Back with a Few Thoughts on Joy

Joy is not always easy to find but is, most often, right beneath our noses.

Our lives and focus here On Joy Road have changed dramatically since September and especially since Steve’s diagnosis of lung cancer in early November.  Joy has been hard to pin down, much less write about, so I beg your forgiveness for my lack of attention to the page.

Over the past few months, I have come to understand that joy isn’t always so clearly seen, felt or even identified. Joy isn’t found in continuous happiness or sustained fun or activity. I now know that when we focus/really hone in on the concept, we only find true joy in a single experience, a sound, a picture, a touch, a person…a moment.

Here are a few of my “joys”:

JOY is watching dozens of butterflies gather around the tall blue flowers Steve and I planted last spring.

JOY is a good meal, a great cup of coffee, BBQ and craft beer.

JOY is the doe that gracefully stepped out from behind the tall, umber grass to greet me.

JOY is found in that doe’s eyes as she stared at me as if to say, “It’s going to be okay”.

JOY is the sound of Steve’s excited exclamation when he spots three pairs of Cardinals playing around in the garden flying from tree to tree.

JOY is Steve calling me over to share the moment!

JOY is in the giggle of our grand babies enthralled with all things new.

JOY is our son’s phone call in the middle of the day and our daughter’s laughter at the end.

JOY is waking to Steve’s soft breaths of sleep. No hiccups. No pain. Just rest.

JOY is a new book, time to paint, and laughter between old friends.

JOY is a smile, a hug, a hand resting on your shoulder.

JOY is Steve making fun of my thick Texas accent when it slips out!

JOY is finding a pretty, out-of-place, stone on my morning walk along an old trail.

JOY is in a hard day’s work, the act of creating something out of nothing and cooking.

JOY is in kindness, trustworthiness and love.

JOY is seeing my mom’s laughing face on my phone or receiving a “How are you?” text from her.

JOY is a vanilla ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day, hard peppermint candy and a powdered sugar doughnut.

JOY is in the smile from a stranger.

JOY is sitting with Steve on the back porch, sipping a bold red wine while watching the sun slip below the horizon, sharing memories.

JOY is getting to spend one more day together.

JOY is knowing that the Creator of all things knows the number of hairs on our
heads and that He has declared that He thinks thoughts about us,

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

JOY is faith.

JOY is hope.

JOY is time.

JOY is love.

JOY is…life.

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