Joy is a choice we make

Joy is a choice we make.

The uncomfortable flip side of that is that we can also choose “un-joy” – sadness, discontent, unhappiness, bleh-ness, and whatever other term you want to use for the days when there is no joy.

(Depression is, arguably, a different animal.  When the brain chemicals get messed up, it’s hard to set things straight.  I’m not talking about THAT kind of un-joy.)

The more I’ve written about joy and the further I go into the 31 Days of Joy in Motherhood, the more I’m convinced of this basic truth.

joy is a choice we make

Joy is a Choice.

When I need the kids to pick up their dirty clothes and put them where they belong, I have a choice. I can go into drill sergeant mode and yell at them until it gets done. Or, I can turn it into a game where we all end up laughing and giggling by the end. Either way, the job gets done. But only one way includes joy.

When I’m faced with a dead battery and I’m stranded, I have a choice. I can call my husband up complaining and angry. Or, I can rejoice at the unexpected lunch date when he comes to my rescue. I can be thankful I was stranded somewhere safe and close to home.

When I’m sitting on the sidelines of yet another boring soccer match, I can choose to focus on how much I dislike soccer and all the things I’d rather be doing on a Saturday morning. Or, I can choose to focus on how much my child is learning and growing and how much joy it brings to their lives.

In each moment, we are given a choice.

joy is a choice - 31 Days of Joy in Motherhood from

Joy is a Choice.

When I wake up in the mornings, I know I have a long list of stuff that has to get done. It’s pretty non-negotiable.

Clothes, food, and car line aren’t optional activities. There is a minimal hygiene and cleanliness level that I’ll tolerate.

I can choose to great the day irritated and put out at how much there is to do on my list. I can attack each item begrudgingly. I can go through my day ticked off and angry and resentful.

Or, I can choose not to.

I can choose to make a game of my chores, racing the clock to finish each one.

I can choose to sing silly songs through the morning routine.

I can choose to make fun of car line and all the other little things that annoy me.

And at each moment, I can choose again.

Joy is a Choice.

Look at it in the context of Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

joy is a choice we make

In a very real way, when we choose joy, we choose life. We choose to embrace all the blessings and goodness that God wants us to have.

It’s up to you.

What will you choose?

joy is a choice so choose life


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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Certainly! Joy is definitely a choice and it doesn’t depend on our circumstances! So true!
    Paloma recently posted..Going through my Thanksgiving Menu – Stuffed Celery Recipe!My Profile

    • You say that as if it was common knowledge. How is it that I lived for 40 years before I discovered this?!? Was I absent the day they taught it?

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