In the hallway of our apartment there is a sign hanging on the wall that reads, “Choose Joy.” It’s a simple reminder for our family to look for joy, even when our week is busy or life feels slightly out of control. If you are like me, then you often can get caught up in your daily routine and fail to see some of the special, joyful moments that are passing you by. It’s also easy to focus on the chaos and noise of our world and lose sight of joy. 2021 has already proven to be challenging for the Gott household. COVID has kept us quarantined longer than anyone would like, and my father-in-law is currently sick in the hospital fighting pneumonia due to COVID. Reading the news or scanning social media is a reminder that our country is politically polarized, causing a sense of disheartenment and grief. It’s easy to be so preoccupied with these worries, fears, and concerns that one loses sight of all joy.
So last night, I decided to make a list of ways I have seen joy over the past 12 days.
There has been joy in playing board games with the older kiddos and watching them learn to celebrate each other’s wins.
There has been joy in hearing the deep belly laughs of my oldest daughter.
There has been joy in teaching the two older kids the song, “Shout Hallelujah” (They still sing, Shark Hallelujah, but we are working on it).
There has been joy in watching the twins begin to smile and laugh more as they are settling into our family routine.
There has been joy at dinner as we reflect on our day.
There has been joy at bedtime as I read the children a bedtime story and listen to them share their thoughts on topics ranging from dangerous animals (“is a jellyfish or a hamster dangerous, dad?”) to friends, to God.
So for today, I will keep choosing joy. Life will always throw hard moments my way, but today my focus is Psalm 100:1, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”