I write about it here all the time.

I even have a regular feature called, Joy Day!

So then, why did it take so many nudges for me to realize that it is my word for the year?


Word of the Year -Joy -

Last night I was working on the weekly Joy Day! post.  It was 10:30 and I had been at writing and reading scriptures and sharing my heart for nearly 2 hours.  The post had been completed except for photos and I wanted my husband to read it to see what he thought.  So, I hit the preview button on my WordPress dashboard, and nothing happened.  And again.  And then Chrome couldn’t connect to the server.  And I tried the same with other tabs open to my blogsite.  Nothing.

At this point I could not re-open the page.  The only thing that came up was a message from Chrome.  So I did what we all do when there is an issue….reboot.

Still nothing.

And then I got that feeling.  I did not save as I went along.  I confess I often forget to do that.  And unless there is a little something reminding me…well…you know.  Anyway…WordPress autosaves continuously.  Actually every minute.  So no worries.  At least that’s what I said to myself as I prepared to go to bed after contacting BlueHost, my hosting/server.

First thing this morning I checked to see if I had a response from BlueHost.  Yes…there was a message.  They had an issue that affected some servers.  Mine evidently.  So I refreshed the tab.  Hoping.  Hoping.

My hopes were dashed.  The server must have gone down very early in my writing.  As the only words that were still on the page were the first 4 lines in this post.  That’s it.


Here I am with a huge unwrapped gift before me.

What am I going to do?

Several options are before me:

  1. I can have a hissy fit.
  2. I can grumble and sit down and attempt to write something that lives up to my tagline…”A place of joy and inspiration.”
  3. I can thank God for it.  Okay…I am just doing that now.  Ahem.
  4. I can choose Joy.  But I think I need to do number 3 before I can do that.


What would you do?

What is your ‘auto’ response?

What is it that you wish you would do?

How do you get to the point where your ‘auto’ response is what you wish you would do?


Here’s how my experience shakes down.

  • Last night I was frustrated at first.  Then I thought to pray about it.  And then I contacted BlueHost.
  • As I was brushing my teeth I realized that it could have been an attack…so I told “you know who” to get his stinking hands off.
  • I prayed and asked God to restore and redeem what had been stolen….my writing time and readers being unable to access the blog.  (Subscribers would have received yesterday’s post to their inboxes at 9 PM.  Precisely when the blog was down.)
  • And there was more prayer this morning….before picking up my laptop.
  • All wrongs were righted. Yay!  Well…not so fast.  You already know the rest of the story and know that isn’t true.


Is the post a bust?  

No.  It would take time to recreate what I had written last night.  But, in the end, I think what I wrote last night was for me alone.  Isn’t that interesting?  Relating my story to you this morning….this is for you.  Did God shut down the server last night?  I doubt it, though he could have.  Instead he used this experience for me…and you…and somehow…though I don’t see it now…for his Glory.


One thing I know for sure.

In living our beautiful crazy lives we have the opportunity…continuously…to choose Joy.  My journey into the new year immediately took an unexpected twist on January 2.  A real kick in the teeth.  But, as difficult as it is, I can still choose Joy.  I can and will give thanks.  Daily.  Whether your ship is sailing on beautiful sparkling blue seas, or you are in the storm of your life…join me in giving thanks.  When we do…we choose Joy.


Something to think about.

What’s interesting is that when we pass on intentionally giving thanks in the times of beauty and ease we can have sadness which in turn spills into others’ lives.  Not exactly blessing those with whom we come in contact.  (Just because the journey is trouble-free does not make it joyful.)

On the flip side.  We may be living in a massive debris field, choosing to give thanks, and spreading joy to all around us.

What will it be for you?

Will you join me in making JOY your word for the year?



Joy Day! -



On Joy Day! we count just seven gifts from the past week.

We count the good things, and the not so good things, on our journey.
I’ll start….

I’m giving thanks for…

  1. the server going down and losing my writing.
  2. God’s Word for me.
  3. two friends who phoned, just because they love and care.
  4. the wait of an unanswered, yet important, e-mail.
  5. the yummiest chocolatey chocolate chip cookies made by my love.
  6. heat during this bitter cold snap.
  7. Joy that only comes from the Lord.

