Bring on the Joy!


“Oh Mommy,… I love that you’re silly!”

We laughed as I hugged him.

Loving, patient, strong, hard-working, respected. We all aspire to these, but is silly in the Top 10?

I’ll be honest, I’m on the nurture side when it comes to silly.   My mom, however, pulsed crazy fun since birth! Dad used to say her comfort zone was the size of Texas.

Mom would flash the dentist with her Billy-Bob fake gold teeth and smile wide, “Can you fix these, boyfriend?!”

That was after dressing up in some outlandish costume, and going backwards through the Timmy’s drive-thru!

Sometimes, this teenage turtle would want to retreat to her shell a little. My birthday falls the day before Christmas, and I cherish God’s timing there, so that all eyes aren’t on me each year.

Our home growing up had its conflicts and struggles. Forgiveness and humility was required daily. Yet something drew others in. We rivalled Grand Central Station with the faces coming and going.

I’m almost certain that Mom’s Triscuit Surprise, and Tomato Rice-Bloat Soup weren’t the drawing cards!

It was the joy spilling out the windows.

It drew in hearts, filled them up and overflowed into others. This gift from abounded, and I quickly learned that life is all about choices.

I can choose to be a greeter or a grump to God’s gift of joy everyday.

When our first bundle was on the way, I wondered what kind of Mom I’d be. I wanted to be completely “me”, to not succumb to society’s expectations.

As the emotional thermostat of the home,could I create a temperature of welcome for others to thrive in? Would I do that well?

Skip ahead six years, and our harvest table is set for five.  Once the plates are cleared and the kiddos are running their usual laps around the kitchen circle, a surprise guest arrives.

Olga the Pickle Maker enters from stage right, with her rich heritage and rather hairy chin!

She’s a bit gruff at first, but warms up after some breaded schnitzel.  The kids are thrilled when they discover that Olga can turn just about anything into pickles! Her visits are spontaneous, but always warmly received. She has requested no photography be taken…thank goodness!

Silly somehow may have become second-nature here. Thanks to some help from our lively crew.  Fun costumes to crazy outings, dance parties to eating donuts on a string. The result? Deeper connection with our kids. A wide invitation for joy to reside. A shorter drive from terrible tantrum to terrific day.

Joy is waiting. Let’s choose to take those small steps from our comfort zone to the kid zone…. and build a home of joy right where we are!


10 thoughts on “Bring on the Joy!

  1. Thanks for that Sue! It brought back many memories for me. You are right, it was probably not the triscuit surprise – Maybe the Kalua and milk in the afternoon though- just kidding! I had never had that before 😊
    I learned much and am a different person due to her example. You have big shoes to fill Sue but from what I have seen, you are up to the challenge. Good work – keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! This is good, and I have felt the tugging reminder to ‘have fun’ more and not have to be so serious all the time! I wasn’t always so serious after all! Need to tap into this ‘before motherhood’ and ‘before life got serious for me after tragedy’ side again!

    Liked by 1 person

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