Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful. Brother David
It's funny how those two things go together! I'm pretty sure Brother David's wisdom was lost on me for far too many years, but the older I get, the more the Father is helping me understand it. This past month has been one long opportunity to practice both. 4 short weeks ago my grandbaby count jumped by one and my heart grew more than a dozen sizes. The adventures of the last month have given me countless moments to be grateful and that gratitude has spawned a joy in my soul that is giant. All of it has shown in loving color how God shows up in the smallest ways and does the biggest things.
I got to spend the first week of Dominic’s life with him. I treasured my chance to take some middle of the night rocking shifts. I don’t think I studied my own babies quite as much as I did that tiny little boy. I’m so grateful for newborn snuggles. As we rocked and sang, I realized how grateful I was for the chance to be helpful. Traveling the 500 miles back home at the end of that week really put a dent in my joy but God is so fancy that the very next day I had a visit with my other grandbabies, Lewis and Ella and my joy was back up to overflowing!
This past weekend my heart felt a whole new kind of gratitude and I have to admit it caught me completely by surprise. Dominic was baptized on Sunday so that meant another road trip to Missouri but this time we had two new travel buddies. Our son Jason was the Godfather so he and little Lewis came along for the trip. A 9 hour road trip with Lewis as my backseat buddy made it the absolute best trip ever. He was a complete delight and what a treasure it was to have that much uninterrupted time with a grandchild. I got out of the Buick in Shannon’s driveway thinking I was as joyful as I could ever be…but it got better! I got to witness something I had never even considered. As parents you love and support your kids and you pray that God will lead them to be great humans and I think he’s done just that with my three kids but when I watched my children love and play with and discuss each other’s children I’m not sure I can even find the words to describe how incredible that felt as a mom. Seeing great humans raise great humans and knowing you had a little part in that is a gift!
When it was time to leave Missouri, my heart went back to that soggy place in double fashion. I had to say goodbye to my Missouri loves and my Michigan loves. I felt completely cheated because I didn’t get to ride back to Michigan in the back seat with Lewis. I wanted another 9 hours with him but I needed to get to the airport and go to West Virginia. Knowing that joy is not happiness but being completely in the “will of God”, I boarded my flight with a grateful heart because I had an opportunity to serve Catholic Schools. Once again, I had that moment when I thought I was “giving and doing” something for God and He flipped that upside down in a quick second! The people I worked with yesterday were warm and happy and truly dedicated to their vocation. It was such a wonderful day. Tomorrow, I get to spend the day with the other half of the Catholic Schools in northern West Virginia but today is a gap day and when I woke up this morning, I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be home tomorrow to spend the day watching Lewis and Ella like I usually do on Thursdays but God once again got all fancy and has provided me with a hotel courtyard with a water fall, a fire pit, some giant rocking chairs and work space. And just to show off a little bit more, He’s arranged for me to be typing in the sunshine on a beautiful 70 degree, no humidity morning.
The more grateful I am, the more I see how He’s using me, leading me and truly loving me. I’m so happy that the Holy Spirit is helping me see the joy in following His plan even when it crashes like a wave against what I want. As I wrap this up and get ready to post, I will slip inside the hotel and get another cup of delicious coffee that will be available all day long! Thank you Jesus!!
A Seed To Plant: Take some time to pray with the quote from Brother David and then make a list of things you are grateful for. As you ponder that list, ask yourself how you saw God in the things on that list.
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com