365 Days of Joy

IMG_1237

It’s a new year and with that comes new beginnings, resolutions and habits. I have dedicated the year of 2014  to action-taking, more doing and less talking about doing. I want to make more, produce more and love more. In order to do this, I have had to give myself a rather large figurative kick in the behind.

Two months ago, I started this blog with an ambition to start writing again. In the past two months since the initial post I have written exactly zero posts for the blog, which is quite sad. 2013 has been a year of giving up too easily and not giving grace; to myself, to my husband or to my daughter, and it has made me frustrated and bitter. I have had to learn the hard way that being a Mom doesn’t mean you can’t do what you used to do before having a baby, it just means it takes longer.

Take this as an example: I’m not sure why, but in our house somehow everything ends up in stacks and piles and then other things get stacked on top of it. Before you know it you have a stack that contains anything from bills, sermon notes, and first-aid-class-certificates to baby socks, DVDs, and picture frames all sitting on top of the basket of yarn and whatever-else-fit-in-the-basket over in the corner (hypothetically speaking of course). And the more time that goes by, the less I see it, and the easier it is to ignore. Especially because I know that if I start sorting, chances are that when I am about halfway through the sorting and the mess is at it’s peak, my daughter is going to wake up from her nap and need my attention. So I don’t even start.

The other day I pulled out one of these stacks and started sorting. Sure I was mildly interrupted by some food making and baby cheek kissing, but if I add up the time I actually spent sorting, I don’t think it took more than 15-20 mins. That’s it. I even got all of our binders of important papers sorted too. And it felt so good!

There is a strange satisfaction in setting goals and reaching them, that I think is healthy for the heart and the soul, because we are reflecting our Creator when we create. We are glorifying Him when we enjoy the life we have been given by Him. I want to be more thankful because thankful hearts are lighter hearts, lighter hearts are happier hearts and happy hearts enjoy life more.

And now we are finally getting to what made me write this blog post in the first place.

I recently came across a project that Hailey Bartholomew  did back in 2008 called 365grateful. She had been struggling with depression and as an effort to fight it, she took a photo of something she was grateful for every single day. Day by day she noticed all these beautiful things that otherwise would have just gone unnoticed.

“The discipline of having to look for the good things that happened every day changed her life in so many ways. Hailey found not only her marriage, spiritual life and health improved, but this project accidentally, wondrously spread and affected the lives of many others.”

If you follow either link above, you will find a short video where Hailey shares more about how the project affected her, and I would encourage you to watch it. It is quite inspiring. To sum up, it made her see her husband in a new light, she noticed things she hadn’t before, and she all in all became a happier person.

So I have decided to do something similar, except I am calling it something different (as the headline indicates) and I am not staying within the borders of photography. Some days I will be sharing stories, others a picture, or even a prayer. And hopefully my little project 365 Days of Joy will have a similar effect on my life as it did on Hailey’s. I am hoping to bring back the fairytale to my marriage, reclaim the butterflies, store memories so they won’t be forgotten, and document every step of my journey to becoming a happier, more whole person.

If you feel inspired, join me. If you just want to follow my journey, follow me.

365 Days of Joy begins today.

Advertisements

I used to write.

I used to write. I used to blog. And I used to enjoy it quite a bit. There is something profound about writing, letting your fingers do the talking rather than your tongue. I guess that it is the ‘more-well-paced-than-talking’, and that it requires a measure of self-control that I like to think I still possess, that is so compelling to me. I used to write and I want to write again.

This time I want it to be much more serious. I think. Back when Michael and I had just started dating, I had a blog that I would occasionally post on, and I once told him that I just ‘blurt out words’, I did very little if any editing and most of what ended up in a post was just flow of heart and letting my fingers do the work.

This time around, I still want to share my heart, but I want more purpose, more direction and less fluff. I want my posts to mean something, rather than just be a few paragraphs of random thoughts thrown out into the nothingness of the internet, with the faint hope that someone would read it (as it turns out, Michael always did) and that it somehow would mean something.

I want to share what I am learning about life, about God, about my walk with Jesus. I want to document my life, and our life as a family in word and in photograph. I want to recount the story of how Michael and I came to be, and every beautiful step of the journey since. I want to tell stories about and share pictures of my beautiful daughter Magnolia Rose, who is jut 5 months old. I want to be able to look back on the late nights, the frustrations and how, by God’s grace, I overcame them and were better for it. And I want to do it because I can, and because I want to, not because I think it makes me cool.

This will be my space. To share, encourage, maybe challenge and dream big. To display photos of all things lovely and beautiful; sunsets, leaves, coffee and smiles. To store memories as I am making them with Michael and Magnolia.

I used to write and now I am writing again.