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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

12 September 2014

Don't Postpone Joy

Don't Postpone Joy
My home for summer 2014... the gated grounds of Chautauqua Institution. My daughter, her sweet toddler & I shared a TINY tree-top efficiency apartment for the first 6+ weeks, a screened porch for 7 nights & a hotel room for 3 nights. While my daughter took classes, attended lectures & painted/painted/painted, I cared for the baby. 
It was a great experience... BUT IT WAS HARD WORK! 
I continue to believe my investment in their lives during that season was by the appointment of God. Although the summer was one of sacrifice (missing... my husband, my home, my friends, my cat, my flowers, my veggies, my cement pond, my husband's grilling skills, my church & a healthy portion of my bank account which I'd thought had been saved for a future family vacation), the summer proved to be a full of joy. It could have easily been a time when I put JOY on hold.

A huge part of my time was spent pushing a stroller while walking all over the 750-acre property (from one end to the other - often zig-zagging back & forth). Early on, I found a long brick path intersecting the property from the north end (near the Art Quadrangle) to Thunder Bridge (bridging the property to the south end). It became a favorite walking spot - especially on those evenings when a little one was not ready to sleep!

Along the brick path just past the Amphitheater, is a lovely area which is home to many of the denominational houses. Most of these houses were built in the late 1800's and serve as a dormitory life-style for guests coming & going from the property each week of the summer programming. The little green areas which separate buildings & walks are decorated with flowers, beautiful ground coverings, sculptures & more. One of those areas caught my eye on my first walk down the brick path in the first few days there. Sticking out of the greenery a stone rose. It read: 
     "Don't Postpone Joy" 
Three little words. A pretty simple statement. My mind filled with words & thoughts as I pondered that statement. I was beginning 8 weeks in a place away from the life I was used to living... away from many of my loved ones. This was a time when it would have been really easy to postpone joy.

Life has a lot of twists and turns. Life often doesn't feel very fair. We each have two choices... to become bitter or become better. Changes, challenges, disappointments & sorrows will always be a part of our lives. We cannot insulate ourselves from these aspects of life. But, we can decide to look for JOY and to find JOY around us each day.

So... don't set your "joy" standards too high!

Don't Postpone Joy! It's there for you to grab today!!!

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