One Little Word 2016: Joy

Each year I choose a word that will be a guidepost throughout the year. Some of my past words have been peace, simplify, and trust. This year, I have to admit that I struggled a bit to find a word. The word “less” spoke to me first, and has lingered in my mind. “Faith” has also been on my heart. However, the one word that seemed to choose me was “joy.” After weeks of going back and forth, my OLW for 2016 is joy.


When I read the definitions of joy, some of my feelings didn’t match up exactly.


  1. 1a:  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :  delight  b :  the expression or exhibition of such emotion :  gaiety
  2. 2: a state of happiness or felicity :  bliss
  3. 3: a source or cause of delight


  1. : to experience great pleasure or delight :  rejoice

Of course I love the idea of being happy, but happiness depends on your circumstances. I think that joy is a quiet emotion that doesn’t only happen when life is good. I think of it as being a feeling of contentment and hope, regardless of what’s happening around you. I think you can have joy even when you’re not happy because joy is rooted deep in your heart. Happiness comes and goes; joy lasts.

I’m seeking this lasting joy. There are areas in my life that need attention and changes that need to be made. I think that’s why “less” and “faith” were also appealing words to me. I’m seeking less in so many areas–commitments, stress, worry, clutter, and just stuff, to name a few. I want to simplify my life by having, needing, and doing less. For me, less stuff equals more joy.

Faith is also so important to me, and it’s an area that needs work in my life. My faith was tested in 2015, and I need to restore the parts of me that were hurt. Having faith, not only in God, but in other people, is something I need to spend more time on this year. More faith equals more joy.

Joy is so encompassing that I’m excited to incorporate it into many areas of my life. I want to find joy for myself, I want to bring joy to others, and most importantly, I want my children to see joy in me.

“16 Be joyful always” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)

Did you choose One Little Word for 2016? If so, I’d love to hear all about it. Please share in the comments.




Jennifer Fox

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