door swagOur pastor has been doing a great series called Songs of the Season that focuses on a different Christmas carol each week. Yesterday was Joy to the World.

So, of course, we talked about joy (and yes, he does invite the congregation to interact!). One of his comments got me to thinking about how often we WAIT to experience joy. I know I’m guilty of thinking joy will come when _____________. Fill in the blank.

  • When I get married.
  • When I find that dream job.
  • When we by a house. (When we pay off the house!)
  • When I have a book published.

Our pastor’s parting challenge was to ask God where we need to be finding joy in our circumstances. Which made me think about how much joy my writing brings me. I find joy in . . .

  • Holding a finished novel.
  • Interacting with readers at readings, signings, and online.
  • Hearing from readers about what my stories mean to them.
  • And just writing brings me incredible joy–that act of creation.

And what do I catch myself focusing on instead?

  • Will my editor like this story or will it need to be changed?
  • Will I get another contract when this one is finished?
  • How are my reviews?
  • How are my sales?
  • Should I be marketing more? How??

And suddenly, the joy of being an author is sucked right out of me.

This morning I went to get a mammogram. And in the spirit of the season I took a signed copy of When Silence Sings. When the girl “taking my pictures” was done, I gave her the book and said, “Merry Christmas!”

She was downright excited! She told me she’ll have time off next week and can’t wait to read the book. She even asked about leaving a review. It was a JOYFUL moment. Those are the moments I want to live in. And I’m determined to be more conscious of not letting those sneaky what ifs rob me of my joy.

Where can you find joy today?