A Maraton of Trying Moments – A Sweet Gift

cleaning house 

Since my last post, Jay and I have experienced a marathon of trying moments. Moving ahead toward selling our house, we’ve cleaned, sorted, pitched and prayed. Next, the realtor took pictures and created a web site for us. (You might want to look at our pictures before you envision what you’re about to read. It’s 207grandview.com )

Last week, we were finally ready for the right person to see our house. Or so we thought. Alas, I had an accident with the Easy-Off.  True to its name, it didn’t just take the grime off the oven racks. It stripped the finish of a section of our beautiful hardwood kitchen floor. In order to have the floor refinished, we had to remove everything from the kitchen and stay off the floor for four days.

Meanwhile, the guys came today to clean our bedroom carpets. So now our house is a total wreck! The refrigerator is in the dining room where the table is filled with necessities from the kitchen. We’ve been making coffee in the bathroom and toasting our breakfast on the porch. And every room is piled with things that aren’t where they’re supposed to be.

This morning, Jay and I were venting about all the work and our frustration over having to “camp out” in our house. That is, until I checked my email and discovered a “wake-up call” from our sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Abigail.  Her military family is in the process of moving from Kansas to Pennsylvania for a year.

This isn’t an easy move for Abigail, the oldest of four girls. She’ll spend her senior year in a different school.  Giving up her horse has been especially hard for her. And yet, this precious teenager has decided to choose joy over misery. Thus she began her blog. choosingjoy365.wordpress.com  

I’d like to share her last post with you. I read this to Jay this morning and we both cried. It was a sweet reminder of the rewards of choosing joy during trying times. I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed us.



stick horses

A Sweet Gift by Abigail Payne

A strange thing has happened in our home. Our entire dining room table and living room couch set are gone. Poof! The packers came a few days ago to pack all the furniture we’ll be putting in storage before moving to PA. The living room is now the ultimate space for dancing. Or jumping. I literally spent a whole afternoon with my youngest two sisters making jumps out of laundry baskets, pillows, benches and walking sticks. We created entire courses, complete with strides and lead changes and then had a whole horse show in our living room…minus the horses! As we were utilizing the empty space for a fun and silly game, I realized how much my sisters valued the fact that I chose to join them in the game. We played together like old times and had fun. In fact, we shared joy.

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.” Mark Twain

Joy is such a sweet gift; it is too sweet to not be shared. And it is true that our joys are even fuller in value when they are shared with others. God gives us gifts and calls us to share them. Joy is no exception. Whether we share our joy through a moment of pleasure or through words of love or through a simple smile, our joy grows exponentially more when we share it than when we keep it ourselves. I adore each one of my sisters, but sometimes it’s hard to connect with them and share joy with them because we are all so different. Just by shaking off all our maturity for a few hours and leaping over stacks of pillows, laughing more often than not and encouraging one another to get our “lead changes”, my sisters and I shared joyful moments that otherwise could have been a boring “what do we do now?” experience. There are always moments when we are given a choice to partake in joy with others or keep it to ourselves. The latter usually leads to a loss of joy altogether while the first route expounds joy.

I’ve been trying to make the first choice more often, and I hope and pray that you will begin to see how you can, too. You may not be jumping over laundry baskets in the living room, but opportunities to share joy are always out there.

Joyfully, Abigail      

                                           Abigail on her horse

Abigail on her horse

P.S. I know the Payne family would appreciate your prayers as they make this move. And please pray for Abigail’s sister Sarah. She is serving this summer with Teen Missions in Honduras.  

Payne family in the woods

Payne family in Alaska

Thanks, dear reader, for bearing with me during this crazy time in our lives. Please pray for us to choose joy during our trying moments. Meanwhile, I pray the same thing for you. As Abigail says, “Joy is too sweet not to be shared.”

Has anyone shared their joy with you lately? What did it mean to you?

 woman on computer



2 Responses to “A Maraton of Trying Moments – A Sweet Gift”
  1. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    I wish I could be there to help you out. I know the Lord has some amazing things in store for you as He does for Abigail and the Paynes and the Tylers. Abigail’s post also so brought tears to my eyes as she provided such a sweet reminder of the fact that being joyful is a choice we make. We are so blessed as a family and it all goes back to you and Dad and the foundation of prayer and trust you have instilled in all of us. I am excited to see His plan unfold for all of you in transition, what a ride! Love you.

    • Thank you, sweet daughter. You are such an encouragement to our whole family. I think of you when I watch what a wonderful influence Abigail has been to her sisters. You set the standard high and your sisters stepped up to the challenge. Thanks for your faithfulness, wisdom and insights.
      Love you, Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: