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Friday, July 15, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Searching for Joy

It's another Friday. Another Friday after another horrifying Thursday. I was in a basketball gym and didn't know what had happened in France until very late last night. I scrolled through my Facebook posts as Drew's team was warming up and I saw a number of vague posts referencing our broken world and evil and fear, but I didn't realize that something else had happened.

It's odd. Our summer sermon series at church is on  Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the spirit. This past Sunday the sermon was on joy. This weekend it will be on peace. I do not believe that our world is bereft of these two. I do not believe that the entire world has gone mad. I believe that there is more good than there is evil. That there is more love than there is hate. There has been, there is and there will again be trouble. This I know because the Bible told me so. I'm not dismissing evil. I'm not discounting it. I'm not ignoring it. In light of the absolute truth that many in our world are desperately broken, I'm going to search for joy today. I'm going to grab hold of it, share it and ask the Lord for help in creating it.

So here are 5 Things on a Friday. Please, do enjoy the joy and let's keep praying that it won't be so terribly hard to find it, it won't be so terribly hard to share it and it won't be so terribly hard to be it for the world today.

Do all the good you can and then come home to your mother

Joe has been in Sneedville, Tennessee with his youth group all week for a mission trip with the Jubilee Project. There was no cell service so I haven't heard his voice or seen his texts in a week and I can't wait for him to get home today. The last text I got from him was about 30 minutes into his 6 hour road trip with his one of the adults going on the trip who happens to be his baseball coach and some other youth including some teenaged girls. I had been all emotional after dropping him off and sent him a mushy text. This is what I got back:

Luckily, one of the youth directors had cell service and sent me a couple of pics of my boy painting the roof of a house and cuddling a sweet baby girl when the youth offered childcare service during the Women's Ministry being held that week. So this is the joy: a kid on his way home, a kid following God's call and a mama watching his friends and him try very hard to carry out the words of John Wesley: 

Do all the good you can, 
By all the means you can, 
In all the ways you can, 
In all the places you can, 
At all the times you can, 
To all the people you can, 
As long as you ever can.

Ode to Joy Flash Mob

In preparation for his sermon on joy last week, our pastor sent this youtube video. You cannot help but smile and cry tears of joy when you watch this. It's perfectly beautiful.


The Chicken Runs at Midnight

You take a baseball coach and you mash it up with an inspiring story about a young cancer fighter and then you mash that up with a  rock solid sign from above that a departed loved one is really not so far away and I AM IN. Steve and I watched this on ESPN last week after church and we could not stop smiling. I PROMISE you that the 15 minutes you will give to watch this will be worth your time. And if you don't believe in signs and messages sent from above?  If you just think that this crazy beautiful story is a matter of coincidence? Just open up that mind a teeny bit, for just a second. Just consider it for a second. In that second, I think, you might feel immeasurable joy. Just try it. 

Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps and Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade from Starbucks

Sometimes joy is in the little things. Especially when you've been running 456 errands and it's approximately 456 degrees and you realize that it's about 456 o'clock and you haven't eaten. These two together are my new favorite things at Starbucks. And if you would have told me a month ago that I would ever go through a drive through and not leave with a large Diet Coke I would have called you bananas. A tea that costs almost $5.00 is definitely bananas, I know. But I can tell you what can make you feel better about that. Pay for the car behind you. It's easy. It's fun. It's being joy in Starbucks drive through line.

Justin Timberlake Joy (of course)

A couple of months ago in the weeks after our friend, Tom, passed away suddenly, I would find myself hard pressed to stop tears coming down my face when I drove Drew to school each morning. I'd try to hide them under my sunglasses, but Drew would know. Automatically, he would take control of the music situation in the car and every single time he would put on a JT song from my Iphone and glance over at me. Pretty soon, we would both start singing and smiling. That boy knows his mama well. Lately, Drew and I have pretty much nailed the Drink You Away lyrics. There is nothing more adorable than looking over at my little guy belting out, "Now, tell me baby! Don't they make a medicine for heeearrttt break?" Which reminds me that the CMA performance of this song which it seems I have mentioned no less than a hundred times is 4 minutes and 31 seconds of pure joy.

Have a great weekend, Friends!!! Take Joy.

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