Camp Tecumseh overflows with joy. When you’re surrounded by loving counselors and campers, celebrating and learning about God in devotions and chapels, and taking part in wildly fun activities that facilitate growth, choosing joy is easy.
However, choosing joy at home isn’t always as easy. Sometimes personal struggles weigh us down. Sometimes we fight with family and friends. Sometimes we deal with issues at school or at work. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is ready to fall apart.
This past #tecumsehtuesday, our staff shared their hearts on social media, letting us know what joy looks like in their own life, how they #choosejoy when the world gets them down, and how important joy can be in improving the lives of others.
Here is a small sample from dozens of excellent posts: To find more posts, and let us know how you choose joy, use the hashtags #tecumsehtuesday and #choosejoy.
Joy is so much more than an emotion. Joy is a choice, Joy is an opportunity, and Joy is contagious. We all make countless decisions every day, but on this #tecumsehtuesday I want to tell you to #choosejoy. Give yourself a chance to see the world in color, seek out joy and love in your ordinary moments where you might otherwise hunt for something negative or critical. Shine Jesus’s light into the world for someone when you have the option to sit still. Make the choice, choose joy, show love to all freely, and spread joy by the bucketful.
Joy is finding the pleasure in everyday life that can bring fulfillment within. This is not easily accomplished but it is something we choose to do. It can be tough to find happiness when life is constantly throwing curve balls your way, but keep your faith strong and your spirits high, and you too can find a way to #choosejoy
“The joy of the Lord is our strength!”(Nehemiah) When I think back to the worst season of my life, where I would start and end the day in tears, I clearly remembering listening to one of my professors share the gospel of Jesus Christ as we practiced lesson planning for students. As he spoke about Jesus Christ’s passion and what he did for you and me on the cross and through his reconciliation, I felt physical and emotional JOY bubbling up in me. Even after knowing and believing this truth for years, Christ’s passion compels over and over and deeper and deeper. That’s why I choose Jesus and that’s why I choose joy.
JOY is what it’s all about. Everyday we have the opportunity to choose joy — some days it’s easy because you’re at camp with the greatest people on earth with grilled cheese in your hand, and some days it’s more difficult because it seems like nothing is going your way. I challenge you to find joy in the moments TODAY.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned the most from the long and hard parts of my summers at Camp Tecumseh, it’s that our attitude towards a given situation completely defines our reaction to it. There’s a lot of mess in the world. There has been for a long time. I say that because for my part I’ve been realizing more and more lately that I cannot depend on my situation for happiness or fulfillment–that will always fail me. I can’t even depend on myself and my abilities or dreams or hobbies or anything. The only thing in my life that never changes and that always brings me to joy is trusting in God: in His grace, His character, His love, His justice, and His holiness. When my hope for my life is set on Him, my perspective changes and I find real, lasting joy. The prophet Habakkuk spoke to this when he said, even when every physical thing on this earth failed, “YET I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take JOY in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:18) When I choose to put Him first, I #choosejoy. Thanks for the reminder on this #tecumsehtuesday
It’s easy to be happy when your biggest concerns are what songs will be played at theme dinner and what time the snack cart will come around. But sometimes is isn’t this easy to choose joy in the real world. So I’m letting this #tecumsehtuesday serve as a reminder not sweat the small stuff and that life is better when you #choosejoy.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself”-Tecumseh. . If we #choosejoy we are choosing God, and making the world a better place one act at a time. My favorite #tecumsehtuesday ever.
The world would be a better place if it were a little more like camp. Imagine if our everyday was spent lifting others up, supporting those around us, and sharing Christ’s love with another. Now that would be a world I would be proud to live in.
Emily Lanigan Jones
Thankful that I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 summers at a place that taught me how to not only find joy in the darkest of places, but more importantly how to put others before myself. It is so important to remember that we have hope.
In a world that can be lacking in compassion and friendliness, these campers always brighten my day and remind me of what the world can look like. Let’s remember to #choosejoy on this #tecumsehtuesday
A reminder that in times like these when so many feel frustrated and unloved, ignored and over looked, lost and confused, when people are at each other’s throats, and when our timelines are filled with hatred and slander, these are the times when we must be Christ to others, Choose Joy, and Live Third. We are on a mission of great importance. #choosejoy #tecumsehtuesday
It’s easy to let a place like Camp Tecumseh exist in its own little bubble. It took me a long time to realize that when we #choosejoy at Camp Tecumseh, we’re giving the constants in life their due. You can’t fabricate joy–but you can tune your appreciation of it. Let’s pop the bubble. #tecumsehtuesday
Even though the world may seem more bad than good, school is hard and the stress seems all that there is don’t forget to smile, laugh, PRAY, #choosejoy and have dance parties. Choosing joy each day can be even the smallest thing you choose to make you happy. And although sometimes it seems impossible just choose it because I promise you’ll feel so much better.
I learned to choose a life, an attitude, of joy so many years ago at Tecumseh. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is His joy– but it’s up to us if we accept it. Joy has shaped me into who I am and who I’m still becoming.
Sometimes it feels like the world is trying its hardest to tear us down, but over the course of 10 summers, I’ve learned it is possible to #choosejoy no matter my circumstances. So proud to see #tecumsehtuesday shining light on life’s important values.
Even though you may not spend every Sunday of the year dressing as wacky themes like a jar of jelly beans you can still #choosejoy every single day! Choosing joy means smiling at people and taking time to get to know the people around you, singing and dancing in the name of the Lord, taking care of yourself, and challenging yourself to live out love! #tecumsehtuesday
Things have not been easy lately but on this #tecumsehtuesday I am reminded why I will always strive to #choosejoy: God’s love is relentlessly pursuant and my life is full of passionate people determined to make a positive impact on this world.
Forever grateful for a home that constantly challenges me to choose joy. thank you camp for blessing me with my beautiful, crazy, inspiring 12 year olds who never failed to remind me that joy is a choice we can always make #tecumsehtuesday #choosejoy
This is a place where I was able to understand more of how God loves us through His people. I’ve discovered a deeper sense of joy; joy that was built from the love of Christ. Although I won’t be returning to camp, I will always know the love that was present within these people and within these places, that allowed me to become strengthened in the Joy of Christ. Thankful for today, thankful for this place, and thankful for a God who brings me joy. #choosejoy