The next post in Lemonade Press’s Seasons of Joy Series comes from Morgan of Lady Ilg Photography! Morgan is an incredibly sweet person who radiates joy and generosity. Her enthusiasm for life, honesty, and perseverance are an example to others. I have had the privilege to have known Morgan since our early high school days. She was someone who always had such a huge influence on my faith journey and showed tremendous strength and kindness. I am so pleased to present her post on Joy!
I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t measure their year by December. While the holidays are usually a time to bring families together, and celebrate, they’re also a huge time to reflect—especially for me. When I think about what trials and triumphs I’ve had this year, overall, it’s been a pretty rough one. Without going into too much detail, my husband and I have seen our fair share of loss this year. Between some visits to the ER and problems with my lady parts, our sweet dog who is aging with cancer, not seeing certain dreams fulfilled, and also some pretty big obstacles with my business, it’s been easy for me to just want 2016 to be over, because happy is not a way I’d like to describe how I felt this year.
But joy? Joy isn’t something you find, or feel—joy is something you already have.
Let me explain.
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment and hope. And while I wouldn’t particularly describe my year as a happy year, I was still joyful. Despite the obstacles I’ve had to overcome, I’ve found joy in some of the smallest things; like, the way my husband kisses me while I’m still in bed before he leaves for work. Or when I had one of my most mentally and physically challenging weekends in June shooting three weddings in a row…and every single one of those couples mailed me an in depth thank you card saying how much they just loved their wedding photos. Or even though my husband and I have seen more vet visits than date nights, it gives me joy to see my dog have enough energy to run around and play because of her surgeries.
I think the older we get, the more bound we are to experience troubles in life. I’ve noticed the word, “adulting” used by many of my friends, because growing up truly is not easy. We have bills to pay, friends who get sick, a job to make sure we keep, as we get married, we have marriage issues (because, yes, those are bound to come up). But joy is something I choose, day in and day out. It’s a state of mind I wear just like I wear deodorant every day. I don’t want to be without deodorant because if I didn’t wear it, it not only would affect me, but those around me wouldn’t want to be near. Joy is the same way. If I don’t choose joy, I’m affecting those around me in a negative way. To be negative is contagious, but so is being joyful. I choose the latter.