Choosing Joy

Mr. MacDougall, my English professor at Biola, said, “Joy is the hallmark of the Christian.”

In the last few days, this theme keeps coming up again and again and again, in my reading, in today’s sermon, even in e-mails.

Yes, there are some difficult things in my life.  I am waiting and praying for my marriage to be restored.

But while I am waiting, I want to choose Joy.

Joy is about gratitude.  God gives us so many good gifts.  Even little things like utterly glorious weather on this long weekend.

It’s easy to let busy-ness rob our joy.  I’ve been guilty of that so much of my life.  So busy thinking about what I should be doing and figuring out how to fit it all in, that I’m not enjoying any of it.

Let it go.  Do what you can.  ENJOY it!

I’m coming up on a busy, busy, busy time at work.  I’ll be visiting 5 different local elementary schools, promoting the summer reading program and doing booktalks for the kids.  May I not forget how lucky I am to have this job, to get to talk about books!

No, I’m sure I won’t do a perfect job of it.  I’ll stumble over my words in places, and some of the kids will definitely be bored.

But I will be good enough.  And some kids will be intrigued by some of the books they hear about.  And some kids will do the Summer Reading Program who might not have otherwise.

And I am very blessed to have this job!

I Choose JOY.


  1. Amazing you remembered a quote from 20 years ago! I don’t even remember the names of my professors from college.

    You have such a thankful heart. God gave us good weather, too. It rained Friday, but cleared up Saturday so we can view Catalina Island.

    Is it possible to feel joy when you are sad or in a very sad situation? For example, how can those poor Chinese people suffering from their losses from that horrible earthquake enjoy themselves?

  2. They mentioned exactly that in the sermon. That happiness depends on what “happens,” but joy transcends circumstances. Though I think everyone’s going to get hit by deep sadness in traumatic times. I’m not sure I could have talked about joy when I was first hit with a falling-apart marriage. But as time goes by, I do think we have a choice how we look at things.

    However, Joy is supposed to be a fruit of the Spirit. My professor definitely felt it’s a mark of a Christian — something beyond our natural abilities, something coming from knowing God and trusting that He is in control.

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