Little bits of Joy

About 3 weeks ago I was talking with my sister in which she brought up that she is starting to have weekly visits with our younger brother. I thought this was such and cool thing and expressed that I wish I could hold a conversation with brother without it falling into the awkward stage of nothing more to talk about. I have a very hard time with small talk, and though I know that I have things in common with my brother, he lives so far away and we see each other every other year generally. So that means his life and my life don’t tend to come together very often. As my sister and I were talking about this she came up with the brilliant plan to have me join in on the zoom meeting she our brother have on Saturdays. Let me tell you it was such a good idea. It worked out so well because my sister is amazing at keeping conversations going without the other people knowing that she is doing it. We were able to all “get together” for a visit and it made for a great rest of the day. The meeting that I thought would only be about an hour could have easily gone past the hour and half that it was.

We talked about our kids, we talked about growing up and memories. We talked about upcoming trips that we need to plan. It was so good to see my niece and it was fun to have my son talk with his aunt and uncle. We made fun of each other and talked about how the parents are doing. I learned that my brother didn’t actually hold all the mean things I did to him against me, and that there was actually some nice things I did for him. When we had to get off the meeting to go back to our normal every day lives I felt lighter. It was such a joy and a refreshing hour and a half of just visiting. I get into ruts where everything seems to be mundane and the same. So when there was this change, and it was a good change the rest of the day was a bit more bright. The great thing is they invited me back to their meetings whenever I wanted. That is love, and that is pure joy for me.

My daughter and I had to teach this week at church. When I say “had” though I mean we got to. We love our little class of 5 and 6 year olds. We are doing our best to remember the names of of the kids since we only do twice a month. It is such a joy waiting for the kids to show up, remembering their names and then smiling and welcoming them in with a hug. When their faces light up, it is so worth it. This Sunday my daughter and I decided for the craft we would take pictures of the kids that made it look like they were holding a big group of balloons. We printed them on sitcky back paper and then let the kids draw and color the balloons. Some of the kids didn’t want to take the picture but majority of them did. We had so much fun doing this craft for Valentines Day next week. We learned about the last supper in Matthew 26 and taught the kids that it was a way to remember that Jesus loves us. I know at that age big messages like this are hard for kids to grasp. What they do understand is that there are two adults that are happy to see them (other than their parents). So it’s not just talking about how much Jesus loves them but we show it to them as well.

As I said earlier I tend to get into ruts where it feels like my everyday life can be mundane. I tend to go through the motions sometimes. I love when these little Joy breaks happen. A fun meeting with the siblings, a smiling face from a little girl in my class. Even the other night, my husband let our “puppy” Charlie out to go to the bathroom one last time before we all went to sleep. It usually takes a little time for her and Jorj to “finish their business” so when it took a little longer than normal we started to whistle for them to come in. In true Charlie form she is the first in line. She also had found a toy that I had missed, this toy must have been buried because the full top of her head was covered in dirt. Try as he may my hubby was not quick enough to get her back outside (though he was quick enough to take pictures of her…) and so she decided she needed to get the dirt off herself. All over my floor and rug. Now granted I could have been upset, but let me tell you, it’s hard to be upset when the “puppy” in her looks at you so proudly. Like “look mom, I cleaned myself!” I chose to make that a joy moment, mainly because I was tired and she was too cute to get mad at. Joy breaks are everywhere. They help get you through the times in life that are not so joyous. Life is tough as it is. Why make it harder by not looking around and seeing the joy that is present. Until next time:

You wouldn’t plant a seed and then dig it up every few minutes to see if it has grown. So why do you keep questioning yourself, your hard work and your decisions? Have patience, stop overthinking and keep watering your seeds.

Steven Bartlet

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