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Choosing Joy Multiplies Hope

Posted by Janelle Lang on

Being still, listening, reassessing the definition of productivity and the standards I measure the success of my day. Opening my eyes to a world that revolves around continually giving thanks in all things – the big things, the every day ordinary things and the things that cause me to ask “why”.

Seeing hope in the every day things that pervade my world has made a difference.  Retraining myself to stop and see things through a different lens, a new perspective. Realizing my success and identity is not in how much I can accomplish on a to do list in a given day.

Friends tell me since I started journaling using the 1000 Gifts Devotional that I am different. Writing and capturing pictures of things I once took for granted, I now see with a thankful heart.

Hope is found when I take the time to be still and look around me. Hope isn’t always a grand story of overcoming that causes me to cheer or cry streams of tears. Hope is a simple word, one syllable, a word that when spoken is strong. The four letters H O P E give me the reason to move forward.

All of my counseling classes prepared me for the reality that when I left Gap Inc after 25 years I needed to have a plan in place to counter depression. It would be so easy to withdraw into my own world; even with a future plan, it is an unsure and overwhelming venture.

One of the families I love to pieces has two precious girls; little sister is 20 months and big sister is almost 5. An opportunity presented itself for me to love on little sister one morning a week and then pick up big sister from pre-school and cap off our time with lunch.  Amazing transformation has occurred in my attitude and my thinking. Making a conscious effort to be present in the moment with little sister and big sister is my goal; working on my to do list during that time is measured as failure.

Getting into the car and backing out of my space, I can’t help but see these two seats and Eeyore (our favorite traveling companion).

Joy fills my heart and hope bubbles to the surface. Hope looks ahead to the many adventures to come; times of laughter and joy.  Practicing our macaw calls on the way home from the zoo last week resulted in laughter and big smiles. Being in the moment, thankful for the macaws, just an every day part of the zoo.

Why does it surprise me that I have learned more about myself in two months of Tuesday mornings than years of management training? Being still, enjoying the moment, realizing there is more to this world than being in the zone for work, wearing blinders to my surroundings. Laughing for long periods of time just because little sister and I are playing “peek-a-boo” with no deliverable other than picking up big sister at 12 noon.

Changing my lens to see the ordinary as joy filled. Moving my childhood rocker to a more accessible spot because big and little sister love to sit and rock. Stubbing my toe on it caused a range of emotions - from biting my tongue to giving thanks for two precious girls in my life who love to rock in the rocker.

Joy is my decision, my response to how I handle what happens in life. Living a life that sees the joy in the little things causes me to be filled with HOPE. Making a conscious decision to be full of joy, to be thankful regardless my circumstance. Knowing that God will make something good out of it, my cup of hope is filled to the brim and overflowing.


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1 comment


  • The lessons of joy and intentionality that you invest in our girls is invaluable. Blessings all around when we look to the little ones and see the true simplicity of life and the joy and hope in all God has for us. Love you!!!!

    Sami on

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