J O Y Grows

Recipe Testers,

A remarkable thing happened that I never expected.  After I wrote the email on Finding J O Y a friend emailed me a picture of these three J O Y plants that her sister had sent to her.  Then I found a sign in a store window that said J O Y, took a picture and posted it to Facebook.  Then my daughter found a card with the word J O Y on it and said "mom, you will love this."  It all began by unintentionally by accident.  And of course because it is the holiday season J O Y is going to turn up perhaps more than usual so to many of you this perhaps doesn't seem that remarkable.  But then friends began to send me gifts that said J O Y, other friends posted pictures they took of J O Y.  I then thought I would just begin to look for daily J O Y.  Which is funny because we looked for weeks to find our J O Y stocking holders so I thought it would be a bit of a challenge.  Well it keeps showing up in unexpected places from a bag of coffee that was sitting on a shelf while I was waiting in line at a store to lights on a friends lawn as I was leaving their house.  And the day I found the lights of J O Y on my friend's lawn was the day I thought I just wasn't going to find one and I was okay with that.  Then it is dark and we are leaving and walking to the car and there is J O Y radiating at us from the house.  My friend's husband gave it to her as a Christmas gift because he said she brings him J O Y.

I can't post all the pictures because there are so many but hopefully this gives you a slight sample of the variety of ways J O Y continued to come into my life.  The gifts have been such an unexpected surprise.  Some have brought me to tears and others have put the biggest smile on my face.  And they give J O Y not only to me but to my daughters as well.

I had a friend write to me that J O Y is really a "state of your heart."  It isn't when things are always going right or are perfectly happy.  J O Y is a bit like Grace but with a little bounce to it.  J O Y is Grace skipping.  J O Y is the passion that comes from the expectation of good.  Joy is the belief that good will come.  The belief that people are good at heart.  That good will come despite pain.  That good will come after a hardship or tragedy.  J O Y is also the serene feeling in your heart of helping someone else.  Of showing them there is still a sparkle or light in their life.

I just wondered as this season of J O Y was coming to an end if I should continue to look for daily J O Y or wait until next year.

Well I'm laying in bed this morning reading my email on my phone.  I subscribe to these Thoughts for the Day from Oprah's web site.  (sign up on Oprah.com if you are looking for inspiring articles by Martha Beck, Eckart Tolle, links to all the Master Classes and Life Classes.  I was never able to really watch much of Oprah's TV show because I don't really watch TV but her magazine moved mountains for me and now all this great stuff is on her web site and I find that I can read some really terrific articles on my iphone while I'm waiting to pick Melissa up from tutoring or waiting in the car for Katherine at ballet.)

So back to reading my email.  Here is the quote that came in this morning:

"I know for sure that's what we're here to do:  Keep the joy thing going for all seasons." --Oprah

I felt like I got my answer loud and clear.  So I will continue to look for daily J O Y, celebrate the J O Y I find from being with my girls and share this feeling, this state of heart with all of the people I love.

J O Y to all of you!



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