I Choose JOY

A few years ago I decided to jump on the “word of the year” bandwagon. I don’t know where the concept originated, but dictionaries choose one, scrap bookers choose one little word, and so in 2012 I chose my first word.

I’m not quite sure what my original goal was, but I found that my chosen word helped me to focus on something positive. When I was tempted to wallow in self-pity or some other negative emotion, my 2012 choice of HOPE encouraged a more eternal perspective and Bible verses like Romans 12:12 also helped.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.


Mug from Just Potters in Vancouver, BC.

In 2013 I read Ann Voskamp’s book “1000 Gifts” and so I chose GRATITUDE. I picked a Bible verse for every month to go along with my word and I found that focusing on gratitude was powerful for me. When I found myself worrying about something going on around me, I would consciously shift my thinking and start thanking God for all the wonderful things going on in my life. Before I knew it, the worry was gone.


Shining Light Jewelry on Etsy.

In 2014 my word was generosity. For those who know me you may be aware that I can be just a teensy bit critical. So choosing generosity was a way to be more intentional about my spirit and exhibiting grace and letting go of my criticism.


So here we are in 2015. It took me a while to choose a word, but once I decided on JOY, it seemed so obvious. I know this year will bring lots of changes for our family and me. Some of the changes will be obvious but I’m sure we will be surprised by some of the issues we will face this year. Through it all, the partnership development, the closing out of our Canadian life, and the transition to our life in Haiti, I want to be fully present and engaged in the moments that are happening now. I know that JOY is not about my circumstances, but for me this year, I don’t want to miss all of those small moments that bring me joy. I want to find JOY in my every day life. I want to choose JOY.


Stephanie Ackerman from the blog Homegrown Hospitality.

Here are a few of the moments that have brought me JOY lately.


Gaëlle enjoying the snow.


A kid who will help shovel out the driveway.


A text from a daughter far away.


Homemade pizza.


A scented candle on the nightstand.

2015 has just begun, but I know my one little word will be a constant reminder to look around me and be joyful in all of the little moments of my day.

One thought on “I Choose JOY

  1. Robin & Beth……I have just finished reading your blog & was moved with your words of joy & inspiration. You have definitely answered a calling & will be great leaders. I wish you & your family much love & joy in this new exciting new journey in life.
    Blessings to you all the way to Haiti & back.


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