Embracing Joy…

I have had some thoughts milling around in my mind.  I wanted to share it here.  Some folks might find it odd that I would put it out there to the world but quite frankly as I have so neglected this poor blog I am not sure that there are that many people who will even read this.  A few days ago I shared this quote on this blogs Facebook page;I writeI could relate to this quote because sometimes when I sit down to write I have an idea of what I want to say but as I put words to paper or in this case screen, it takes a different turn.  Sometimes I am even surprised by what the end product looks like.  I say all that because I really feel like as I write these thoughts down they will take shape.   Right now things are still a bit jumbled, I know what I want to say it is just the getting it out creatively and coherently.

I have had a feeling of unrest in me lately.  I wouldn’t say I was irritable, but, there was something not right. 

Some folks might call that still small voice one hears their conscience, for me I believe that is God nudging me.  I felt for a while that God was trying to show me something but I felt like I was in a fog and couldn’t quite make it out.  When the fog cleared, I did not want to admit what I saw in regards to myself was true.

I realized I had walked away from JOY.  Not that I was sombre and completely devoid of fun to the point that no one wanted to be around me.  I am not talking about happiness, or even contentment.  I am talking about that soul piercing, unexplainable trust, state of hope, and exceeding peace, that comes from placing ones life in God’s hands.  You know the hymn, “It is Well With My Soul“?  That is JOY.  If you aren’t familiar with it follow the link it is worth a listen.Embracing Joy

Don’t think I lost faith or anything like that I just wasn’t resting in that JOY.

So the question begged to be asked, “Why?”

As I looked at my uneasiness and why I was holding JOY at arm’s length.  I figured it out.  I was afraid, I was afraid that if I embraced JOY for all it was and let it flow out of me to everyone I met, than….

(Read really fast like I am blurting it out…)  


“Than everyone would think that everything is okay, that Joel is okay, then people might forget him, they might stop praying, people won’t see that we still need help and encouragement!!”


By holding back in some weird way I felt I was, oh I don’t know protecting Joel.  You see he looks good, really good.  Sure he got a wee bit pale this winter, but his colour is good, he has added weight, he is walking, running, and even jumping, maybe not as well as his peers, but he looks REALLY good.  Often people will tell us how good he looks, and I assume they think he is completely healed.

Joel has decided he wants to grow his hair a bit, so even the telltale sign of what he has been through is almost all covered up with hair (his scar).  To look at him he doesn’t look any different from any other 8-year-old.  When he was bald I had no problem embracing JOY, as it was obvious he needed prayer, that we needed prayer.

Joel has lots of issues that looking at the outside you just can’t see, (I will get to a Joel update post, it is coming).

So there I stood looking at my rather ridiculous fear, and left with a choice, was I going to leave things as they were or was I going to EMBRACE JOY?

Worst case scenario; Everyone does forget that Joel has issues (unlikely), no one ever lifts up a prayer for him.  Even if that were to happen the truth is God knows every little hair on his head.  God knows what Joel is thinking even when he is having a hard time finding his words.  God knows all his strengths and weaknesses.

God knows.  

That is enough.  

I have embraced Joy again, and I am at peace.  Life is not perfect, some times it is messy, but even in the mess there is JOY!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13

Marking Time…

We mark time in all sorts of ways, weeks, months, seasons, years, birthday and anniversaries.  Most are enjoyable, but not all of these are pleasant, yet we still mark time by them.  It has been 4 years since…

Today as I woke up, I was tired, I have been fighting off some form of a bug for over 2 weeks now, that being said I felt capable and ready to meet this day, (even though it took me an embarrassing amount to time to get out of bed.)

An odd turn of events ended up showing me that on this particular day I am still just a tad bit more fragile than I would like to admit.  We had a card left in our door today from the SPCA, apparently someone expressed concerned about our St. Bernard being out in the snow.  She is outside on nice days, if the weather is poor she is inside, and she always spends the night inside.

I reacted, I felt judged.  I would like to think on another day I could have let this roll off me.  On another day I would not feel so vulnerable.  On another day I would not have had my mind clouded with tough memories.  I’ll never know because it was today that they stopped by.  I still marvel at how one totally unrelated event can have an impact on another.

Today is the day where I weigh the good and the bad of the last 4 years.  4 years seems like such a long time, yet the day to day living of those years, makes it seem much shorter.  Not all healing is immediate, and sometimes it is much slower when you are so desperate for it to be fast.  Sometimes healing doesn’t come the way we picture it.

