Joyful. I've thought about this word for a number of years, strangely enough. It seems fairly straightforward and distinct, elliciting a sensation. Once upon a very long time ago, back in my bible school days, I took a Philipians course. Philipians is a book in the New Testament and is often labelled the book of Joy. During the course we had to give a definition of joy. Happiness? Jesus Others and You? A good feeling? And then I read something interesting. I read a book that was called When Heaven is Silent and the author talked about Joy, which I always thought was strange. But he said something interesting. Joy is not the absence of pain, it is the presence of God. With my present day decided lack of faith in miracles and much unseen, I still can't dismiss that. Because it's when the fog clears and the shroud lifts. It's a sense of overwhelming when you discover that you are not merely a drop in the bucket, that you have a position and a place, that no matter how small or insignicifacnt you believe it to be at that exact moment, it is still a place and position and is utterly tangible and real.
Family. This afternoon I was taken into Peter's very large family and treated as one of their own. We played horseshoes, ate turkey, drank tea and sampled the large assortment of homemade pies. I laughed and rocked babies, played with the kids and the adults and had a good time finding my groove. And then I went to Grampie's. Mom was there along with 2 of her six brothers and one of her sisters. We laughed and carried on, reminiscing about thanksgiving that my cousin shot my uncle (a whole other story that still makes us laugh - he's fine besides the shrapnel in his foot). Family is important. Family keeps you sane and makes you crazy all at once and in the end it's worth it all.
Mistakes. I used to wonder if I was the only one who never got it right on the first go. I learned that I am not. In fact, it is an elite club to which the entire world belongs to at some point. Maybe we should get t-shirts made that say "I Screwed It Up the First Time Too".
Grace. My love for this word has always been there. It's my understanding of it that I think has been lacking. All I know is that it often leads me back to joyful... back to square one of trying to get it right.
Thanks. There have been stages in my life where I have been at such a loss for words, that a quiet Thank You was all I could get out. And to me that's more than just gratitude. Thanks is heartfelt and humble, taking the wind out of your sails while keeping your boat afloat and going in the right direction.
I am reminded that life is bigger than right now.
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.