At this point in my life, I am basically checking in with you just because I said I was.  You all get to see me dig for joy in real life in real time. Nothing polished in any way over here right now.

This past week my husband’s brother died of a two plus year battle with cancer and we had his funeral.  His funeral was on my birthday.  That was an emotional roller coaster of a week.


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Yesterday was my birthday. It was also the day we buried my husband’s brother. It just was what it was. It happened on the same day, and there was sadness not for me but for the situation in whole. I am simply stating a fact of what the day was. I didn’t want a single person to wish me happy birthday though. We were at the funeral and a cousin came up and wished me happy birthday. “Ha”, I answered sarcastically. Then added, “What is happy about today?” “Something will be. Aren’t you the one in search of joy every day?” Gut punched. He was so right. When we got home last night at 10pm, on my counter were surprise gifts from friends. I checked my phone for the first time since the morning and was overwhelmed (in a good way) of so many text messages and fb messages. Some I reread from the morning. All my boys were headed to Andrew’s to spend the last weekend of being just them together at his place and they stopped in for (what else?) some food and I realized I had all my boys all together on my birthday in my house with me. I don’t know when this will happen again. And in that moment, seeing my family of boys and Gretchen was there and the gifts of friends and the words of so many who prayed for us…. There was so much joy. So much. And I thought back to what that cousin said. I am so thankful that he reminded me to look for the joy in that day. Because it ended up being some of the most meaningful things, memories I’ll be cherishing for no doubt all my birthday years.

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This week we are whiplash switching gears and Andrew and Gretchen are getting married.

It’s an odd mix of emotions.  I can’t tell you how happy I am, how ecstatic I am, and also…I can’t talk about it all without crying.  It’s so weird and so raw and so happy and so thrilling and so all the things.

Yesterday my husband asked me if I was going to do my Joy Post.  It’s Joy Post day, after all.  But Monday I was just too empty.  Drained.  I sat in my little chair in the corner that looks out over the back yard and I sipped my coffee and I just quieted myself before God.

Then I heard a scratching.

There, behind my chair, was a little shrew and the cats could hear it but couldn’t see it and it turned into this little fiasco of a morning and I looked up at God and said, “Really?  Now?”

And I kind of feel like I keep saying that to Him right now.  “Really?  This too?  Right now?”

It’s major things and it’s right down to minor things that feel major – example, my face broke out terribly and it’s wedding week.  Oh come on, God!

So this morning I sunk myself in James.  And then I went and flipped over to Psalms.

I thought about my day yesterday.  How it was good to sit at home and be quiet for the morning.  How I have missed a quiet morning with God and coffee!  How my dad came to visit and told me about this true life book he is reading and it was just what I needed him to sit on my porch and talk to me about.  How my friend I haven’t seen in forever somehow knew just what I needed and sent over baked goods.  How I needed to pray so much and was just saying over and over I need to pray to God and I had no words and a friend stopped over and left me a  printed prayer she had read that day and felt she should share.  How that night, Andrew came home for dinner unexpectedly and I could pull out my friend’s home made cheesecake and we all could feel spoiled.  How I could watch a storm come tearing into the yard and then leave the night with amazing brilliant colors all around.


God keeps showing up.  I’d be lost and a wreck without Him giving me all these gifts. I gave you an example of yesterday but my goodness gracious, all this week in so many ways, He just keeps showing up.  God keeps showing up and giving me Joy in ways I never ever would have thought they would come.  And He so often uses others right now to show me His love.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  And every day, every single day, He keeps showing up and giving me joy in the everyday.

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