When we celebrate, we exercise our ability to see and feel goodness in the simplest gifts of God. We are able to take delight today in something we wouldn't have even noticed yesterday. Our capacity for joy increases.
While cleaning, organizing, throwing away, and putting up stuff in our basement/office/scrap area, I happened upon an old journal. It's actually a nice journal that Greg got me for our first anniversary. That's the same weekend we moved to Murray, so that's when it starts. The thing that kind of disappoints me about it is I stopped writing in it March 6, 2004 -- seven months after I started. There are so many blank pages that deserved to be filled.
August 2003 was a time of searching for me. I was sure I wanted to be in Murray. I didn't have a job, and I didn't even want to work at the newspaper here. There wasn't an opening anyway. I was reading "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg. And, to be honest, I'm not sure I finished it. I must have liked it, though, because I have a ton of quotes in my journal from it.
About joy. And celebrating. Every day.
It took me a while to get adjusted, although it only took me a month to get a job. We moved to Murray on Aug. 4, 2003, and I started at the Ledger & Times on Sept. 8, 2003. I worked there for four years, and surprisingly loved it. In fact, I like living in Murray and can't see our family growing up anywhere else. (I know that's impossible to explain to some people!)
Never say never. And never think you can plan the details of your life. You'll miss pleasant surprises if you're too caught up in what you think you want. It'll change anyway.
Gosh, in some ways it seems like we just moved here, and in others it seems like a lifetime. We're celebrating our sixth anniversary this weekend, Sunday specifically. That means come Monday we'll have lived in Murray for five years. (That's not including the four years I spent in here in college or Greg's entire childhood.) I'm talking about us. Our little family.
We decided the first few years of marriage were rough, and we're glad to be out of them. The past year as definitely been the best -- in terms of peace + joy -- that's we've experienced together. Between our company, which is Greg's day-to-day job, and our daughter, we feel like our family has a purpose that is motivated by passion. It's like we've discovered who/what we're supposed to be, together and individually.
How about some more of those quotes from John Ortberg:
If we don't rejoice today, we will not rejoice at all. If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will still be waiting when we die. If we are going to rejoice, it must be in this day. This is the day the Lord has made.
Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is one thing hurried people don't have. ... That's why Jesus never hurried. If we are to follow Jesus, we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives -- because, by definition, we can't move faster than the one we are following.
I'm thankful God worked on me through the little things and the big deals. Since we've moved to Murray, I've been diagnosed with diabetes and dealt with infertility. Talk about some life-changing issues thrown in with the everyday that was made up of many deadlines, family functions with the in-laws and trips to see my family.
Meet today's problems with today's strength. Don't start tackling tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow's strength yet. You simply have enough for today. -Max Lucado in "Traveling Light"
That idea about today's strength makes more sense to me today than it did on Jan. 31, 2004 -- three days after I was diagnosed with diabetes. Time is such a teacher.
In fact, time also is a funny thing.
Newspaper stories are fleeting things. The thing that makes this business so remarkable, that every day we get a new canvas to paint on, is also what makes it so unsatisfying. The story, almost always, dies with the day, the pages of the day-old paper turning yellow in the sun. -Journalist Rick Bragg in "Somebody Told Me"
Thankfully, our lives don't yellow and get tossed out. Here's to nearly five years in Murray and six years as Greg's wife. Seems worth celebrating to me.