Sometimes I get caught up in a romanticized view of yesterday and of tomorrow. I forget that only today, only right now, are truly mine. I can’t do anything to change the past. Can’t do anything to predict the future. I only have this action. This minute.

I often daydream about the sweet memories of Brooks as a newborn. His tiny cry, his instant comfort in my arms. I often drool over our future, when Brooks has siblings and they are having sword fights in the back yard. I forget that being the only one who could comfort Brooks was so exhausting in the moment. I don’t think about how I might be so exasperated at a house full of littles. Looking back, I remember the sweetness. Looking forward, I envision the sweetness. What if, this minute, I just soak in the sweetness of each of Brooks’ firsts instead of feeling the exhaustion of a toddler? What if, in this moment that I am in, I choose to cherish the sweetness. I choose joy.


Here’s where I’m seeing joy today:

  1. This playlist is the perfect ‘chill’ for these autumn days.
  2. The noise this angry frog makes.
  3. Reminders that you are here. That you are alive. I read this post on dying (I know, not super joyful, but stick with me..we have to fight for joy), and I was covered in goosebumps realizing the intensity, reality, and awe of death.
    The article reminded me that I am still here, I am still alive, and that death will come. I need to truly live each day building the legacy I want to live. Because my legacy may be built on a life of only last 25 years, a few months, and a few days…and I can’t even guess about the length of your life. How do you want to be remembered? What will your legacy be? And how can what you do in the next week, next day, next moment build that legacy?
  4. The awesome partnership between a high school cross country team and an animal shelter. Taking the doggies out for a good run, creating some furry friendships, and helping some pups find a forever home. I love it.
  5. Wednesday night meals at church. Not cooking and still eating delicious homemade meals is the best!
  6. Instead of making a to-do list, sometimes I make a did-it list. I write down everything I do that day and revel in my productivity. I may not have been able to get that one thing on my to-do list done, but I did this whole list of things. I made nourishing meals for my family, I unloaded the dishwasher, I read a few uplifting words, I said I love you. I actually did a lot. And that makes me smile. It’s all about reframing.

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Hi. Here’s my joy lately.
1. The breeze at the cabin on Labor Day. We woke up Labor Day morning to breakfast burritos at my parents’ house and then went to the cabin with all of Philip’s family. The only way it would’ve been better would have been having Chad there in person instead of just talking to him over speaker phone.
2. This “proof” that drowning is caused by Nicholas Cage acting. 😉 Okay, not really…but I’m just such a nerd and seeing how just about any two silly things can be correlated with enough math reminds me to take everything with a grain of salt.
3. This post on The Art of Tuning Out that got me thinking. The article is about traveling somewhere and “tuning in to tune out” in a new place, but I think the key to life is finding a way to tune in to the beauty of daily life in order to tune out the burdens of daily life. It’s just as important to breathe in and appreciate the smell of your coffee and the beauty of the flowers in the ditch as it is to labor over your daily tasks. Doing small things that bring you joy can keep you in an attitude of joy even when you are doing something that doesn’t necessary bring you joy.
4. Kate, who I know through camp, introduced me to Hannah Brencher…and this article is too good not to read. It’s about going through a rough season, resisting change, and well…I’ll let you read the article. See you on the other side of diapause, butterfly.
5. I made muffins a while back, you can see the picture on my Instagram. I accidentally put twice the butter that the recipe called for. No complaints – they were buttery and delicious. Call me Paula Deen.
6. This 9-second video made me grin. I hope it makes you grin too.
7. The Story Corps videos. Honestly, they’re all great. But I just watched this one about a woman forgiving the man who shot and killed her son, and not only forgiving him but cultivating a relationship, a friendship, a bond with him. It’s remarkable. Some other beautiful ones are Danny & Annie (Warning: tear jerker. “She lights up my life…”) and Clean Streets (“I could’ve done another 31 years..”). I just love the extraordinary stories that come from within each and every person.
What’s your joy? Comment below or email me.
photo: Zac Suhar

Annie Rohde

Love God. Love people.
P.S. This series was born out of my desire to fight for joy. See the first one here.


Hello friends,

I’m going to start a collection of things I find interesting, amazing, convicting, or inspiring every once in a while to challenge myself to fight for joy. This idea was inspired by Ann Voskamp‘s Multivitamins and Bleubird‘s Ten Things.
1. Sometimes we have to fight for joy. And this truth is why I am starting this collection of joy nuggets. I’m choosing to intentionally look for joy rather than waiting for joy to happen upon me. I’m choosing joy even when I don’t feel like it (or at least I’m trying). 😉
2. This TED Talk that had me mesmerized.

Continue reading “THINGS THAT BRING ME JOY #1”