Tally Time: Spread Joy

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The Ultimate Blog Party is going on until Friday. I'm glad I jumped in. So many new and "old" friends over there. It is always fun, interesting, and humbling to see who is out there in blogland. Wow. Go check it out.

Now, on to today's Faith Jam: Experiencing Joy.

I have a memory of my grandmother in a faded red gingham apron, with the words "Spread Joy" in block letters stamped across the front.


(A lot like this. . . which I want now.)

I don't know if my memory is correct - she may not have worn such an apron, but she did often use the phrase, "Spread joy." It is something I still associate her, even though she has been gone for many years now.

In thinking about joy, my grandmother's phrase came to mind, because I believe she was right: The best way to experience joy is to spread joy. The returns multiply.

I live this phenomenon almost daily with my children. When I spread joy to them, they return it to me by the overflowing cup. Sometimes literally by the overflowing cup, and as such, joy spreading can be a forced effort on my part. When I don't feel joyful or generous, things always work out better if I smile anyway. If I sit down and play, run with the ball, answer a question (again), bake cookies or hold my tongue. . . the reward always comes. A flicker of light across a grumpy face, a cuddle, a kiss, or more frequently, growth before my eyes.

Then, joy.

Joy!

It is tempting to think that I spread joy myself. That my forced effort got the joy snowball rolling until it picked up speed and smacked me in the face. I know better. In those moments, when I finally see the joy, I know that God has been at work. There is no cosmic snowball. It is just that my eyes have been opened and I finally see what was there all along: family, love, messes, tears . . . and in the middle of it all, joy.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8


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10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Tally Time: Spread Joy”

  1. You're very close, Court - it was a pink gingham apron that I made and stamped those words on for her many, many years ago - before I learned to do counted cross stitch, or it would have been classier. But she proudly wore it when we were visiting. Looked just like your picture above except pink. Thank you for the nice memory and the sweet post. Mom did spread a lot of joy.

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  2. "It is just that my eyes have been opened and I finally see what was there all along: family, love, messes, tears . . . and in the middle of it all, joy."

    That's it exactly. And when we obey, even grudgingly, God lets us see what's there.

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  3. I, too, was touched by last sentence....like Joy said! Good stuff!!!

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  4. Thank you! I needed this today as I was not seeing the joy this morning. :)

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  5. "The best way to experience joy is to spread joy."
    Amen. So true. I get to go to a birthday celebration tonight for my 17-yr-old neighbor and hopefully spread some joy to her!

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  6. This is beautiful and true. I just need to remember to smile anyway when I'm pressed in.

    Thanks for visiting with me. I appreciate it.

    Enjoy the party!

    Very nice blog. I'm now following you!

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Spread joy!" What a gift to know a joyful piece of your grandma through this post.

    "The best way to experience joy is to spread joy." I think that's why I enjoy meeting up with friends. It's a joy fest, even if we're just sharing and shooting the breeze. Thanks for the passing on this wisdom, Courtney.

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  8. This is beautiful and true. I just need to remember to smile anyway when I'm pressed in.

    Thanks for visiting with me. I appreciate it.

    Enjoy the party!

    Very nice blog. I'm now following you!

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're very close, Court - it was a pink gingham apron that I made and stamped those words on for her many, many years ago - before I learned to do counted cross stitch, or it would have been classier. But she proudly wore it when we were visiting. Looked just like your picture above except pink. Thank you for the nice memory and the sweet post. Mom did spread a lot of joy.

    ReplyDelete