Thursday, January 2, 2014

Joy Dare

I have always had a dislike for January. It follows my most favorite four months of the year, which culminate in the best of all, December. As a kid, it meant the return to school and a long time before another celebratory time.

I know not everyone dislikes January and I actually have several family members with January birthdays so would anticipate that they like it. But me? Not so much (though I love all those January folks! :)).

The last two years produced deeper disdain for this month of 31 days as a collection of hard things hit my family. As we progressed through December and I felt the bitterness of January coming-up, I found myself filled with fear, wondering what terror would come this year. A host of thoughts swam through my mind, none that were good!

And then I had a thought. January is not evil. Sure, it's not my favorite month, but it hasn't been proclaimed as an eternal month of hardness and there is nothing to fear. Why should it be condemned in my mind?

I've learned through the past few years that a wonderful way to face fear is not to tell myself to not be afraid, but to remind myself of joy and blessing, and then turn that into thanksgiving. To see the gifts that are before me. So, I decided I'd take this month to focus on those things. To remind myself of truth, not live in fear.

I wasn't entirely sure what this would look like, but knew something would come-up. I was perusing Pinterest while watching randomness on television following our post-holiday drive back home and ran across this. It's from a book I've read (well, I've read most of it) and, although it was dated 2012, it's completely applicable today. I also found it rather interesting since 2012 was the first of the really hard Januarys.

So, I'm taking this January Joy Dare. I may share some of my thoughts in this space, or may not. I don't want to put too many rules and restrictions on myself, as I want to be sure I don't miss the point. And I know days get busy! :)

But, I'll share when I have a moment, if for no other reason than to possibly encourage another.

January 1st
Three things about yourself you are grateful for

Can I start by saying that's hard!! It's hard to say self-positives sometimes. But, here it goes.
1.   I feel deeply. This can be extremely painful at times, but it also allows me to empathize and
      drives me to my knees to pray for others
2.   I have a creative soul and sometimes see the world differently
3.   I am not great at acquaintances as I prefer to go deep with friends. This can often lead to  
      loneliness as I don't have a collection of friends in the rafters, but that loneliness is a blessing,
      too, as it is a natural force, pushing me to Christ to find my identity and comfort