Now…it your turn!!
Join me in counting just seven.  Scroll down to “Share Your Thoughts” and list your seven.  And though I’ve said it before, it’s true….your Joy Meter will rise.  Watch and see.


Be sure to come back for more about the Basket of Joy you see in the first photo.  Although the blog was silent, I had a few creative moments this past week.  You won’t want to miss them.   If you missed our little community…you could have found bits of the extraordinary on Facebook at An Extraordinary Day :  A Place of Joy & Inspiration.   And some very ordinary things too.  (teehee)  I hope you pop over and “like” our page.  When you do….be sure to leave a greeting and share something about yourself so we can get to know each other.  Sometimes, this feels a bit one-sided.  I love hearing from you!


May your week be extraordinarily JOY filled!


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Sharing…. Playdates with God + A Holy Experience + Titus 2sday + Imparting Grace + Common Ground, Spiritual Sundays, Missional Women, My Fresh Brewed Life


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 Thanks so much for reading!
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  1. Susu says

    Just found your blog and I love it! Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Diane says

      Susu…your words are like a warm hug. Thank you!!

  2. Gwen says

    Seven joys I am praising God for in this moment
    1. I can lie down to feel better
    2. My hubby helps me and leads me as my head of our Christ following home to turn to the Bible, prayer, and test things against scripture. What a help
    3. I am brain damaged. My mind is not always clear. I read this week “I will renew your minds…” And yes, I know the passage goes on to talk of other things but I cling and take that for me!
    4. I got to have my 20 month old grandson on his own call me to chat so I sang him Jesus loves me and he tried to sing along. What a true blessing.
    5. My husband has work. We pray in faith trusting God to meet our great needs
    6. My mom called me today and last night and it was fun to hear stories of her grandparents. Mom is 95! And so sharp
    7. God heard my prayers and Curts last night. How wonderful though I’m housebound I’m in a pleasant house with no steps nor stairs! God will help me, this difficult oh difficult week. Blessing!!!
    Oh!!! And my camellias are blooming beautifully!!! Such beauty in winter!!!

    • Diane says

      I love that you said, “praising God for in this moment.”
      This moment is all we have….praising HIM in it makes it so much more rich and full.
      I rejoice with you at the goodness of the Lord in your life…blessing, encouraging, directing, providing. And doesn’t that give us the strength to trust HIM for each step we take? Hugs to you Gwen…
      Thank you God for hearing the cries of Gwen’s heart. May she be overwhelmed with your grace today. Amen.

  3. An encouragement this post is. I try and believe everything happens for a reason. This is a beautiful reminder that God showed you through the post that joy will come and Praising Him. and choosing joy.

    • Diane says

      God does make everything beautiful in his time, doesn’t he?
      Thank you for leaving your kind words of encouragement…
      May your week be extraordinarily blessed!

  4. I absolutely love your thoughts on this. To have joy out of a frustrating situation. But it’s more than that – it’s CHOOSING to have joy. I like what you said about how maybe that post was just meant for you. And that God didn’t probably cause the server to shut down, but he let it happen. Such wonderful, insightful thought about choosing joy and not let the little things overshadow the bigger things in life.

    • Diane says

      Rache, I love hearing how you processed this post….it’s a real encouragement to me. Thank you!
      May your week be joy-filled in every way.

  5. Thank you for stopping by My Dream Canvas. Anu

  6. That is a great word to focus on and have as a theme throughout the year! My word for 2013 is grace!

    Found you via Imparting Grace! Have a wonderful day!

    • Diane says

      I love your word. Oh don’t we need to receive more of it and give more of it too.
      May your day be joyful!

  7. lib says

    I feel like I am living in a drebris field right now – so so apprecaite your adminishiment to choose joy – it’s there becasue He is in ME!
    blessings and thanks!

