Keep checking in and keep an eye on so much is going on in and around our family!!!
- Joy Is an Act of Courage
- To Have Joy You Must Be Grateful
- Joy Requires Forgiveness
- Joy Comes from Service
- Joy Requires Your Presence
- The Message of the Atonement Is a Message of Joy
First, to live joyfully you must be brave. True joy is not for the fainthearted. You must decide to be happy. Joy is an act of courage. Joy will not abide until you make a conscious decision to treasure it. Ten years ago one evening in March, I was in the ward kitchen putting pink mints on glass plates for my niece’s wedding reception. The organdy lace wedding apron was barely holding my soul together. I was quietly just hanging on spiritually and emotionally. It was a time in my life of little joy. My mother and her sister were talking together nearby. I heard my aunt ask my mother, “How is Elaine?” Mom responded, “I believe she has made a decision to be happy. She has a garden and flowers in her yard. She sews and writes, and she works hard. She keeps a clean house and plays beautiful music. Her children are doing well. I think she has decided to be brave and to be happy.” I wept a few tears as I eavesdropped on my mother’s conversation. I was lonely, tired, and grief stricken. I didn’t know if I had made a conscious decision to be happy. But hearing my mother’s hopeful description of me, I wanted it to be true. So I did decide to be happy. I decided that night to find joy in every day. It has been difficult. But I was brave. I am not so brave every day, but I do try to remember that joy is a decision that requires courage.
She also spoke of how Adam and Eve had to have courage. After they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they learned that in order to have joy, they must know pain. Elaine quotes from Moses 5:10 "in this life I shall have joy"
Another point that I felt was so forth coming and a great reminder of being in the moment of life.
"Joy often lights in little fairy twinkles. I call them angel gifts. They are fleeting moments of sparkling enlightenment, like gentle kisses of meaning when everything comes together. They are little heavenly glimpses of eternal joy. Joy can happen quickly, so you have to pay attention. If you are not present in your life today, you will miss the joy as it happens. We cannot change the hurts of the past, but we can let go of the grudges and reflect today on past joys. We won’t recognize joy in the future if we don’t practice noticing it today. I once heard Annie Dillard say, “Grace happens anyway; the least we can do is be there.” The least we can do is be there in our own lives. It is not enough to simply take breath. We must live every moment of life. We must find the joy that is there to be had anyway. This life today is part of our eternal life and a time to practice knowing eternal joy."
The best reminder she gives us is that the importance of the Atonement brings us JOY!!!
"But the greatest gift of the Atonement is that it is real and there for us regardless of the state of our testimony. Whether we believe it or not, it is true. The Savior lives. His Atonement allows us to try again, to repent, to have hope, and to live. He suffered, died, and rose again for us, regardless of where we are in our belief or doubt about that reality. Sorrows and losses will come. We will sin and regret and need to try again. We will be hurt and need to forgive again. We will grieve and need to find joy again. We must help each other to remember the gift of life, that “men [and women] are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25; emphasis added). Our very existence today is to know joy."
My greatest JOYs are before me some are in plain sight and others I have to
look for a little harder....Where are your greatest JOYs????