Life Giving Joy

To be a part of a family means there are times when love causes you be a part of situations that can reek havoc on your emotions. Life teaches us that we will go through ups and downs, joys and sorrows. It was through a time of sorrow that joy abounded. The family was called together for a time when an angel was waiting to be called home. In this time we came in full force or as my brother said we “swarmed in like a hoard of locus” in which I corrected him and changed it to a “plethora of beautiful butterflies” in which there was a slight eye roll. The call came and we answered. In this we allowed our hearts to come back “home”. So how is the joy found in the sorrow of the moment? As we visited around the table we talked about how to support each other, and came up with laughter organically.

Laughter really touches the soul and brings forth joy. I really didn’t know how much I needed family time until I came home to my parents house. I also didn’t know that a church service to awaken my soul again. Did I mention the dogs? Ok I know that I have said over and over again that I work with animals. I have gone a week plus without having a dog or a cat close by, and boy did it take it’s toll. I came into my parent’s house and was immediately confronted with the biggest, happiest, dogs. A little while later after I had forced these two dogs to get snuggled my sister came along with her puppy. The introductions were a little off in the sense that poor little Clem had two very big dogs rush her without warning, but it was all in curiosity and slobber, which she has since recovered and is showing them whose boss. Joy came in the form of memories shared in the living room. It also came from making plans, working on a ridiculously hard puzzle and enjoying a peach crunch with ice cream.

Joy also comes in knowing that you are supported by your immediate family and work family. Being away from the people you see on a daily basis is a hard thing to do, but as the pastor taught on Sunday it’s about finding ways to worship through life. We are together because of a hard situation, we are worshipping the creator because we know through good and bad He is in control. Joy isn’t always about being happy. It’s about knowing who is in control and allowing that to wash over you. I would love to have hard times never come into my life, but they are put there so that I can grow and learn and maybe use the experience to help someone else. I love that through the joy that my family member had and pushed into our lives we get to celebrate her for who she is. My joy comes from my faith, even when it’s tested. It comes from family, extended, immediate and work all included. My joy comes from a kind and compassionate pastor who sees me as important and hugs me like I will always be a part of his family. My joy comes from crying, from daydreaming and from enjoying the people and pets around me.

Life will go back to “normal” next week. We will all head back to our designated parts of the states. We will resume our lives, but we will do so with the knowledge that once again we grew. Our hearts grew a bit bigger, and hopefully the walls that we keep though big or small didn’t grow at all. We will go back to the troubles we left for a short time, but hopefully we will have a better perspective on them. We will even have new places that the dog hair found itself in, but this is all a part of life giving joy. Until next time:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people an the affection of children; To ear the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Rae’s New Shine Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.


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