Our congregation’s youth group planned and hosted a Trunk or Treat event recently. The costumes were creative, clever, complicated, and sometimes a bit challenging when the parts didn’t stay together quite right. People were ingenious in decorating their trunks … the Green Team’s tribute to recycling, the Teddy Bear Tea Party, and the giant spider’s lair were just a few of the imaginative decorations! The lawn bowling with pumpkins was a great hit. And there was lots of delicious food to be shared. The Nuclear Zombie Haunted House was spooky, scary, and just a little too real! Throughout the evening the common thread that tied the evening together was laughter and joy.
I hold on tightly to times like this. Gatherings with friends, neighbors, and family when we laugh together with great abandon are precious. It seems like I can actually feel my body and spirit filling up with joy. By the end of a joyful evening, I realize my face almost hurts from smiling and laughing for hours! Then the next day begins and one thing after another seems to deflate that sense of joyfulness as if it were a balloon with a slow leak. If I’m not careful, my storehouse of joy is soon empty.
A few times throughout the year my beloved and I sit down to intentionally fill up our storehouse of joy. We pull out our computers and scan the photos from recent, and not-so-recent, events. We look through Facebook posts, and review our calendars to remember the people we connected with and the things we did that brought us joy. This exercise also motivates us to make sure we are scheduling more joyful moments in the future!
Our storehouse of joy keeps our spirits light, our attitudes positive, our sense of hope strong. We draw from this rich treasure during the darkest days and the heaviest moments, those times when we need to be reminded that life is good, joy is abundant, and love prevails.
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