The Arms of Joy

I have heard people talk before about the "secret to life". I suppose there are many of them covering a wide-array of topics. Yet the older I get the more I realize one in particular which has been so crucial to our family. You ready for it???

JOY is a choice.

HAPPINESS is what wells up inside you at certain moments, at certain events, at certain times. HAPPINESS is a feeling.

JOY is something that can be present, even in sadness, disappointment and loss. JOY is a choice.

We are learning more and more that JOY and sadness can co-exist, each having their rightful place.

When I chose the name for the event we do every year to honor my husband, Choose Joy, I admittedly didn't give it much thought.

"In our sadness we Choose Joy" I thought simply.

I had no idea how much the concept of choosing JOY would become something our family would grasp to so tightly. Our family motto, so to speak.

Moments of HAPPINESS arise for us at different times. More now than it did in the immediate after-math of Joel's death. But JOY is something we hold as a value, a choice we make to walk in daily.

When JOY is a main-stay PEACE walks beside. I have found that the combination of the two is what has sustained us the most.

We have sadness in the loss of Joel. We have sadness in the moments we've lost with Ellis, and how difficult our journey can still be. All of those exist, daily.

Yet the weapon we hold that is more powerful than anything we face, is what we choose to walk in.

We choose to walk in JOY. 

Death has robbed too much from this family. Too many days. Too many moments.

We have a saying in our home-we don't let fear win. Well, we also won't let death win. Or sadness win.

We conquer those things by living from a place of JOY.

There are still days that it is harder to make that decision than others, and sometimes we make it with tears running down our cheeks.

Each morning as I rise I make a choice of where I allow myself to fall. I have found there's no safer place to land, then in the arms of JOY.

Here are some of my recent, favorite and most joyful moments with my family.

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