Many of you know that after a really rough 2016, I made it my goal to choose joy during 2017. It isn’t always easy, but I have been so blessed by the number of people who have helped to remind me on rough days through texts, notes, or by tangible little reminders. Even my dad who isn’t much of a texter/emailer has taken the time to send me sermons and messages about choosing joy! It has been such a blessing to have others reach out to me and encourage me to reach my goals!
If you have seem me out running or running errands the past few months, you have probably seen me wearing a choose joy shirt at some point in time too. I made myself a couple of them in various colors so that I could remind myself to choose joy on difficult days! It helps to have reminders of the things you want to remember in life. They can motivate you and encourage you at the times when you need it the most! I have joked that I wanted a giant sign to put across from the kitchen in my house so that I can see CHOOSE JOY when I am cleaning and doing dishes (while my kids trash the rest of the house); and a few weeks ago a sweet friend from Bible study showed up with a sign that works perfectly on that wall!
Another tangible reminder arrived the day before Mother’s Day and my girls had a ballet recital. Ben had been seizure free for a longer period of time than usual, but I had still asked his mom to come along to sit with him since I was volunteering backstage. I got the girls ready for their performance and before I left the house with them, I found a box in the mailbox with the sweetest gift for me. Inside was a beautiful necklace I had seen in an Etsy shop months before and liked… it said simply, “Choose Joy,” and had the sweetest note attached. I shed a few tears reading the note and decided I was going to wear that necklace right then!
I put it on and ran out the door to the recital. The recital was long and Ben, Josh, his mom and sister sat in the third row to watch. I was able to sneak in for the girls performance and then again for the grand finale. I happened to be standing in the aisle when I heard Ben start to seize and I jumped over the people sitting beside him to sit and take care of him! I put my arm around him in the seat and when I lowered my head to pray I saw that necklace and thanked God that Ben had made it through the performance before having a seizure (in the middle seat of the third row!). Instead of getting upset and crying, I chose to smile and be thankful for all the people who stepped up to help us get Ben out of the building and home. And again, I was thankful that his mom and sister were there to help with Ben and the kids. It seems God is always providing exactly what we need in his timing!
Ben had his mom stop to get the girls flowers on the way to the recital that night. He doesn’t remember the flowers or the recital, but THEY DO! And those first flowers from their daddy brought them such joy that they are still talking about them!
I wear that necklace almost every day (even with my choose joy shirt) as a reminder that it’s up to us to make the best of every situation that we are in! We have the choice to decide to make today a good day, or to let everything that goes wrong throw us off our goals! It doesn’t have to be a perfect day, and sometimes every thing that can go wrong does; but that doesn’t mean you have to let that steal your joy!
Smile on my friend, and thank you for helping me to smile too!
Do you have any goals this year that you need some encouragement in reaching? Are you interested in hearing more about my journey towards choosing joy? Do you want to cheer me on or allow me to cheer you? If so, I have created a facebook page to share that journey and I would love to have you join it!
A journey with our family through multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. As well as a look into our struggles and faith!
Being still for Caitlin Grace
The Joy of the Lord is our Strength
Finding Beauty in the Everyday.
Chasing Christ in the Chaos
Learning to Embrace the Storms of Life