I've seen a lot of "Choose Joy" messages around facebook and the internet and other places. It's something that I have pondered over the last little while.
In the beginning of my ponderings, I was firmly of the opinion that you can't CHOOSE joy in one situation and then choose "not joy" in the next. You either have joy, for good, or you don't. Then I realized that maybe lots of people don't just HAVE joy. Maybe they just didn't choose joy yet, so the option is still there for them to choose it. I don't know what the other choice is, though. What exactly is the opposite of joy? I don't think that joy and happiness are equal. I think that one can have joy and still be unhappy with a situation.
I believe that I have joy because I chose it once a long time ago, and that joy has been - and is - a part of me ever since. Even on the days that I am not really happy about how things are going, I am still joyful. The joy does not leave me. Joy makes me thankful for my kids even when they are fighting way too much. Joy reminds me that I am blessed to have things to help me out around the house - washing machine, dishwasher, stove - even if they aren't functioning at their top potential. Joy keeps me exercising, taking supplements, eating...even when I don't want to. Joy pushes me to forgive, to hope, to look for answers, to remember that I am worth-ful and that I have value and that I need to take care of myself.
I'm pretty sure my joy is the thing that allows me to be open about my life and challenges. Joy is the thing that prompts me to keep this blog. Though some of the stuff I write here is very raw and even though it might seem like I am hanging on by a thread...I still know that with everything else stripped away, joy remains.