A Heart Filled With Joy

As I write this morning, I’m seated in the hospital for the second time in eight days. I’m awaiting the doctor’s call that my husband is out of surgery, all went well, and I can rejoin him in recovery. Instead of anguish, these past few weeks my heart is filled with joy. God’s perfect timing shines brighter than anything else.

The holiday season is packed with loads to accomplish from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. It begins with turkey and all the fixings, followed closely by Christmas decorations, buying and wrapping gifts, hosting and attending parties. Peppered throughout are several  speaking engagements with numerous details to apply, three of which have fallen within the surgery time.

So why the joy? God’s provision is wiser than I could plan or schedule. Our Thanksgiving plans were abruptly halted when my husband’s pain prevented the long drive we had planned to Ct. My son and his wife planned to host Thanksgiving in their new home and we were excited to go and enjoy it.  Instead we spent our first Thanksgiving ever…alone. We enjoyed good food, a relaxed atmosphere, but mostly the treasure of each other’s company. No pressure, no entertaining, just joy. Blissful joy as we thanked God in full gratitude for our kids, family and all the goodness in our lives.

Another elimination was pulling decorations down from the attic. The patient can’t lift anything for a while and the heavy boxes are more than I can handle. So for this year, no tree, no outdoor decorations and none of the usual inside embellishments. I did purchase a few things to remind us that it is the Christmas season. Otherwise, we are running on a bare minimum of holiday display. I’m not a “keep up with the Jones'” type of person, but I must admit I feel a little guilty amidst a neighborhood decorated to the hilt. I have the urge to hang a sign of explanation and apologize for not hiring someone to adorn our home to match the rest. Instead peace and joy override.

The crisp morning air brings clarity. As I wait, I reflect on all the things God has arranged for our benefit; sipping coffee the receptionist offered from her break room, just for me. There is a welcome slowness at my husband’s crisis oriented job. And instead of my usual running around I’m home in attendance with him. This has allowed more time with the Lord and a streamlined effort on what’s vital to accomplish right now.

I’ve learned to live in the moment. To let go of the least important things and focus solely on what needs to be done right now. Surprisingly, I’m getting more accomplished. Not worrying about what I can’t change disposes a lot of care.

I love the sparkle and joy of Christmas. The lights and music transport my spirit to a place of celebration.  This year I’ve discovered the greatest gift. You can unwrap joy at any time, in any circumstance. Simplifying and eliminating what is seen, opens space for the unseen.

How about you? What have your experiences taught you in 2017?

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10c

Merry Christmas to All!!




  1. Sounds like you’ve just experienced, “be still and know that I am god.” !

  2. Kelley J Ferguson says:

    Thank you for reminding us of the important things in life. We so often get caught up in our family traditions that we lose sight of what is special about Christmas for those of us who are His.. merry Christmas to you all!

  3. Diane Lacey says:

    So sorry that Craig has been in and out of the hospital, we will pray for healing. May the Lord continue to show his love and comfort

  4. Thanks for this beautiful message. It made me refocus and I know it will help many others. Receiving joy in the middle of what you are going through is an inspiration. You always radiate God’s presence.. say hi to Craig. I pray he heals quickly. Love you.

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