Thursday Thankful List: Choosing Joy

Happy positive Thursday! I’m currently reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist {more here} and one specific part of the book stuck out to me this week. As I was thinking about what I am thankful for today and what things are worth celebrating this week, I stopped in my tracks reading this simple, yet eloquent reminder in the book. The chapter discusses creating joy in our own day-to-day lives – and I love the way she phases it: “it’s rebellious to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life.” Most people go throughout their normal days and their normal weeks and their normal months and their normal years being quite miserable. The brave are the ones who choose to break through that misery and seek joy. The way to find it? Counting your blessings – being thankful.

Today I am thankful that I have the lovely and wonderful opportunity to CHOOSE joy. I’m thankful for celebrations – they make life a whole lot sweeter don’t they? I’m thankful that despite the broken glass plates and the broken hearts and the broken dreams, I have hope. I’m thankful that in the middle of the bad days, there is still so much good. I’m thankful for the tiny, weak piece of my heart and soul and mind that fights for joy – even when it’s tough. I’m thankful for today – it’s indeed quite a big gift.

I hope you enjoy this reminder from Shauna Niequist as much as I did. xo!

I have to remind myself that it is good. I have to create hope in my life, because there’s something inside me that has radar for the bad parts of life. I walk into the kitchen and all I can see are crumbs on the counter, and I look in the mirror and don’t even see my face, I just see all the potential wrinkles forming. I have a dark, worst-case scenario sensor, and it takes over. It’s all true. There are crumbs on the counter. I am definitely getting wrinkles.

I just don’t want to live in only that reality. Because there is another reality. A better one. Hope and redemption and change are real, and they’re happening all around me. So I choose to act out that reality, because the other one makes life too hard, day after day. Life is painful, and we carry with us so much disappointment and heartbreak.

But I’m fighting to save some space inside me where I can create hope. I can’t live there in the disappointment anymore. I’ve missed whole seasons of my life. I look back and all I remember is pain. I guess I went to work or to class during that time, but I don’t really remember. I’ve wasted a lot of time wishing I was different. I didn’t love the gift of life because I was too busy being angry about the life I was given. I wanted it to be different. But being angry didn’t change those things. I just wasted time. I can’t take away the things that have happened to you or to me, but what we have, maybe as a reward for getting through all the other days, is today.

Today is a gift.

It’s rebellious , in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It’s much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love. We could just live normal day-to-day lives, saving all the good living up for someday, but I think today, just plain today, is worth it.


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