Monday, January 4, 2016

One Word: Joy

It’s pretty easy to take New Year’s Resolutions too far.

Most of the time that’s not my problem. I don’t take them far enough. But sometimes the reason behind most New Year’s Resolutions is that we’re not satisfied. There’s something we need (or want) to change and we make a resolution to do it.

Why do we wait until Jan 1? It looks cooler, I guess.
Inspired by my youngest daughter, (and a year of grumpiness), I've found my One Word.

How did my youngest daughter inspire my choice?
Here's the gist:

Every day, at some point in the day, my youngest daughter used to say this phrase “I love this day”.

Every day. For almost an entire year.
I was reminded of this sweet response as I was going through my journal for 2012. 2012 was a great year for our family and my youngest daughter oozed sweetness and light to us (she still does).
I'd been praying for my "One Word" for 2016, but as I read over this 'memory' my heart felt a 'deeper' call. …This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Find your Joy.

My 'now' 15 year old. This is a personality picture :-)
Many times we allow everything else expect the Lord to rule our hearts and direct our emotions. Instead of having a thankful heart, we find  ways to be discontent.

So my One Word for 2015 is JOY- Intentional Joy. The kind that is determined to focus on truth rather than circumstances. The kind that looks upward instead of all around me for answers. The kind that focuses on who God is and what He has done, instead of what I do not have.

Joy can be found in every day, and it is the byproduct of most of the stories we read and write. We write stories of hope...and hope produces JOY!

It doesn’t mean trials, pain, and difficulties will not come. Those are a given in this world. But it does mean that my attitude should reflect the hope of Christ. My vision should be from heaven-shaded glasses instead of darkened by my grumblings.

My choices should reflect someone who rejoices in the Lord and knows who holds her.

And when I fail to ‘love the day’ (as most of us fail at our resolutions at one point or other), I can be grateful in the knowledge that I cannot ‘rejoice in the day’ without God’s help (and his constant reminder).

There is so much to find hope and joy in when you are loved with so GREAT a love as God’s love.

What is your One Word for 2016? How do you hope it will help direct your heart and mind toward the Maker of this New Year?

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, with the second arriving in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in April 2016. You can connect with Pepper on her website at, Facebook- or Twitter at


Angie Dicken said...

I love the word Joy. Cody and I are always saying how Libby is the definition of that word. Sounds like she and Phoebe are kindred spirits. Love you!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved this, Pepper! Joy is such a powerful word! My word is authentic. I'm blogging about it tomorrow. God has been showing me some things He wants to change /grow in me. It'll be a stretching, thought-renewing year for this gal, I'm thinking.

Anonymous said...

I love this. Choosing One Word for each year is not as difficult as figuring out a book title, but still tricky as the year winds down. I came to mine--Hope--just days before New Years Eve.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Meghan, that was me too this year! On New Year's Eve, I still found myself asking God to confirm my One Word. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I practically feel like I'm on a campaign trail. Once I heard about the one-word idea I never went back to making resolutions. The one-words sticks with me all year...and IDK seems like an avenue God works in me the whole year through.

Casey said...

I love Phoebe's sweet and unintentional conviction! Yes, my friend, this is the year to be JOYFUL. Because really, when you face each day, there is always, always something to give thanks for and always something for which to reminds us Who our wellspring of joy comes from.

Pepper Basham said...

It's great to have one of those 'joyful' kids in the family, Angie. Such a delight

Pepper Basham said...

I think Authentic is a powerful word, Jeanne - and something that is not very common in our current culture. I believe God calls us to be authentic, and our transparency draws people to Him.
Many blessings on your 2016

Pepper Basham said...

Hope is a beautiful thing, Meghan. It's something we all need at the core of who we are!

Hoping 2016 is a wonderful year for you!

Pepper Basham said...

Agreed, Mare.
It really changes the perspective of looking at the New Year.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Love this! Intentional and joy, my goal too. I really struggle with looking on bright side and living in the moment-to-moment.

Cara Putman said...

I'm still praying about my one word. I think I have it, but not sure yet.