Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Choose Joy (and maybe some Lentil Balls)

Yesterday Mindy asked about our word for the year (after distracting us with all those adorable grandbaby photos). I said my word was JOY and that I would explain more about it today.

2017 was a really rough year for me, and to be honest, I wasn't feeling the whole "choose a word" thing. I don't even recall what word I chose for 2017 and I wasn't planning to choose one for this year.

But then I read Sherrinda's post on Seekerville last week. I'll be honest. I read it once and it didn't change my mind. But for some reason, I read it again and the word JOY popped into my head.

It felt like an odd word for me, like I was tempting fate after 2017, but it was something I'd been thinking about - how you find joy even when things are rough.

On a whim, I typed #choose joy into Google. Up popped Kay Warren's book Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough

Isn't that title intriguing?

I downloaded a sample. I'll get back to that in a minute.

When I opened my mail, my daily devotion from Jesus Calling had arrived.

Let My unfailing Love fill you with exuberant Joy as you walk along the path of Life with Me.
from Jesus Always
page 379

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

—Psalm 16:11 NKJV 

Kind of like a slap upside the head.

Then I got an email with a link to download this:

By this time I was starting to feel like JOY had chosen me. 

So I started to read the sample chapter from Kay Warren's book. When I came to this line, I knew I had to not only choose JOY for my word, I had to embrace it and work at it. She says that the most important lesson of the book is that "Joy is a choice. The level of joy you experience is completely and totally up to you. It is not dependent on anyone else - what they do or don't do, how they ..."

Well she goes on, but I don't want to violate any copyright laws. I highly recommend clicking that link above and at least reading the sample Amazon offers. Mrs. Warren speaks as someone who understands the daily struggle and her insights are inspiring.

 So, if we're talking about JOY, how about some joyful lentil balls?

No? Okay. I'll save them til next week. But they really did make my tummy joyful when the vegan daughter and I made them for Christmas.


  1. Joy did choose you!!!!

    I firmly believe that.

    Wow. And wow again, Cate. I read a sermon/post/homily on that difference in 2017. That happiness and joy aren't same-level synonyms, that the joy of faith and Christ and being goes much deeper and it made so much sense!

    I'm happy sneaking a caramel.

    But I'm joyful in my faith, in what God has given me.

    And that whole thing opened my eyes to the difference.

    Perfectly wonderful post. Thank you!!!

  2. Mary Cate, joy is definitely your word. The Christian radio station I listen to had a campaign the entire holiday season called Choose Joy. They’d talk about it at the top of every hour, how, no matter what our circumstances, we can choose joy.

    You have chosen joy. Or, perhaps, as Ruthy said, joy chose you. Whatever the case, have a joy-filled 2018.

  3. The year that Joy was my One Word was a hard year, but as I sought JOY every day, I became a memorable and meaningful year.

    I haven't settled on a word for this year yet. I've had several pass through my thoughts, but none have stuck. But that's okay - I can wait for my word to find me.

  4. Wait -- those lentil balls would make me joyful! Come back here! I need vegan recipes to share with my daughter. Sigh. I guess I'll have to wait until next week. I'll look for joy in the waiting, shall I?

    Great word -- and I hear you when you say that sometimes picking these words is like tempting fate. But it also seems to bring the most growth..and ultimately joy. Love that the word lambasted you when you tried to ignore it. lol

  5. Mary Cate, I'm late!! How did I miss this yesterday? The flu will have to be my excuse.

    What a wonderful post! It gives me joy to know the word JOY found you, that God gave you that word as a way to encourage you and give you hope.

    Blessings and JOY to you in 2018!