WARNING...THIS IS LONG!
I'm not very good at listening to directions. That's just the honest truth.
When our son was in Kindergarten, his standardized testing came back and said he had advanced "listening" skills....he followed directions very well....OH REALLY??? See, I was his teacher....and his Mum....and well, I knew better. But dang if he wasn't able to listen and follow directions on that test!!!
If I ever have any really important documents that require a signature, I get The Hired Hand to read them....cause apparently, I don't have very good reading skills either!!!!
I'm taking another art class online at Jeanne Oliver's site with The Creative GIRL, Danielle Donaldson; Creative GIRL The Land of Light & Shadows.
When I was building my wing above, I thought about what would allow me to take flight this year. I just LoVE the word Serendipity!!!! I remember the first time I watched that movie, Serendipity and the first time I ate ice cream at the Serendipity shop in NYC! (of course both were done with my favorite girl friend....The Farmer's Daughter!)
So I thought.....I need more SERENDIPITY in my life.....and then thought.....what even is SERENDIPITY????
All of us need words of affirmation. Words that are spoken to encourage, strengthen, and show love. Words that build up not tear down. Words that are spoken softly not with harsh rough edges. Words that speak truth.
Unfortunately most of us did not grow up hearing them. It's a daily practice that needs a constant reminder. So I painted a girl who is dressed in Words of Affirmation! With her belt of truth being JOY!
I for one, was not very good at speaking words of affirmation when my kids were growing up. As a child, I didn't receive them either. It's a cycle. But cycles can be broken. And it is never too late.
It wasn't really until the early 21 Century that words of affirmation were even brought to my attention. We studied The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and one of the languages is Words of Affirmation. It was then, that my favorite word of affirmation became JOY!
Hubs and I went through some rough waters back then. So we began a steady course of learning each other's love languages and our kids. His are Words of Affirmation and Touch. Mine are Quality Time and Gifts. We began to study each other and offering our sacrifice of love. We began working hard at expressing our love in-spite of who we are. It was then, that I realized I wasn't very good at speaking words of affirmation. I was really good at complaining....SO, I set a path to change. Change is hard work. I'm nowhere near complete or perfect. But I am a changed girl today.
It was back then that Hubs would write me love letters (they are little gifts) and he would sign them, "You are my JOY!"
JOY is still my word today. It is something I aspire to every single day of my life. To not just find it but to live in JOY. God knows it's not easy sometimes. It's a choice I've made though. To find JOY!
CS Lewis in his book, Surprised By Joy says this about JOY;
"In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.”
"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.”
It's my belief that happiness and joy are nothing alike. Joy, true Joy comes from the Lord; The Joy of The Lord is my strength, He is the Joy of your salvation. Happiness is something I believe we create inside ourselves which all too often relies upon circumstances.
Choosing to live in JOY has allowed me to speak words of affirmation at a greater degree!
JOY will be my word for 2015!