Saturday, March 1, 2014

Choosing to Live in Joy

While looking for an inspirational quote to put on a coffee mug for a friend (yes, I bit on the sharpie mug craze), I came across this pin that I immediately sent to my mother. 

These words resonated strongly with me. I'd recently had a conversation with a friend about trying to be joyful even when we weren't necessarily in a state of happiness, which left me thinking about how to realize and acknowledge daily joy.

I decided to challenge myself to take a photo each day that I felt captured a moment of joy in my life.

my first #choosetoliveinjoy photo -- a homemade
latte in a cup I made at Montreat

a sucessful DIY floral sweatshirt

Valentine's Day cookies for my students 

Before this challenge I had only hashtagged on instagram out of sarcasm. I also do not tweet, so I am a bit hashtag illiterate. But I decided that I would seriously hashtag this challenge as a way to name my joy and collect the photos. First, I used #itsthesmallthings and #choosejoy but then moved to #choosetoliveinjoy.

walking my stinker

This challenge has been a rewarding one even in the short span of a few weeks. One photo a day doesn't make me an ever smiling and constantly cheerful human being, but it does remind me for even just a moment that there is this one reason and a multitude of other reasons to live joy and that it is my choice to do so.

my view from a boat ride

I have missed posting a photo on a few days, but I plan to keep challenging myself to capture everyday joy.

a new doggie friend, Petey

enjoying my fire pit

Coffee and visiting with a dear friend

I've had a trying year, one of painful endings, nagging questions, and lingering doubts, but I have experienced great joy, too. Joy in the overwhelming love and support from my family and both old and new friends. Joy in the spending time with smallest people in my life, Ellie, the Lewis children, and Niamh. Joy in adopting and being adopted by Atticus, one of God's four-legged ambassadors of unconditional love. Joy in the small things--a successful class, a good cup of coffee, and a peaceful walk with Atticus. Joy in reclaiming, moving forward, making new plans, and working toward goals. Joy in a list that is far too long to capture here.

a dream come true each Thursday night when
 I pass Ms. Welty on the way to teach
an English class at my alma mater
a regal sit
pizza and beer with Lulu

I hope reading this has reminded you of everyday joy in your own life.



  1. This so resonates with me today! Sometimes the internet is really a vacuum of judgement and sadness; it's so nice to see a little light.

    1. Thank you, Danielle. I felt a little hesitant in posting about this because it has been such personal project, but you make me feel better about it.

  2. I love you & am so proud of you!