“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”- Romans 15:13


Every year, usually around my birthday, I like to reflect on what I’ve been up to for the year. I use a method an old friend taught me in high school every time his birthday comes around. His philosophy was that if he cried any, laughed harder, had warm fuzzy memories to surround himself during the dark times, and grew a little from the mistakes he has made, then that was a good year. It was a great year. We were probably both 16 or 17 years old, but trust me when I say that almost 18 years later, I still use this “benchmark.”

I also like to run down and revisit what I said I’d accomplish on my New Years’ Eve resolutions. I didn’t make one at the beginning of the year, choosing instead to do a theme. This year, my theme was to “choose joy.”

Looking back over the past 6 months, in all of my actions, my words spoken to myself, my children, my husband, my family and friends, did I “choose joy?”

I’d like to think so but I know there were probably times were I gave in to anger, to jealousy, and sadness. Then I remembered that the next day, I tried to “redeem” myself by resetting. Yesterday, was awful but today, I will choose joy. I will look for the silver lining in the dark clouds that hover over me. I will look for joy in the mundane. I will choose joy over chaos. I will even find joy in the wee hours of night while I cradled my feverish child. Because somewhere, in the mundane, the chaos, the fear, God will be with me.

So in short, yes, I had a great year, and that is because in choosing joy, I found gratitude in the everyday.

How do you find joy in the little things?