When Joy Comes to Stay

Joy Comes to Stay

Six months ago I wrote how hard it was, this unique time of helping one precious to me while my own desires and dreams suspended mid-air. The days spent rising {way} too early, cleaning behind little ears, and finding fun learning activities to entertain a hungry young mind—all while cloaking discipleship in the painting of rocks and baking of cookies.

God said it was for a season.

We’ve walked two winters, one spring, summer, and fall together now. And it’s still hard, the days sometimes exhausting, and the nights often long—my physical body even weaker now as it succumbs to  the pressures and toll of late-in-life substitute-parenting, ongoing responsibilities and commitments to clients, and this crazy chronic illness. {Ya’ll keep praying because I believe in miracles and stand with arms raised, expectantly waiting.}

But when that feisty little hand reaches out for mine in a time of uncertainty, a need for attention, or the simple adoration that fills her tender heart, it’s then I know. When the warmth of her smile penetrates my heart like the early bright of a day, it’s then I know this pure joy that exceeds the hard.

Holley Gerth, a beautiful friend and awesome coach that has walked me through some important decisions as of late, she posts it on her weekly link-up: What brings you joy? And my mind immediately floats to the pink-rimmed glasses and the over-sized pink hair-bow that sits  on the honey-wheat hair of my Lacey Jane–my five-year-old granddaughter. There’s an untold value, an indescribable joy, that lies in my love for this kid.

A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.
~Mother Teresa

This gift of joy, it seems rare to capture. And harder to hold. You have to fight for it sometimes, but this is the sort of fight that transforms a heart.Not that we push back any pain as if it doesn’t exist, but rather that we choose to fight for joy in spite of the ache. For that sort of fight clears the mind, alters one’s perspective.

Tonight, I’ll still crawl to bed exhausted. And I still wonder how I can possibly do it all. But I fight for it, this trust that even in this God is working. And tucked deep in that trust is a sustaining joy the hard patches of life can’t have.


Deeper Still: Do your children or grandchildren bring you joy? Let’s have some fun: three words to describe them in the comments section below. Go.

coffee for your heart

Love linking up with the beautiful women at Coffee for Your Heart, hosted by Holley Gerth. Won’t you join us?

{Find more encouragement with Jo Ann’s recently released book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Using Your Story to Make a Difference.}


21 thoughts on “When Joy Comes to Stay

  1. I love this and timing is perfect. Today I am snuggling my 4 months old (tomorrow) grandson who just got his shots yesterday. Problem is I broke my wrist yesterday too. But God is good and allows us to find ways to handle what He gives us. The one dimpled smile eases much pain.

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