    • Diane says

      My heart goes out to you Lib. Today I realized that though I had written on it only a few days ago…I needed to choose it again today….giving thanks in all things. It isn’t easy. But…in the end it IS joyful. [hugs]

  8. This is so true. Joy is not about a feeling, it’s about a state of mind. When we are Christ-minded, we will be filled with joy. When things are tough, I look forward joyfully to when we will be gathered to him. Then there will be no more sorrow or pain. My seven joys right now are:
    1. All three of my children are healthy and following the Lord
    2. My husband has a job, when a year ago, we didn’t know if he would
    3. That my days activity got canceled, giving me a free day today…yay!
    4. I live in the country where there is peace and quiet
    5. That we are part of a 7. church that is full of love and like family to us.
    6. I have a husband who still loves his hairbrained wife after all these years.
    7. Through thick and thin, God has always held my head above water and never forsaken me.

    Blessings to you Diane. I am so glad I found you!
    Your sister in Christ,

    • Diane says

      I’m so glad we found each other, Deborah!!
      Thank you for taking time to count seven. God has graciously blessed you.
      May your day be filled with His joy.

  9. I just found your blog. What an unexpected JOY!

    Since I’ve had somewhat of a *grumbly* week, I’m going to take your challenge and list seven things I’m grateful for:

    1. The beautiful snow falling outside my window
    2. My family – through thick and thin, they always stick with me
    3. My hard-working, ever-patient husband – my friend
    4. God’s encouraging, challenging, convicting, comforting Word
    5. A good book to read (or 2 or 4 or 10)
    6. My parents – who are still alive and live nearby
    7. The joy I receive through writing

    You’re right, Diane – I feel MUCH better already!


    • Diane says

      Yay!!! It worked!! I’m thrilled your joy meter skyrocketed Sharon! And thank you for taking the time to come by and count seven too! Such wonderful blessings! May your weekend be filled with JOY!!

  10. Joy is something that can only come from a content heart. My sweet husband sometimes speaks of those people we all know in our lives that have been hurt so much that they are bitter people and it spills over to everyone around them. We want to be intentionally content and joyful people! That can only come when you trust our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as not only our Savior (as if that wasn’t enough! lol) but also to trust Him for our lives.

    When I choose to trust Jesus for my LIFE and every area of it, I can be thankful for HIS hand and the knowledge that HE is going to make something beautiful of everything that happens. And I might never even see what that beautiful thing is, but that’s what TRUST and faith are all about!

    I am SO very thankful for my Savior, for my husband, for my church body (that is currently hurting and going through tough stuff) for my church leaders, for the people in my life to challenge me to follow after Christ, for my house and the fact I have a roof and warmth and clothes and food and a job! We are SO blessed in this country! <3

    May you be blessed today remembering all the blessings of being IN Christ <3

    • Diane says

      Thank you Christine for blessing and encouraging my heart with your thoughtful words.
      I must say “ditto” to everything you said. Truth.
      We are so blessed.
      May your weekend be joy filled!

  11. Laura says

    Choosing joy can be challenging at times, can it not? Thank you for this lovely example of how it always blesses to choose joy, Diane!

    • Diane says

      Oh goodness…sometimes it’s a constant battle to make that ‘right’ choice. And one that I experienced a few too many times this week.
      Thank you for your encouraging thoughts, Laura. 🙂

  12. Carol says

    Rings so true, Diane! The joy of the Lord is our strength, He is our Joy.
    Choosing Joy! with you!

    • Diane says

      Yay for choosing joy!
      Wishing you a joy-filled week Carol!


  1. […] weekend, my wife write a posts which include a “Joy Dare.”  you can read about it here.  She lists at least seven things that she is grateful for.  I thought i should take a hint and […]

  2. […] you read my previous Joy Day! post you already know that.  And so I thought it would be fun to show you how I put together this […]

  3. […] Last year my Word for the Year was JOY.  You can read about it here. […]

  4. […]  Here are a few recent posts: Feeling Hard Pressed? ~  How to Receive God’s Blessing.  ~ My Word for the Year.  You can find more “Joy Day!” posts under the Joy and Inspiration category […]

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