"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
~ Psalm 16:11
I remember how happy I felt when we moved to a house that had a bona fide office where I could dream up my storylines without interruption and create my novels long into the night. The delight of having the space to set up my PC and arrange research books on shelves and have built-in files for book ideas and outlines, lists of titles, and so on (before the cloud and online resources) gave me a real boost.
But as the days and months passed and I settled into my little office, I realized all of that was merely happiness, not a lasting joy. Having a room to write in did not influence long-term contentment, spiritual or otherwise. On the other hand, joy came from my daily devotional time, writing letters of encouragement to struggling friends and family members, anticipating the coming of our first grandchild, and hearing from my readers, whose hearts were touched by my stories.
True, there was a great sense of happiness, too—something coming to fruition that I had longed for, but true joy far surpassed the happiness of having my first real writing room.
Happiness is fleeting—we all know that—and joy is eternal, a deep-down, satisfying contentment. Joy fills up one's heart to overflowing, whereas happiness brings only momentary pleasure.
So, for this year's word, I've chosen JOY. Joy at being a prayer partner for many reader-friends around the world, and joy in lifting my readers' hearts with the stories I write.
Will you join me this new year in embracing and striving for the joy our Lord promises His children?
Happy joyful New Year!
1) I'm looking forward to soon seeing the cover for my September 2023 novel, The Heirloom, set in Hickory Hollow and featuring Ella Mae Zook as one of the point-of-view characters. Also, there is a wonderful ebook deal for The Orchard—$1.99 starting January 1 and running through the end of the month. Find your discounted ecopy anywhere books are sold including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple/iBooks, and Google Books.
Also, the physical copy of The Orchard is available at your local Walmart and Hobby Lobby, and also online on their websites:
2) It's also a delight to reveal my new Amish Cheer card for the New Year—"Winter Wishes". Order yours for birthdays and most any occasion at my secure website: www.amishcheer.com
3) Thanks so much for giving my books such wonderful homes, dear friends. And, during this Christmas Season, for your thoughtful expressions of kindness and love. A very Happy New Year 2023 to you and your family.