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Rejoice.

January 14, 2014

Rejoice

The words continue to dwell in my brain. They’ve sat there for months, maybe years now, patiently waiting for the opportunity to flow.

Two weeks ago they surfaced.

And then again last week, on a call with my mom.

Sometimes I feel like I’m too happy, too blessed. Is that possible?

The conversation opened, with my mom and has continued with myself. Have you felt joy? I don’t mean a fleeting moment of happiness that can be carried away by a storm. I mean, deep, resonating joy that transcends all situations, all hardships, all tears, all sorrow. The type of joy that keeps your spirits high when mentally or physically you could break.

I do.

My burden comes in this: I know people who have not felt this joy; and from that, I feel guilty. Sometimes that daily reminder that there are starving children waiting to be nourished, victims of natural disasters that are waiting to be built up, friends with depression who are waiting on words of encouragement as I sit here, happy and functional, crushes my heart. The burden of trying to make everyone feel welcomed in this world, to feel a piece of love, is nearly impossible and in my joy, that is what I find I want to do.

And yet there is so much beauty in joy. Burden should not be of association. In order to reverse the stronghold of burden, I must, instead, fully embrace what I have been given. Adhere to my role as “happy person,” and let define me.

After a few weeks of discussion and meditation, and a beautiful prompt from Casey + Co, a word for 2014 has been chosen.

Rejoice.

Rejoice in my heart. Being happy does not have to be a burden; it’s alright to feel it. It’s alright to discuss with friends and family. It’s alright to post notes once a week about every moment that is making you happy. It’s alright to be in a good mood.

Rejoice in my mind. Continue to learn and educate. Stop focusing on negatives at the end of the week and focus on positives. Dreaming is what got me to where I am; dreams and positive emotions, so why would I stop?

Rejoice in my skin. Sometimes I feel inadequate when it comes to outer beauty, as every person does. But standards of society need to shift in order for every woman to feel beautiful. Starting with individuals, we need to shift our minds to inner beauty, the light in your eyes, the warmth of your heart and the impressions of your kindness. That is beauty that brings joy. Feed your body with strong nourishment, that will provide your sustainable health and feed your community with kindness to sustain their health.

Rejoice in my confidence. Something that I rarely recognize that I have; these talents to write words, to walk and run; the bring joy to others.

Rejoice in my love. For my God, my family, my fiancé, my friends and the people and earth that constantly surround me with goodness. My community and relationships that fill my heart.

And let the joy shine. Because you never know who you will impact, who you will bring to a new understanding about faith or love or humility. Who will take your joy and pass it on. Who will see you and know that you are blessed. No one was created perfect, and by no means do I strive to be. We are beautifully broken creatures who can reinstate joy to our community, when content, when wretched, when aloof.

Rejoice in your shoes, in your feet and toes. Rejoice in your crooked smile, your gray hair, your brown eyes. Rejoice in your mistakes and your triumphs, your temptations and your fear, your victories, your breath, your earth, your heart.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in the blessings of life throughout this year and all futures to come.

theshellhammer

I would love to hear your thoughts and the word that is best suited for you this year…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2014 12:47 am

    this is so beautifully written, alex! it’s been such a pleasure to share in your journey – i think 2014 is going to be awesome!

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