasons. Some of this is due to age, and some is due to just general life situation.

The youngest girls just may not know any better, but they seem to find joy in most situations. In fact, when they are most getting on my nerves, I remind myself that it is their sheer joy that is causing me discomfort. I do sometimes have to reel them in a bit, but to have that uninhibited joy and energy around is infectious. Nothing in particular has to happen to bring out this joy, because it just burst out of them in every day situations.

My "middle" child has a more quiet joy. It's like something that is lurking under the surface, just waiting to explode at any moment. She has great self control, much more than I do, even when it comes to her joy. However, it's there, and it's obvious, and it has a great affect on those around her. Her joy is most evident when she is just being plain silly, and she can be silly with the best of us. I also see that joy ooze out of her when she is working with young children. She glows when she has the opportunity to inspire a young life, and this in turn inspires those around her.

My oldest daughter has a joy that leaves her able to deal with things maturely. It puts things in perspective for her. It comes along with a faith that God is in control in all things. She has less self control than her younger sister, and she is more likely to lay things on the line. Different things bring her joy as well. For one, her music brings out the joy in her life. Anyone who has watched her and heard her sing will tell you this. Also, seeing God place the puzzle pieces of her life together makes her burst with joy. Being content in choices she makes because of her confidence in God's plan for her just lays that joy right out there.

Ironically, my kids bring out the joy in my life. There are other things that do it too, but the girls are a big part of it. I don't do a very good job of letting them know that many times, because life is so darn crazy, stressful, and fast. I hope to do a better job at this in 2011. When someone has such a profound affect on your life, you really should let them know about it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Okay, I give,

I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions. In fact, I've always thought it was dumb. You're just setting yourself up for disappointment most times, as you strive to accomplish something you failed to do the previous year. This year, however, I'm giving in.

My resolution this year is to live. I don't mean to survive day to day, or to not die in 2011, but I'm going to LIVE. So much of my life has been spent in routine, guilting myself out of what I would really like to do, and this year I'm not letting that get me.

I want to travel. No, I can't afford it, but I'm going somewhere this year. There are a lot of places I've always wanted to see, and I intend to mark one of those off my list this year. Even if it's only for a weekend, I'm going for it.

I'm going to work so hard that I don't feel guilty for getting something for myself every once in a while. I avoid buying myself underwear because I think that the money could be spent on something more pressing. (But what could be more pressing than replacing 5-10 year old underwear?) I may even have a pedicure or two. Yes, I could do it myself, but darnit I don't think it will kill me to have someone else treat me a time or two.

Maybe I'm feeling selfish, or maybe I'm just at a point in my life that I'm realizing it's passing me by. I tend to not grab days by the horns and make them into what I want them to be. Too many times I fall victim to what the day brings. Not this year. I'm tired of living by some weird made up standard that's in my head. Heck, this may just be the year I finally get my tattoo.

Jesus didn't sit around trying to follow rules. He grew His hair long, wore comfy clothes, and hung out with his friends. He enjoyed a good party. (I'm so messed up, because this makes me think of a line in a movie about Jesus in a tuxedo shirt saying "I'm here to party".) He loved others and spent time investing in them. I'm not being disrespectful, I'm just saying that Jesus didn't let anyone tell Him how He was supposed to live. He was just connected enough to His Father to be confident in what is right and wrong.

As long as I stay connected to my Father, and that is one thing I plan to work harder at this year, I don't think it's a bad thing for me to just live life. A friend of mine said that she knows a lady that works in a nursing home, and the lady was telling her that the patients she talks to that lived life to the fullest never had regrets. It's the ones that never did things they wanted to do that were saddened by the thought of never having the chance again. This had a profound affect on me. What a joy it would be to look back at my life and say that I didn't leave anything undone. I don't know if that is even possible, but I'm going to start giving it a good fighting try this year.