I've done this for a few years now...picked a word that would encompass something I wanted to work on, lean on, learn in the coming year.
Last year, it was Trust. The year before that, Jesus.
This year, I'm choosing Joy.
Because no matter what--joy is possible. Joy can be found everywhere.
I want 2016 to be a year of unbridled joy.
This isn't because I'm an unjoyful person. I generally try to keep pretty cheerful and find happiness in basic things. If it's a day where everyone's out of the hospital at the end of it, then it's by default a good day.
In Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, she talks about the roots of the word eucharisteo: thanksgiving. The word charis, grace, is there, but also the derivative of charis--chara. Joy.
Grace, thanksgiving, joy--all in one word.
And of course, Eucharist--eucharisteo. Jesus gave thanks at the Last Supper. The Eucharist, the Precious Body and Blood of Christ that we Catholics can receive every single day--it's Thanksgiving.
Do we treat it like that?
Joy and gratitude are inexplicably bound up, even in etymology. So this year, I'm going to find that Joy--Joy overflowing and superabundant. Joy always.