By surprise

Another treat of a poem from Jan Richardson:

For Joy

Image: For Joy © Jan L. Richardson

You can prepare
but still
it will come to you
by surprise

crossing through your doorway
calling your name in greeting
turning like a child
who quickens suddenly
within you

it will astonish you
how wide your heart
will open
in welcome

for the joy
that finds you
so ready
and still so
unprepared.

– Jan Richardson

Praying for laughter

“I was close to giving up on prayer altogether. Instead, I started to pray for laughter.”   These words of Amy Julia Becker remind us that sometimes that is the perfect prayer to pray.  Read her guest post on Ann Voskamp’s blog here.  Good to read even if you don’t feel like giving up on prayer . . . ’cause some day you surely could.

This photo will make you laugh–if nothing else.  Me as a child. 🙂

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A joy safe

I keep a number of encouraging and important personal papers in the zipper pouch of my bible cover. They are easily accessible for me to pull out and look at whenever I wish.  But here’s a great idea, too.

“I find that joy can be overwhelmed.  Just as a migraine can ruin a picnic, painful happenings can eclipse joy.  In a hard time recently, I remembered a friend’s grandmother showing me her ‘joy safe,’ a wooden box in which she kept things that connected her with joy and reminded her of God’s presence.  I started my own box last week with two things: a button from the uniform my father wore when he came safely home from war and a note from a grandchild who had been kept back in third grade: ‘Grandma! I got all A’s. I’m gonna make it.'” (Patricia Livingston)

What would you put in your joy safe to help you remember God’s presence in your life?

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Posted in joy

Try it for yourself

A challenge from Peter Kreeft:

No one who ever said to God, “Thy will be done,” and meant it with his heart, ever failed to find joy–not just in heaven, or even down the road in the future in this world, but in this moment at every moment.  Every other Christian who has ever lived has found exactly the same thing in his own experience.  It is an experiment that has been performed over and over again billions of times, always with the same result.

Try it for yourself.