Joy. Pure joy!
She ran, skipped, and jumped along the path through the ‘jungle’.
The spark of joy revealed in her eyes at the sight of the flower-strewn path was absolutely priceless.
I could feel her excitement as clearly as I could see it on her face. If the essence of pure joy were to ever be bottled, I think it would contain energy dispersed by two year old children at play!
The third candle of advent is JOY.
I’ve anticipated this holiday trip that we are currently on for many months. I counted down the weeks and days with excitement. Each moment of the 27 hours that we spent journeying to Australia from Belize was worth every second. Our time of traveling brought us to a place of hugs, laughter, smiles, story times, climbing towers, pushing swings, dressing stuffed animals, and baking cookies.
The trip was long, the wait was hard, but the joy we felt upon arrival erased the aches and pains of all the miles that separate us from family.
Many years ago, before our children were born, Tom’s grandmother Sharp baked Christmas cookies for us.
Tom’s mother picked up the tradition for our kids, and now it’s my turn with our son’s children.
Our children are 30 and 27. Our youngest was home with us for Christmas for the last time in 2012. We have only put up a tree once in the last five years. It’s been hard to find joy in an empty nest at Christmas.
Here, with our granddaughter, the joy is infectious. My heart swells with anticipation as we awaken each morning to discover what songs and stories she will enlighten us with for the day. I relax as my heart rises above the emotional hardships and the years of longing to grandparent in real life.
Joy creeps in as I marvel at the wonder in her eyes and cherish the hope born from her laughter.
I understand why a candle of JOY is needed as we countdown the days until the celebration of Christ’s birth. Light cannot be overcome by darkness and the light of His joy is powerful enough to penetrate the human spirit.
I am grateful for my encounter with joy as my husband and I wait with our son and his family for the birth of their second child!
May God also fill your eyes with wonder and light up every corner of your life with His joy as you await the celebration of our King!