joyOn Tuesday I cried out of sure joy. You see, Juliana started walking last week. Her teacher had been telling us how she was manipulating her way around the classroom. We hadn’t seen that level of activity at home so her teacher recorded it and sent it to us. I was baffled and excited. So we talked about how we might be able to get her to duplicate her efforts at home. She did just that.

We started out on last Thursday just trying to get her to commit to two continuous transitions; one from the kitchen to the garage; the other from her room to the stairs. She mastered them easily and we were so shocked. By that Friday, she was walking all over the house and not just during her scheduled times. Then Saturday, she took off. We went to Home Depot to get supplies for Juliana’s new bed and that’s when she let it loose; up and down the aisles exploring tools and hardware.

My husband Lamar and I talked about the excitement of Juliana’s walking. He posted the video to his Blog and we spent the day texting, calling and emailing family and friends to let them know that we were calling it: Juliana is officially walking! That night we talked more about this much awaited time and what it meant to us and our family. I told Lamar that one of our friends asked me how happy I was and how much I cried. I told her that I had not cried. Hmmmm. Odd. I cry at everything. So when he asked me again about crying I told him that I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t cry.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning. As I sat at the computer sipping my coffee and waiting for the snow to fall, I noticed that Lamar had placed her debut walking video on the desktop. I opened the video and watched it about five times in a row laughing so hard at each viewing. Then the tears started to flow. Sheer joy and praise filled my heart. I thought about the rough day I had on Monday when Juliana had a big BM accident. And then I remembered that as I washed her from head to toe in the tub, I told her that it was okay that she had made a mess; that I was put here to take care of her and I would do just that. With the ups and downs of all this, the good things still overshadow the things that are not so good. I sit here now thinking of my heavenly father and what he has done in my life through my children and especially Juliana. I think about the grace he extends me each day when I am a mess and when I mess up. He loves me when I am not kind and when I’m short and snappy. I am overwhelmed to think of that.

Have you experienced true joy? I hope so. Happiness is fleeting, but joy is in your spirit and it stays there through thick and thin. I’m not writing this to get on a religious soapbox or convince anyone of anything. My faith is a part of me and each person decides their own spiritual path. I am just in awe of the turns of my life because we were open to take on the challenge of parenthood. What are you taking on? What is bringing you joy? And if there is nothing you can name at this moment what will you do to help joy come?


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