We’ve reached the last month of 2014, are you ready to finish this year strong? Back in January I laid out a planned topic for each month to help keep us focused as we’ve journeyed, struggled and learned through this year. With this last month the topic I’ve chosen is joy. Yes, it fits really well with the Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays this month, but it’s also the way I want to end this year. In so many years past I know I’ve felt like I’m racing for the finish line, praying to get out of the year as quick as possible. This year has had lots of challenges, and as I said to a friend I feel like I’ve had less sleep in the past 6 months than in all my college years, but for what seems like the first time in a long time I have hope for the year ahead. I’m not just looking at it as a way to get out of this one, but as an opportunity to grow on the lessons, blessings and opportunities of this year.
So as I said this month we’re talking about joy, and the first thing that needs to be said about joy is that it’s not a quiet hug, small smile or tiny gesture, joy is big, passionate and full of life. Its exuberance is one of the first things you notice when someone around you is experiencing joy. It’s not something you can hide and it’s something that should be shared. Happiness, a part of joy, is something we’ll talk about this month because most people don’t live life just on a high like joy or low like pain, suffering or grief, they experience life a little less passionately with things like happiness, sadness, hope and hurt.
But today I just want to encourage you to not be afraid to be joyful. We often live our lives tempering our reactions and responses because we don’t want people to think we’re weird or strange, and living life full-out is tiring. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the good moments in your life and in other’s lives. What joys will you celebrate this month?