Today I remember again every little detail, I remember how the early morning light cast a shadow across the rather stark room.  I remember the sounds and smells.  I remember fear, courage and peace all mingled together with smiles, tears, and waiting.  Today I remembered his sweet little hand reaching up to rub my cheek before he was taken away to surgery.  I remember how strong he was, how, ugh, for lack of a better word, normal he was.  I guess that is just it he was normal, he was strong, he was fast, funny, full of mischief… and then. Joel7 Joel 7Joel 6 joel 1 joel2

Neurosurgeons have a saying, “You ain’t never the same when the air hits your brain.”  There is even a book with the title, When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales of Neurosurgery.  It is true in Joel’s case, he isn’t the same.  He is different. He is still my little guy, he is alive and for that I am beyond grateful, I am not sure that there is a word in the English language that adequately describes just how grateful I am that he is here.joel3 Joel 5

Yet even after 4 years I miss him, I guess a little less each day. so strong He is at a new normal.  There are many things that make him different, (I have been planning a Joel update and I will get to that soon,) yet in many ways he is still Joel.  He still loves music and desperately wants to learn to play the guitar.  Even though he is still just at the strumming stage he has been invited to join one of the worship teams at church on occasion.  We have been so blessed with folks in our lives that take Joel as he is, isn’t that how we should be with everyone?  Sadly that isn’t always the case though.Joel Church

Joel is creative and still loves a good adventure…Joel8He is still funny and mischievous at times.  A few weeks ago in church our pastor was preaching about the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.  When it was first built it was beyond anything that we could imagine it was so richly adorned with gold.   When it was rebuilt later it lacked the adornment that the original one had, our pastor talked about how those days were gone, they could not go back to the days of the first temple.  My comparison isn’t that Joel lacks the wealth of his days before surgery but only that we cannot go back to those days.  Yes those days were great days we lived a very different life, but we can not go back.

The new temple was cherished and so are these new days, they present new challenges, yet they are not without hope.

It is an odd thing to grieve a living child that was.  With the passing of time it becomes easier.  I think what has caused this drawn out process is that we were led to believe by a few that over time things would return to normal.  I guess they have, a new normal.Joel 9To the SPCA worker I suppose you were just doing your job, and you caught us on a tough day.



Hand & Homemade Mondays: Practise Makes Perfect


Welcome to Hand & Homemade Mondays, a weekly link up of all the creative things we have been up to.  Feel free to share anything Hand or Homemade.  It can be something you have sewn, knit, crocheted.  A painting, a piece of furniture you have re-finished, woodworking, you name it.  It can even be a new [...]

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Hand & Homemade Mondays ~ Learning to Knit

Baby Samuel

Welcome to Hand & Homemade Mondays, a weekly link up of all the creative things we have been up to.  Feel free to share anything Hand or Homemade.  It can be something you have sewn, knit, crocheted.  A painting, a piece of furniture you have re-finished, woodworking, you name it.  It can even be a new [...]

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Hand & Homemade Mondays : Warmth

PicMonkey Collage scarf 1

Welcome to Hand & Homemade Mondays, a weekly link up of all the creative things we have been up to.  Feel free to share anything Hand or Homemade.  It can be something you have sewn, knit, crocheted.  A painting, a piece of furniture you re-finished, woodworking, you name it.  It can even be a new recipe [...]

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Hand and Homemade Mondays ~ Hearts & Snakes

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I have been wanting to make a weekly post about ‘Homemade’ items.  Lately we are always making something around here.  It is with much fear and trepidation that I even consider doing a weekly post.  Those who read here often know just how well I do at weekly posts.  Last year was a rather pathetic [...]

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Ginger~Straight from the Root : January’s Featured Herb

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*Sorry folks had meant to post this in January be watching for February’s Herb. I have been sick, a lot lately.  I do not remember ever before in my life being quite so run down.  Our family has a cough that we just cannot get rid of.  It started in October; just when I think [...]

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Simplify #1

Our room1

I really don’t know how long I have been talking about simplifying things, downsizing, re-organizing things.  Friends and family would probably laugh and say I sound like a broken record, and there is truth in that.  While to some I may seem very organized, the reality is I am a great starter and a lousy [...]

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Looking Forward…

fresh snow

Ahh there are few things I enjoy as much as a fresh start.  I love new days, the first of the week, a new school year, and of course, a brand new year!  A NEW YEAR, with no mistakes in it yet, oh they will come, I know that, but it is fresh with endless [...]

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First Week of Advent

Advent 1st Sunday

I had wanted to post before Advent even began, of course, as you can clearly see I did not make that happen.  I have decided to write when I can even if it does not fit my ideals.  This time of year is busy.  We try our best to keep Christmas simple and for the [...]

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