Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

Joy – Only Joy

So, I’ve already told y’all that I don’t do New Year’s resolutions and that is true. But I’ve been recently inspired by some of my favorite bloggers to name this year. To them, naming the year is a theme or inspiration, focus or center for what the year means to them. To be honest, I read their posts resisting the idea – I’m not one to follow the crowd on anything. But I felt like I needed to pray about it…to ponder if I should do this.

Recent events for me have been extremely difficult and here I am not so long after it all happened and I find myself overwhelmed…overwhelmed with the joys of this life. I spent a couple of hours yesterday with just Kayla. This child has a light in her that overwhelms me. She can talk for hours (literally) about a new idea that excites her – building her own sleigh (“Tell Daddy I need the leaf blower for the sleigh”), to a new stuffed animal and all about who the animal is, who her friends are and what she likes to do. As I sat there with her drinking coffee (she – a smoothie) and eating a treat, I was overcome with joy. Joy that can only come from this place deep inside me. How fitting that her name is Kayla Joy – which together means “pure joy”.

The next day, I’m on the way to work – passing by views of what should sadden me, worry me, concern me…but they don’t. Happiness comes from the outside, from what happens to us. But joy, no – joy comes from somewhere else – from the spirit.

Last month, I wrote the post Winter Wonderland – about finding joy in the dark days. I included James 1:2-3 which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Trials should not shake our joy…they may temporarily delay it, but our joy comes from our spirit – from God.

As I’ve been praying about a word for this year, many words came to mind – gratitude, giving, contentment…but all of those things naturally flow from joy. Joy is where I must begin.

Joy when my children are laughing and playing…joy when they are screaming and crying…joy when I’m ridiculed and talked about…joy when I’m honored. Joy, only joy, only joy. My daughter’s middle name, the shorter form of my mother’s name, the source of hope and perseverance.

So here it is – this year…JOY – this is where I will return, where I center myself, where I remember why I’m here.


Hi! I'm Jennifer. I'm here in my little corner of southeastern Michigan observing relationships, family, and the world hoping to dig deeper and find the divine spark in it all. Thanks for visiting!

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