The other day as I was driving home from the workshop my phone dinged.  It was a notification from one of my partners in crime, er work.  Since I don’t text and drive, I pulled off the road to read her message and reply.  There wasn’t anything unusual or special about that text, but as I got back into the lane again I thought, “I love my life!”

Yup.  You read that right.  “I love my life!”


I love my life! Where did that thought come from - Advent Week 3


If you’ve been a long time reader or friend, you know that my world was rocked hard and I’ve spent the last eight years walking through the rubble while trying to find a new normal.

So, how in the world could I say that I love my life?

Good question.  You see I was a little surprised by my mental outburst too.

As I flipped my turn signal to turn off the main street I started analyzing that thought.

What was it that I was loving about my life?

Coordinating things makes my heart sing.  I love to bring people together and to accomplish things.  In some very small way, working with my friend, I was doing that.  In my blogging efforts, I created a little group where we share ideas, encourage one another, and pray, plus I put together a couple of blog hops.  All small things, but meaningful to me.

At home, we finally reached a place where we could make our little apartment into a home.  It’s been a process, but we were blessed to purchase a bed, a chair, a rug, and a lamp… all new.  Three items we needed.  The rug was simply to make our space feel more like us.  A year ago at this time, we were struggling to meet our obligations as well as put gas in the car and food on the table.  We have come so far in just a short time.

My stress level has gone way down with the acquisition of another vehicle.  No longer am I spending too much time driving around and doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to work out the use of our family car to accomplish my tasks around my husband’s various jobs which have no rigid schedule.  I no longer feel like one hanging on for dear life while clinging to a constantly snapping rope.

And then there is the big little thing of having a little money in my account so that I can buy flowers if I choose or go to dinner with a friend.


How was it that Mary could have joy under what seemed like dire circumstances.? A Christmas devotional - Inspiration for tough times.


And though this isn’t exactly the life I have chosen, nor the place I want to live, it’s good.  Very good.

I was loving my life because I wasn’t seeing the lack… I was seeing the blessing.

I was seeing God’s goodness, grace, redemption, and restoration.

My heart was grateful.

And a grateful heart is a happy heart.

Little by little, I was choosing JOY.

Every day that I choose gratitude I choose JOY.

When our hearts overflow with JOY it’s only natural that we would love life.

The thing is… I was choosing joy before I started seeing any of these positive things that I listed.  In my lack, in my heartache, in my rejection and in my loneliness, I chose to be grateful for the small things of life and most of all for God and his goodness, grace, and mercy.  It was during those trying days when I chose joy that I set myself up for the better days ahead.  I chose joy because it helped me to survive and maybe even thrive a little bit.  I didn’t know the impact my choices would have on me when I began making those right choices.  In hindsight, I’m so glad I did.  Had I not, I don’t know that I could be so grateful for my current state.  And surely I wonder if I would have ever thought, “I love my life!”


Can you say, I love my life? - Discover how, no matter how challenging life is, you can love your life. Inspiration for Advent


Today is the Third Sunday in Advent… when we light the candle of JOY. 

 At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived.

So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of King David, went to Bethlehem because David had been born there. Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant.  Luke 2:1-5

Here was young Mary… unwed… very pregnant… on the verge of being an outcast… poor… lonely… and on a difficult journey to be counted in a census decreed by some crazy Roman ruler.

Do you see anything in her life that would ignite even a small spark of gratitude?

Yet though still a virgin… she embraced this crazy pregnancy.

Because God.

In order for her to have had joy in these circumstances, she had to choose joy.

And boy did she choose JOY!

Mary sang these words in response to her cousin Elizabeth’s greeting…

“My soul praises the Lord’s greatness! My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior, because he has looked favorably on me, his humble servant.
Luke 1:46-48


Psalm 69:30 says, “I will magnify God with thanksgiving.”

When Mary chose JOY, she magnified the Lord.

