Friday, August 1, 2014


My year's resolution was to focus on joy.
Here we are on August 1st,
two-thirds of the way through the year,
and I can say I have done okay-ish.
Some days it has been easier than others
and then there have been those moments
(or days at a time if I'm being honest)
when I have completely forgotten my resolution all together.
With the approaching close of summer (where did it go?) and the start of a new academic year,
I wanted to re-focus and re-commit myself to finding and spreading joy each day.
So I decided to challenge myself this August to an outpouring of joy.
And Joy-gust was born.
Joy can be defined as a great happiness and giving happiness.
A gust is a sudden outburst or surge.
Joy-gust is about a surge of finding and spreading joy in my life.
For thirty-one days I am going to focus on the little daily acts that create joy
and to take the focus off of me, myself, and I, and find an act of kindness I can do for others.
Would you like to join me?
Check in for inspiration, ideas for fostering and relishing moments, and acts of kindness.
Let's get started.
Know Joy:
Spread Joy:
Annie tells us we're never fully dressed without a smile, so put that smile on today.
Attitude, tone of voice, and mindset can all be effected by the simple act of choosing to smile.
So when you start thinking about yourself remind yourself to smile and see what happens.
Be Joy-filled:
It is often a lot easier to recognize the big blessings in our life before we can see little ones.
Writing a list can help
(for me seeing a list is a joy in itself)
This spring and summer have been filled to the brim with busy-ness and it does not look like an end is in sight. I am not complaining, however, because this full schedule has brought with it so much joy.
So here is my quick list of big joys.
And since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Jen for Seven Quick Takes.
1. In May, I finally donned my cap and gown and hood and walked for my M.A. graduation ceremony. It's funny, I knew I passed my comprehensive exams, I heard the professor say I passed, I already had my diploma, and yet, the fact that I had my master's degree never really sank in. It wasn't until my mom put on my hood before the ceremony that it all became real.
2. Right after such an eventful weekend, I hopped on a plane for St. Louis and made my first solo trip to a work conference. It is amazing what a week out of the office environment does for lifting your spirits even while you work remotely. The chance to meet with others working in your field from all over the states is invaluable. It is so helpful to be able to speak with someone that understands the challenges and triumphs of ministry.
An added joy was that I found myself in the same city as one of my college roommates. It was hard to believe we had not seen each other for almost six years, conversation was so easy and fun. We hope it won't be such a long break between visits.
3. And then it was time to head down to Georgia for the wedding of a dear college friend. The over twelve hour drive was a challenge, but good company and a great book made the trip go by relatively quickly. A summer cold treated by sleep inducing "non-drowsy" medications didn't hurt either.
4. On the way home, we made a day trip to Charlotte. We got to visit with some good friends and share their one year anniversary cake with them. What a treat!
5. While in Charlotte, we also visited my godparents and cousins, Natalie of the Busy Budgeting Mama and Valerie of Blanqi. We got a sneak peek tour of the Happy Mommy Box shipping room, but more importantly was all the snuggles with the little ones, late night and early morning chats, and being introduced to Heads Up.
The drive home also brought with it my debut drive in the mountains. I have been in a car that is driving in the mountains many many times, but never had I ever been the one behind the wheel. To make matters worse I was in an unfamiliar car with the Mountaineer nursing a cold, asleep in the passenger seat. We survived, but there were a few moments that I felt like a truck was going to push us over the edge or into the mountain wall.
6. Fourth of July brought a trip to West Virginia to visit B's family. He grew up in a lake town so it was the perfect atmosphere for a long weekend with relaxation and the small town holiday parade and lakeside fireworks.
7. In the midst of all this, my family is gutting my childhood home in preparation for luxury apartments to take its place. It makes it easier to grieve the loss of our country oasis to strip malls and hospitals when you get to take a piece of it with you. It will be rough seeing what remains knocked over, but at least the beautiful things inside will be put to good use and make another house more homey.
And a bonus, because I ran out of numbers while saving the best for last...
I said, "yes."
Have a joyous weekend!

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