joy choice, joy-reasons.

It’s always a choice. 

That’s just the long and the short of it.

Somehow, it’s easy to forget this truth.  Joy is simply always a choice.   There is always, always, ALWAYS joy to be found in every scenario.  No matter the chaos surrounding, or the grief that wants to overwhelm, or the unknown-ness of future or the wreckage in the world.

I get to choose what I focus on and what expression molds my mouth.  Is it smile? Or is it grimace? And what is it that my children and husband see on a regular basis? What would they say at the end of this day would be the characteristic of my attitude?

We flew on a plane Saturday to California.  The first thing I noticed, the thing I always notice when I come “home”, is the brilliance of the sunshine.  I never used to notice how sunny it is here… I just took it for granted.  And yet, the blinding brightness of the sun gripped me in a beautiful way Saturday afternoon as we taxied into the runway.

My parents picked us up from the airport and I hugged them hello…. I never used to pay attention or truly value their hugs.  But twice or three times a year doesn’t come around nearly often enough, and  I can’t help but be grateful for each hug I experience from my mom and dad.

We went to In ‘n Out for lunch and once again, something about experiencing something not often makes it taste that much better.  Never had a burger and fries tasted so good.

We were tired Saturday from a 4-hour night the night before, and so when at 11 pm that night I heard the unmistakable noise of throwing up from the next room I was less than thrilled.  Then it turned into two children …. then three.  All taking turns while Mr. T.  and  I tag-teamed with washcloths and fresh pajamas for those who needed it, and cleanup.  And yet, somehow, in the middle of the night as he stood holding the littlest who was the most sick of all, I had to give him a kiss and tell him I wouldn’t want to be doing this with anyone else. It was a rough night, lasting until about 6am, when the 2 year old and I mercifully fell asleep on the recliner.

The next day we all stayed home from church, and everyone felt much better.

Yay!

Yesterday I was sick.  Not fun.  But today I sure do appreciate being well.

There are almond blossoms to see here, old friends to renew acquaintances with, fresh laundry all folded, ice water to sip, mint tea that tastes good on a weary stomach, the 4 year old falling asleep during an audiobook, beautiful camellias in my parent’s backyard that now grace the kitchen island and the kitchen windowsill.

There is going back to the old home where I grew up, walking through the backyard and smelling the weeds and bright grass in the spring that is oh-so-familiar.  There is the oranges and their juiciness that rivals any dessert you could spend hours preparing.

There’s my mom’s baking powder biscuits and cheeseburger soup.  There is watching my children make new friends, and meeting a lovely niece for the very first time.

So.  Many.  Things.

Oh my, there have been loads of things to irritate and frustrate.  But truly?  It’s a choice.   I get to choose whether joy or annoyance is my focus.
Today, this moment, I choose JOY.  What do you choose?

Choose joy, then write it down.

Writing it down = experiencing that original joy twice.  And that’s a beautiful thing.

Sunshine, oranges, happy smiles, mint tea….

Jesus, grace, husband-friend, a mom-hug, friendships old and new..

Children, snuggles, audiobooks, Bible verse encouragement from a friend, delving into a good book, bubble baths….

Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus.  He is the true Joy-Reason.  Amen?

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