You and I can be like Mary.  We can choose to be thankful and our JOY will magnify the Lord.

Maybe what I should have thought as I was driving that day, was not that I love my life, but that I LOVE God.

Because it is through him that we live and breathe and have our being… it is through him we have anything in this life.


In this final week of Christmas, let’s “magnify God with thanksgiving.”  

We can be like little kids who sing in Sunday school, “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart!”

Whatever you do… choose JOY.

Choose Jesus.

It’s the BEST Christmas gift ever!

Pin It to remember for Later because it's so good -

When Mary chose JOY, she magnified the Lord. In this final week of Christmas, let's magnify God with thanksgiving.



How could I say, "I love life"?  - It's JoyDay! on the blog


It’s JoyDay!

On this third Sunday of Advent, I hope you’ve been inspired to choose to JOY!  It’s key to having your best Christmas ever.

Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.

This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space resets our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord. And ultimately fills our hearts with JOY!

I’ll start…

Thank you, God for…

  1. the JOY I have because of Jesus!
  2. helping us finish our tasks at the workshop and for the little break we have ahead.
  3. the beauty of the snow, in spite of the inconvenience, and how once it quits snowing how all that white brightens our world.
  4. all the wonderful Christmas decorations you provided, beyond my wildest dreams.
  5. so many answered prayers.  I cannot wait to see what you will do next.
  6. giving me the strength to work hard this week and accomplish much. 
  7. Your goodness, love, and grace evident in so many ways in our lives.  

Now…it’s YOUR turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.  You’ll be glad you did.

For more hopeful advent inspiration click here. 

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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  1. What a wonderful post!! We are going through our advent here at my church…Hazelwood Baptist Church, Waynesville, NC …..this sounds like what Pastor Tim said this morning.
    He had been doing a series on “Finding Your Joy” before the start of advent and by the start of advent our hearts were prepared. My husband and I are so thankful for the Peace of Christ in our hearts and lives…..that thankfulness spills over in the form of joy and contentment for which we are so grateful!
    Blessing to you dear…..thank you for sharing this!
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow……thankful for my Savior

    • You just made my day, Vicki. Thank you!
      I love how your pastor prepared your heart before Advent. What a meaningful process for encountering and experiencing this deep joy and contentment you are so blessed to have.
      May your Christmas overflow with JOY and may it be your best ever!

  2. I have many, many more than 7! Diane, this is probably one of my favorite Joy Day posts that you have ever written…it truly brought me JOY! What a blessing you are and so very encouraging. Here is to even MORE blessings for you and your wonderful husband this Christmas season and into every year ahead. xoxo

    • Awww… Mary Beth… thank you!! What a blessing and encouragement you are to me… I receive your wonderful blessing.
      It’s a JOY to call you friend and sister in the Lord.
      God bless you and fill you with his unspeakable JOY!!

  3. Judy Scantland says

    Diane, what a wonderful post. Made my heart leap for “joy”. Merry Christmas to you and Tim!

    • Thank you my friend! I’ll be sending you a long note soon.
      Merry Christmas! {{hugs}}

  4. Gwen says

    Joy Day on Monday
    I was off a bit so I shall do Joy day now
    1. Wonderful news things look better. So glad you can drive places as needed. Wonderful!!! I enjoyed the blog hop trees but I think I missed one of yours!!
    2. Curt and I yes we still have Great long trials but we had a good Bible time and a good giggling time.
    3. I was having great great trouble on Friday. I had help with me. That’s a plus as I’m usually alone. I was put to bed. I rested. And got to go awhilevSaturday.
    I’m joyful in hope.
    Joy Day keeps my eyes on Jesus.
    I love Jesus.

    • I know you love Jesus, Gwen. Jesus just oozes out of your pores you’ve so filled yourself up with him. What a joy and blessing you are, especially through your circumstances. Glory to God!!
      May you and Curt have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, joy, and peace! xo

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