If I don’t experience joy every day, I need to reexamine what makes me joyful! Above all, I take great joy in my identity as a Jesus follower and the brightest future known to man.
The past few days delivered abundant joy to me in seen and unseen ways. If it weren’t for the ease of recording my days on my phone camera, my declining memory could and would likely forget what brought me joy as recent as last week. So I’ll simply pick a starting place and go from there.
We’ve had an abundance of blue sky this winter. This is the tree in our front yard that promises to sprout green leaves soon.
Our camellia bushes couldn’t wait to cheer us with their creativity.
On Saturday I drove over the coastal mountain range to attend Newberg Friends’ women’s retreat at Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway.
They offered Saturday-only registration, and I couldn’t pass it up.
My friend Jo Helsabeck offered encouraging reminders of the importance the Bible has in our life as Christians. Together, with her helpful techniques, we memorized the retreat theme verse, Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)—”Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will
never neither fail you nor abandon you.” I’ve been reciting it several times a day, but still made that mistake while typing it. This is why we memorize scripture when we’re young!
After lunch I took a walk up Charlotte’s Mountain (named for Mauri’s Aunt Charlotte). If I had followed the sign, my walk would have become a hike and my shoes didn’t feel up for it. It was tempting though!
Though my mother was an oil painter, I inherited the barest minimum of talent from her. Acrylics are easier than oil, but that mattered not to this novice. Still, I had a lot of fun demonstrating my inability, then found a place to dispose of the final result after I showed Mauri.
My sincere joy included discovering how many true artists successfully finished the project.
I ask you, what could be more joyful than reconnecting with this dear friend and the added bonus of our matching YETI tumblers?
After dinner, I returned home on curvy and foggy roads with the company of my favorite podcast sisters on “What Have You.” (You’ll hear more about them in the days to come!) The following morning, at the end of worship with my Church of the Vine community, I checked my phone before walking home.
I had to sit down to take in the import of this picture Quinn texted me. I already knew she and Dusty, Marissa and Cassidy, and Ben had rendezvoused in Durham, NC, to join the masses in Cameron Stadium for a Duke game. But there are little people in this picture, and the joyful realization hit me…
…these three Carlsons were together in one place! What could be more joyful than that?
I feasted on this photo, missing Dusty who I thought was behind the camera. No, Beth had asked a passerby to snap this for the mOm she knew would *need* a picture. (Dusty got called away for a one-day work trip but made it back for the game.)
Later I learned they each drove two hours to the central location of Richmond, VA, where they found world-class hamburgers and a huge fenced park—Park 365.
You might rightly wonder how a Chick-fil-A mobile restaurant could be included in a post about joy, but have you ever experienced Chick-fil-A? If so, you have no need to wonder! Having the truck come to our small town truly qualifies.
Are you suffering whiplash? Here we are back in Durham, but it’s because the game would start at 4pm on Monday and my “kids” were sharing their day on social media.
Oh, you might be wondering what’s the big deal—Durham, Duke, the Blue Devils. It goes back to the time their dad worked at Duke University, the late ’70s, when they started building lifelong allegiance to the basketball team and Coach K.
When Ben posted this picture of Duke Chapel I had no choice but share my memory of him singing with the Durham Boys Choir in concert there.
Just a group of red-robed boys to the average eye, but pure joy for mine.
Ben’s purchases might illustrate his level of loyalty.
They arrived in plenty of time, I see.
Cassidy’s Instagram post clarifies her (and her sister’s) team pride.
Not that Ben needed additional affirmation….
Of course we were cheering Duke on from the comfort of our cookin’ room, planning to miss the end of the game to celebrate Sage’s 9th birthday. But a text came from Erin with the news of party cancellation because Sage wasn’t feeling up for it. Along with the text, she shared this picture of Sage’s galaxy cake. Add it to my variety of joy, even though we didn’t get to taste it and Sage is sick.
What brought you joy recently? Don’t forget to notice it!