So....joy. I am a few days into this new journey of choosing joy every day. And well.....I have to say that I am already finding out that joy is, as usual, a little elusive some days. But I am also finding that because it is my focus word for 2013, I purposely seek the joy in even the most frustrating days. It's an intentional choice....and I am finding that it requires a little work on my part. Let me share...
So, one day at work, I realized I was looking at a bit of a financial setback. It was almost payday, and I was somewhat shocked to find my paycheck - though it included a raise - was less than what I expected. In fact, less than what I had been getting before the raise. What? I got a little worked up, I have to admit. A little cranky, a little whiny, a few tears....until something, or I should probably say Someone, reminded me of my One Word. Oh....yeah. Ok. Stop. Breathe. Look for the joy. Really? There's joy in a smaller paycheck? Not sure how that adds up... So, another deep breath and then I looked at it calmly. What changed? Well, taxes changed. Wait, it's not just the social security tax change...although that did make part of the difference. But, I also had to change my status from "married" to "single", which makes a huge difference. As I worked through what I needed to do with my W4 to keep my paycheck at least close to the same, I realized that this did NOT need to be a situation that stole my joy.
There are many things that can take our joy that seem to be beyond our control. However, when you take a closer look at many situations, there are things you can do, and choices you can make that can turn it from a joy stealer to a joy maker. When I calmly looked at my alternatives, I was able to come up with a way to "rescue" my paycheck, and take a closer look at my budget. I have certain financial goals I want to meet, such as getting rid of debt and building up an emergency fund for myself and my children. This was a golden opportunity for me to take a good look at those goals and the steps to take for reaching them.
In the end, I did find joy in that moment. I took some action, and not only that, but was reminded that God will provide. I can't tell you how many times He has taken care of me and my family in the past, and I know that He will continue to do so. Joy. It's there!