I am SO excited that it's a new year. I always feel hopeful with a new beginning, but this new year is especially wonderful. 2009 was a hard year for me, a year of intense pruning and a stripping away of things. God lead me through the desert, but with the hardship He revealed hidden springs under ground.
I learned about perseverance, endurance, and most importantly, His love. He taught me to trust Him, to believe when it seemed impossible. He disciplines those He loves, and I did my best to obey and learn. So although I'm still a work in progress, I know I've grown this year- as a direct result of His pruning in my life.
New Year's was the best day I've had in at least a year, maybe more. We just hung out with some friends and played games. We laughed and laughed, until my cheeks and stomach muscles ached. We have all been tense and exhausted. It felt really good to laugh and let the pressure go.
Afterwards, I tried to remember to carry that playfulness into my daily routine. To be silly with the kids and flirt with my husband more, to smile and not be so serious and anxious all the time.
The laughter fades so quickly in the day to day, and I realized I may need to do some research about joy. I'm not sure I've ever lived with it. I've had momentary times of peace and happiness, but not joy in the journey, in spite of circumstances. Someone gave me a book about finding hidden joy in a dark corner, and I think it's time to read it.
I'm looking forward to this new year, this fresh start. To leave the desert, or at least my perspective of it, behind me. I hope that I will discover God's joy this year, and that so many of my friends and family who are in similar places in life will find it, too. I just have a feeling that it's going to be a good year.