Photo by me // Campbell’s Covered Bridge, Landrum SC
Sometimes I think about these quotes I want to illustrate way too hard. And theres sometimes where it just comes right to me.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been thinking about the word JOY. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to have it? What is joy?
To me, joy has been those simple little tiny things that make me happy. A peace of mind. Happiness in everyday things that some people take for granted. My husband has been pretty sick for over 3 months, and we are praying hard for answers. After 5 specialist and 4 trips to the ER, we still don’t have an answer to this underlying problem. The worst part is, he’s missing a lot of work. At his new job. So that’s the back story… He’s not felt like himself or even acted like himself for several months, so when we find something small or a little improvement, we celebrate. Its so easy to take everything we do each day for granted… like feeling well. Not coughing, no headache. No dizziness, no sore throat, etc. But then there are days when we realize we don’t have one of those symptoms and we think, my gosh its nice to wake up and feel rested. Right? Anybody with me?
Well, since we’ve moved to Atlanta, we live in a skyrise. There’s some homeless people around… and quite frankly they make me a little uneasy. I don’t know their story or what they’ve gone through. But, I’ll tell you, an experience with a particular homeless lady near our condo made me and my husband choose joy.
I see her almost every day, not always in the same spot. Sometimes she’s walking down the road, sometimes she’s waiting for the bus, sometimes she’s sitting on the pavement writing. Sometimes she’s singing. Does this turn you off? I don’t know where she lives? I’ve seen her come out of the woods and just appear. But, I’ve seen her lately doing things I never thought homeless people do… like journaling by our condo. One day she was sitting beside our condo on the pavement writing. I was driving up to the garage ( which has an opener so you have to sit and wait for the door to open ) and she was parallel with my car. It kind of scared me that she was right there, but I looked straight over to her, and she smiled with every bit of love that she could. Her smile was huge and genuine. A homeless person, happy? I’ll remind you, neither my husband nor I have either spoken to her, or her to us.
Then, the other day my husband was taking our dog out for a walk. We have both mentioned this woman, we see her all the time. This time he was walking our dog Max and he heard somebody talking to him so he turned around. The woman said, “Hey, how are you… I haven’t seen you in a while.” My husband asked her “What?” ( weird… hasn’t seen me in a while? ) And he said… “I’m not doing too good.” She replied, “I’ll pray for you.” She smiled and walked off.
Soooo, wait a minute. This homeless lady asks my husband how he is… us knowing he’s not good, and she said she’d pray for him. This lady is homeless ( i know you get it ) and we are not. We are just soaking up the condo lifestyle. She is not. She must live in the woods. But she has the time for prayer. And for Jesus. And to speak up to someone she’s never met before to say that she’d pray for him. He told me he wanted to cry. And after he told me that story, I did too.
Here’s just a simple reminder… choose joy. No matter how it shows up in your life. Always choose joy. Its in the smallest things you may not even notice.