Sunday, February 3, 2019

Corresponding Joy


What a great word. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. To rejoice.

Even saying it is fun. “Joy”

This morning, while sitting at our kitchen table, I said it a number of times. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. JOY. joy. JOYYYY. Yes, it’s a great word. (And yes, I realize that I sound kinda of nuts.)

You see, I haven’t been feeling it. I mean, at all. Nothing. And yes, I hear you . . . I know that it is OK not to feel it. I know that we are going through some stuff and we are processing and grieving and working on it and feel what we should feel and everything is normal. I know that I am doing ok. But I have been in such a funk that I have struggled to SMILE some days. And if you know me, you know that smiling is one of my things. But my heart . . . my heart is broken.

When I woke this morning, I told myself that I have to try to find something to bring JOY to my soul.

Today, dear friends, I am making a conscious decisions to fill myself with joy. With bright colors and happy reading and journal drawing and letter writing and good coffee and . . .  joy.

It is harder than one would think. But today, I feel like I have to try. I felt dark last night. Alone. So very sad. I wanted to sleep. I was achy and drained. We had two really nice classes at the Art Shoppe during the day, so it was a productive day. But when I got home last evening, I was just . . . down.

When I woke this morning, I opened all the blinds and shades in the house to let some natural light
 in. As I walked from room to room, I knew I needed something more. The light felt good, but it wasn’t enough. Quickly I went to my “bag-o-fun” that I keep in the corner of our living room (it my junk bag of inspiration that hold things that make me happy), and I pulled out the necessities. I told myself, “that’s it - we have to work for the joy today. So let’s bring it,” and I piled the kitchen table with those things that I love. Inspirational magazines I have collected in the past few months that I haven’t cracked open once, specific cards I have bought for dear loved ones that I haven’t mailed, a bright colored art journal and some new pastels and colored pencils I haven’t used nearly enough, my favorite pencil, and my Frida headband of flowers . . . because, you know, Frida makes everything better. Oh, and an Iced coffee - that I made in Laura’s to-go cup that my brother-in-law had given to me . . . because when you have the same initial as your sister, you are pretty lucky (for a whole bunch of reasons.)

I scattered my goodies on the table, and sat for a minute.


These are the things that get my heart to stir a little. These are the things that bring me joy. And for a brief few minutes right here, I remembered what it felt like. My heart . . . stirred, and I thought, “It’s not gone. You still have it. You will find it again.”

It’s funny how you go through these periods of such intense sadness in your life - in your head, you know you will get through it - but deep in your heart, you wonder if you will ever find the joy again. Maybe it’s just me. But my friends, I truly have wondered.

So this morning, I wanted to share it with you. To let you know that I felt it. That I know it is there. And I know I will feel it again. I just have to work to find it, sometimes.

And my dear friends, I hope you have it in you. The Joy.

And may you have it this very moment.

Thank you for being here, as always.



  1. Leanne, thanks for sharing this! JOY! Is my favorite word!! Praying you will see and feel glimpses of it each and every day as you continue on this journey healing your broken heart!

  2. Oh, sweet I sit here and read this "page" from your heart, I am taken back to those days...those first days after losing Kaylee. Those days that turned into weeks and months...those days that still visit this day. I am taken back and don't even need to close my eyes to feel as though you could have also been describing me. And, YES, to all of the "it's ok, we're doing our best, this is the new normal, this is what is to be expected with this depth of pain and heartache, etc". The truest part is the fact that we don't always talk about...the looking for...the seeking JOY. But, it is this part that is one of the most beneficial gifts we can give our hearts ~ the hug that says it's ok to need to go looking for it some days, many days. Because here's the beauty ~ and, you found it ~ it IS there! :) It is sooo there, and it will wait for us, it will allow us to come to it in our own time, it will stand back sometimes and just let us find our way slowly...but, the greatest gift of JOY is that it so often doesn't hold back, wait on us, give us time to get just starts showing up when we least expect it. And, something I have loved witnessing on my journey, and you've seen me share it many times, is that it might even be later...after the fact...that we realize that was JOY hugging us! Maybe I was too emotionally tired at that particular moment, maybe my heart was so full and heavy with the grief that everything was foggy, maybe I just didn't even have it in me to recognize it. But, don't you worry, that JOY...oh, boy, it is sassy, and it makes sure you get the fact that it was there all along! :) I have had so many days in these past 3 years that left me wondering if I would ever just FEEL joy and not the struggle to try to find it and encourage it to stay with me. It's those days that led me to an understanding of acceptance...acceptance of the grief. It was when I decided to become friends with grief that I really began to see that JOY had been there all along, had not ever left my side, and would always be my buddy. That's when I realized that grief and joy really can coexist. I think there are so many things in life that want to tell us that they can't...that it's one or the other. And, this is just not true. When we lose someone we love sooo deeply, I believe grief journeys with us forever. And, JOY makes it bearable...JOY holds out its hand and pulls us from that moment we think we can't breathe through, JOY helps us make our way out into the world to walk the fur baby or go to the grocery store ~ it tells us WE CAN DO IT!, and JOY is the very thing that is going to keep showing up for us, shining the light on the path and helping us to always find a way to see in the darkness of grief. Thank you for sharing your JOY and your beautiful heart...I have days when my mind gets trapped in the very deep. Some days that is just how that day is going to be, while other days I can move from it easier. Thank you for this reminder...I think of you so much already, and I know you will be on my heart in those moments when I'm searching for it a little harder, reminding me I'm not alone. :) I'm pretty sure that moment is gonna feel like a group hug with you, Laura, Kaylee, and myself! :) Love you!

    1. Ann-Margaret . . . . I have no words. Other than, some day I hope to meet you in person and give you a big JOYful hug. This comment is one I need to copy and print out and read day after day. My heart ❤️. Thank you, my friend.

  3. Leanne, I can see the joy on that table! And yes, I can see it's in you. The smiles I have seen in this last month have been missing the smiling eyes, but I have faith that I will see and feel the change in good time. I truly believe you've had joyful moments in the last 1 1/2 months, but they didn't feel that way because Laura wasn't here with you to share those moments.

    1. I love you, Peg. Could not do it with out you.

  4. I have a plaque in my guest room that says, 'Find Joy in the Journey' That's what life is all about. We have so many trials in our journey of life and even though some are incredibly hard, we still have to find the Joy. I'm am so sorry about your sister I can't even imagine what that would be like but I do hope you can find your way through this hard time and find some Joy along the way. I'm sure you have so many wonderful memories that you can hang on too. Praying for peace and joy for you.

    1. Oh, my friend . . . To say that I am so grateful to you for being here is an understatement. Thank you for your support and kind kind words, much love.

  5. You just wait. You are going to be oozing joy in March. How? Because I owe you one. Or a few. ;-)


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