Welcome to New Friend Friday. Each week, I introduce you to a fellow Beauty Hunter … God Sighter … Joy Giver … Girlfriend in Gratitude. One of the most exciting things to me on this journey is the other people God is connecting me to in a most beautiful web of wonder and amazing for what HE does everyday. All around us. When we pay attention.
So please meet my friend Kolette Hall, author of The Art of Choosing Joy blog. Please: go poke around her blog, sell hello, and tell her you Found Beauty in her today!
Kolette with her husband Jason
Consider today a 2fer Friend day because you’ll want to check out Jason’s story, too!
My Q&A with Kolette…
Briefly describe how “The Art of Choosing Joy” has become the theme of your life
I have always been an optimistic person. My mom described my personality as “sunshine” when I was young and I have a deep belief in the power of making the personal choice to see good even when it is difficult. I have also always loved to create things and so while developing my artwork, I have learned that life qualities are also something that can be developed into something that are a part of us. Joy is a choice and the creation of art is a luxury so why not marry the two and bask in the luxurious creation that comes from choosing joy?
What do you hope readers will get from your blog?
I started my blog because I wanted a place to record my thoughts and share a few ideas. I had no grand plans. I wanted people who enjoyed my work in the crafting industry to be able to find me and a blog seemed to make sense. However, when we found out that I was expecting our little boy after 16 years of marriage and a few rounds of invitro, my blog changed. It still had its original kinds of posts but I began to use it as a journal to record this new role of motherhood that I had taken on. I hope that readers of my blog will find a new perspective, a positive way to approach life, ideas to live realistically, some creative things to do, but mostly encouragement to enjoy life even when it is hard.
What was one of the most unexpected things you’ve learned as you focus on Joy?
At certain points in our lives, we think we understand certain things. We think that our life’s experiences have taught us plenty and that we are pretty knowledgeable. As I have continued to get older and continued to have challenges and blessings, I realize that my understanding of “joy” has evolved to become even more than I thought it was. I’ve had to work harder to choose it and that has made me stronger in many ways. I thought I knew what choosing joy was…but I have realized that there is still so much to learn. I’m grateful for that.
Tell us about a time you recently Found Beauty/Joy
If I’m not finding joy every day then I’m in trouble. That’s just me. It’s a gauge for my disposition. I can tell that if I’m not looking for beauty or joy enough then I start to feel bluesy or sad. When I feel like that I know I have to step up the finding joy part of my life. I have been very sick over the last year and a half with pancreatitis. I recently had a major surgery done and because my husband is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, our little 2 1/2 year-old is staying with Grandma and Grandpa till I can do a little more to care for him. He came to visit and we spent time sending matchbox cars down the racetrack – starting on top of the ottoman and crashing them into the fireplace at the bottom. When he left (and after I napped!) I looked around and thought about cleaning up the toys. I decided to leave the racetrack with the pile of cars at the end just like they were because they reminded me of him. He’ll come home in a couple of days and everything will be cleaned up like it usually is, but for now, the mess makes me happy and so it’s staying!
Please share 1 tip for Finding Beauty/Joy in every day life?
You have to CHOOSE to see beauty. You have to CHOOSE to feel joy. There is always something to complain about. Always. The hard part is in making the conscious choice to find beauty and joy instead.
You are teaching a VERY exciting online class with Big Picture Scrapbooking entitled Giving Well. How does Giving Well add to the Joy of Our Everyday lives as well as those we gift?
My workshop “Giving Well 2011
” is in its third installment for a reason. (Here’s a peek at the projects
.) I have a theory about gift-giving. It’s all about making it meaningful. If the things that we give to others have been thought about and personalized, we feel more love toward that person. In turn, the recipient feels more love from us. It’s a simple philosophy but one that is rarely taken the time to put into practice. That’s why people keep coming back each year – they know that they will get simple ideas for crafting gifts but more importantly, they know that they will learn a little bit more about how to give joy as well as give a gift. Personalized, meaningful, gift-giving. What could be more joyful than that?
Beth’s Note: I have been honored to know Kolette over many years and various stages of her story and mine. I can truly say she is one of my heroes in the Art of Choosing Joy, even if I never told her so. I know you’ll love reading her story and insights. Here are 2 of my favorites that match our Finding Beauty theme: Balance Theory & Toddler Time.