From I Have to, to I Get to

1:00 AM

2017 started out with a lot of promise. January 1st was welcomed in with a party at the Holman house. I had big plans for my writing, hope for mending a broken friendship, renewed zeal to pray for what seemed impossible, and hope that my sister's new boyfriend would be the one for her. The months passed, and I struggled to do even the basics at my job as tension mounted from just about every front. By February, my writing was in shambles. By April, pressure mounted in our family from events both within and without. By July, my sister was left with a broken heart. In August, I saw the friendship I had wanted to save fall apart. By September, I realized that, somewhere along the way, I had stopped bothering to pray for impossible, as it seemed even further out of reach. It was then I realized I had lost something that was important to me: Finding joy in the little things.

Happiness is often at the mercy of my circumstances. Joy is something I choose. One of the most significant changes that I am working on making is from "I have to" to "I get to." What do I mean by this? So often I hear myself saying: "I have to work on this today."  "I have to go see this person." When I decided to start choosing to see the joy in the little things, this was one of the first things I decided to tackle. I am working on saying things like this:
"I get to write book reviews today."
"I get to drive my sister to work."
"I'm sick, so I get to take a day off."
Why this change? Because it reminds me that nothing is a given. I don't have to write book reviews, but I have been given the blessing of being able to do so. My sister's job, my driver's license, and working cars are not a given. All of them are gifts. When I am sick, I could have a job that demands me to keep working.
Yesterday, I had a huge amount of work, and my Mom and sisters invited me to go with them to the grocery store. This wasn't exciting in the least, but I took the offer. I made them all laugh for stopping to grab pictures.

Yet, this is the point. Taking joy in doing normal things. I could be working a job that didn't allow me time to just go to the grocery store. Or we could be like we were years ago: with little money to go shopping with. Yes, I remember the days when what the food pantry gave us is what we had to eat. It wasn't a horrible fate but sure made me grateful when my Dad got a job, and we could buy what we wanted again.

Besides, have you seen these two bag groceries? They get a job offer almost everytime we got into HEB. It is such a joy to watch them.

I want to start talking about finding joy more on my blog - of finding beauty in the broken places. It can be a challenge because you often have to stoop a little lower, be still in the midst of craziness, and take detours when it isn't convenient. However, it is in pursuing joy that we find purpose, peace, and the fingerprints of our Heavenly Father's love.

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