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Today I choose joy. It seems odd to me that anyone, myself included, would not choose joy. And yet, often, that is exactly what I do.

I’ve allowed circumstances and feelings to steal my joy. Not only have I permitted it, there have been many times where I have freely offered my joy to the wind, waved goodbye, and watched it disappear into the distance without any attempt to bring it back home.

As I write those words, I think how ridiculous that is. Especially when there are so many things surrounding me that bring my heart a spark of delight. I am extremely grateful that God has granted me the ability to find pleasure in a variety of small, ordinary things.

Here is a list of some of the things that first came to my mind today as I intentionally chose to refocus my thoughts to appreciate how God provides my heart with joy throughout my days:

  • Birds at my birdfeeder – or anywhere really, singing, chirping even at 5:00 am
  • Chipmunks – even the cute one who steals the sunflower seeds from my birdfeeder
  • Laughing at my own jokes – finding delight in myself and my own quirky sense of humour
  • Weiner roasts – peace and fulfillment of sharing food and a fire; s’mores are a bonus
  • Christmas trees and lights - the twinkling, colourful promise and anticipation of hope, faith, love, peace
  • Striped socks – just fun, especially multi coloured
  • Baby giggles – especially my granddaughter’s
  • Hedgehogs – amusing and fun on calendars, knitted creatures, mugs
  • Paint Nite masterpieces – surprising myself with what art I can accomplish; I love my baby owl!
  • Lone flowers in unlikely places – discovering beauty and uniqueness where it is unexpected
  • Canada mittens – warm, cozy, comfort; closest I will get to participating in the Olympics
  • Bike rides for ice cream – feeds my body and soul as well as my tummy
  • Sundogs and Rainbows – colourful beauty of nature; redirects my attention from what was to what is
  • Foxes – especially when travelling to and from work
  • Receiving letters and drawings from my Compassion sponsor child – the blessings go both ways
  • Sharpies – colourful markers that make me smile even when I’m not using them
  • Newly washed car – a sparkling new creation; what was old and dirty now has a fresh beginning
  • Penguins – both majestic and goofy; perfect for my morning orange juice glass and tissue box
  • Singing in the car – using my voice free of self consciousness
  • Picking new tissue boxes – will it be flowers, stripes, macaroons, or penguins next?!
  • Chocolate chip cookies – delectable contentment and satisfaction
  • Wooden ornaments from Dollarama, glitter glue and paint – an inexpensive, memorable date night
  • Canada geese – their elegance, and protectiveness of their family; fluffy goslings are darned cute too
  • Pedicures – the pampering and luxury of pretty toes with sparkling nail polish and designs
  • Snowman shower curtain – welcome greeting and encouragement on cold, winter mornings
  • Freshly squeezed lemonade – refreshing sunshine and summer for my taste buds
  • Memories of my grandparents – unconditional love, Tri-Onimoes, perishky and zwieback
  • Dragonflies – apparently a symbol of transformation and overcoming hardship; I think they are pretty
  • Dancing in the kitchen – freedom of moving my body in weird ways lifts my spirit
  • Plaid shirts – feels like solid, natural goodness and comfort
  • Dale the reindeer on my back porch – love displayed directly for my eyes and heart
  • Coloured sticky notes – reminders are much more cheerful on bright pink or neon green notes
  • Pedal boats – relaxation, water and sunshine
  • Puppies – ok, they are puppies, no more needs to be said
  • Fields of Sunflowers – the beauty goes on, and on, and on, and on, even when they begin to fade away
  • Childhood Sunday school songs – spirit lifting joy filled lyrics and melodies

The beautiful thing for me about creating this list was how it uplifted my soul just by recognizing and acknowledging how many seemingly insignificant things in creation and in my life truly can make my heart sing.

So, I add one more item to my list today:

Making lists of things that bring me delight.

Today I choose joy.

Where?! Down in my heart. Where?! Down in my heart …

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24


Kyle 28 days ago

Did a Dance Party with my daughter on Monday with that song!

Kristen 24 days ago

Singing while baking or cooking
Giving myself a big smile in the mirror
Delighting in birds, seeing a new bird species and figuring out what species it is
Petting a dog. Hugging a dog!
Learning a new skill in a spreadsheet
Taking a great photo
Playing a familiar game with my mom
Spending the evening with a friend
Those moments that remind me I've found my people and make me so happy and thankful- having fondue with a family from my church, it was my idea that if we dropped something in the pot, we had to sing a song. It didn't seem like that idea was going to take off, but then one of the family members added, "And if you drop something a second time, you have to sing a song in Latin!" I've found friends who suggest singing in Latin?! Super cool! Yay!

Cindy 24 days ago

Kyle, that would have been so much fun! I hope to have a dance party with your daughter some time too. That would certainly bring me joy!!

Kristen, several things on your list could be added to mine too! I love it that you find joy giving yourself a smile in the mirror. That is super cool. Almost as cool as finding other people who want to sing in Latin while having a fondue. I'm not sure that would bring me joy, but I guess that's proof of how God created each one of us uniquely and wonderfully! Which is something else we could add to our lists :)

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