Joy: Do you remember?

This is a personal reflection kinda post. Read on to see how a silly movie–I thought I would nap through–some reflection on loss and a song filled with nonsense words, helped me get my joy on this holiday season. joy order

Wise Woman: “I’m worried about you, Ang. You’ve lost your joy! Your daughter has it. You need to find it again. I remember you laughing and laughing and making everyone around laugh too.”

Crap. She was right. I was totally Grinching it!

Do you remember?

I set out to find me some joy in time for Christmas. At first, I approached it like trying to find a shoe in the back of my closet. I threw everything out of my schedule, thinking joy was hiding under a bunch of clutter and overdoing.

Next, I prayed/demanded, “Dear God, give me some joy.” I was thinking God delivered like Amazon Prime. If I ordered my joy by 2 p.m., I could get free 2 day shipping.  The UPS truck would be here with my package of joy by the weekend.

Then, I got mad. I mean really, it’s been a rough year. So.Much.Loss. You’ve had this kind of year too, right? You know…you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. What else could go wrong? Was it even right to feel joyful this holiday?

Say that you remember…never was a cloudy day.

I plugged some Joyce Meyer podcasts into my ears. Definitely moving in the right direction. Joyce is positive, funny, and always makes God’s love relatable. I laughed…a little joy.

Love was changing the minds of pretenders.

Dad dancing
My dad, Gram & cousin rockin’ out at our wedding

I thought about the amazing people my family has lost recently. Some of the most joyful people EVER. I thought about their lives from my new perspective as a 44- year-old woman, instead of daughter, grandkid, niece, and cousin. Wow. They made my life look soooo easy! I saw all the great losses they endured. They lost parents, spouses and children when they were way, way younger than I am now.

And, they still lived such joyful lives!

They made every holiday joyful for us! We all mourn in different ways and grief is unpredictable. But, my dad, grandparents, aunts and cousin—never let mourning get in the way of joy, especially at Christmas. It has always been food, and fun, and stories, and perfectly selected presents and some awful thing called “cup cheese.” You know what I’m talking about, dear Baker family.

I needed to tap into their joy. But how?

Remember how the stars stole the night away?

I went to see “Trolls”  with some of my favorite kids–thinking I would take a nap during the movie. Soph was singing and dancing in her seat. It was like magic. Like my dad, and his choir of angels were sending a very clear message to get my joy on…

Those silly Trolls started singing my all-time favorite nonsense word-filled song, Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.”

Remember that true love we share today…Say that you remember…dancing in September…never was a cloudy day.

My aha! I didn’t need to clean out the closet, beg God for the demanded package of joy to be delivered via Amazon Prime or spend one more second mad about how unfair life and death are.

I just needed to remember my joy. I plugged into Soph’s joy, the nonsense words of “September”, and the joy God was already offering me through all these fun kids and families in my life. I remembered the joy of dancing with those we have lost. We danced at my Gram’s funeral. For real. It’s a dancing kind of family.  I remembered the gifts of joy they gave me every Christmas.

Now there was ringing and our souls were singing…

Welcome back, joy. It’s good to be with you this holiday.

What are you doing to tap into joy this busy Christmas season? Leave a comment or share a picture or a link to what’s helping you remember your joy.