Tag Archives: #joy

A Good Friend Helps in Times of Struggle

There really are no words to describe the special connection between a grandparent and a grandchild. Jokingly, grandparents tease by saying, “If only we could have had the grandchildren first.” 😉

Grandmas and grandpas learn so much from their grandchildren. A few lessons we’ve learned from our four grandkids are:

   ❤ Becoming a better listener,

   ❤ Cultivating patience,

   ❤ Awakening curiosity,

❤ Staying active,

   ❤ Finding joy in the simple things,

   ❤ Laughing and having great fun, and…

   ❤ Discovering having great fun is A LOT of work the older we get. 😜

Not only do grandparents learn from their grandkids, our grandchildren learn from us. I think of my hubby who has more patience than anyone I know. He is a great role-model for this character trait. He also loves to do projects, so he invites the grands to explore and create with him.

We can also teach our grandchildren about our faith. I had this opportunity arise recently.

Camping is something we love to do. When the grandchildren can’t come to the camper, then we bring the camper to our grandkids.

A few weekends ago was filled with tons of camping activities. One of those was swimming. The grands were going to get their swimsuits on. My granddaughter and I were in the camper and no rooms were available to get dressed with privacy. I offered to hold up a blanket for her while she changed clothes. She accepted.

About three minutes had passed and I asked her how she was doing. She responded she was almost done. I told her I was thankful because my arms were getting tired from holding up the blanket. This brought a bible story to mind so I shared it with her while I continued to hold up the blanket and she finished dressing.

“Sibyl, this reminds me of a story in the bible. Have you heard the story of Moses holding up his staff?”

“I haven’t, Grandma.”

“Moses was leading his people to freedom. While they were traveling, they ran into some people who wanted to fight them. Moses had a staff, or a big stick, that God had given him to use to protect them. When Moses held up this staff, his people were winning the war against the bad guys. When he lowered his arms and the staff, they would start to lose. Two of his friends saw how hard it was for him to hold up his arms for that long so they went to him to help him out. His friends found a spot for him to sit down, and then one friend stood on one side of Moses, and the other friend stood on the other side. They held up his arms for him. Moses and his people won the battle. Isn’t that a great friend to have, Sibs?”

“It is, Grandma.”

“I have a friend like that. I know my friend would help me out and support me whenever I really needed the help. I hope you find a friend or two like that, Sibs.”

“Me, too, Grandma. I’m done.”

Down went the blanket and, off to the pool we went.

Grandchildren bring so much love and hope and joy to our lives. Hopefully we grandparents bring a little of those things to theirs too (with a lot of spoiling to boot). There is no better gift than the special connection we have with each grandchild. Let’s never stop sharing our faith with them.

Stay Calm & Share Your Faith!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V.   

One Fruit…Nine Different Qualities

Apples…I love all kinds of them. From varieties such as Yellow Delicious to Honeycrisp to Jazz to Envy, there’s nothing quite as delicious as sinking your teeth into a high-quality apple. What traits make an apple high-quality anyway? If you check out Google, there are several ideas listed there.

Personally, I want my apple to be unspoiled, firm, fresh, ripe, crisp, juicy, sweet, acidic, and versatile. Apple with peanut butter, anyone? 🙋 Or, better yet…how about a slice of warm, right-out-of-the-oven apple pie? Delightful!

One fruit…nine different qualities.

Another vital fruit with nine essential qualities is the Fruit of the Spirit. The mention of this fruit and its first-rate qualities can be found in Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia. In Chapter 5 of Galatians, the Apostle Paul shares with the churches about living a life in the Spirit. Specifically, in Galatians 5:22, Paul teaches the Galatia churches (and us) the important qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  -Galatians 5:22 (NIV).

The Passion Translation (TPT) interprets Galatians 5:22 like this, ”…the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.” Oooh, I love this translation!

Isn’t it interesting to notice both versions use the word fruit as singular. Just one. According to Lee (2014), it is important for us to understand that the Apostle Paul is not referring to nine different fruits. He is referring to one fruit with nine different qualities. Lee (2014) stated, “It’s the ‘fruit,’ not ‘fruits’ of the spirit. So it’s one fruit encompassing these nine qualities.” (Para. 4)

One fruit…nine different qualities.

Oh, how I want to BE all of these qualities every.single.day. Some days, though, I grow weary and lack energy. I begin to lose faith in my circumstances or the people around me. Some days it’s hard. Really, really hard to put on that happy face and BE the fruit of the Spirit. These are the days I need to lean on God. These are the days I turn back a few pages in my bible from Galatians to 2 Corinthians 12:9 (TPT) and hold on to this promise: “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.”

I’ll always do the best I can to live a life according to the fruit of the Spirit. Won’t you join me? Just like that sweet, warm apple pie, living in the victory of the Holy Spirit will be delightful!  

Stay Calm & Find the Victory!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Lee, D. (2014). Fruit of the spirit includes nine godly qualities. The Spectrum. Retrieved May 4, 2021 from https://amp.thespectrum.com/amp/9319377  

Enfold Yourself in Joy

I recently received a Christmas card from a former student and now friend (thank you, Am). It had the lovely family picture on it, but it also included a poem on the back. A poet and poem I had not heard of before. It has echoed over and over in my heart so I want to share its beauty with you.

Joy by Nikki Banas

Make your life about joy.

Celebrate your big and little wins. Grow every day.

Enjoy the first sip of your morning coffee,

and the second, and third and fourth.

Find something to smile about on your commute.

Give hugs often, compliment others whenever you can.

Get inspired. Nourish yourself.

Go outside and spend time in nature.

Take chances. Make the art.

Watch the sunrise. Climb the mountain.

Because life is just too short and fragile

to not live a life of chasing joy.

After ruminating on this poem, I sat down to pen out a few of those simple things in life that bring me great joy. From this humble activity, I found that no matter how unique or unprecedented this year has been, finding joy in the little things has made my year an exemplar or precedented one.

Wendy’s 2020 Joy

Find joy in the little things.

Restoring my soul by focusing on the small wins.

Blessings like a sunrise or a sunset;

Unconditional love from the grandchildren;

The glow from a campfire;

A grandchild’s phone call using Alexa;

Unexpected colored pictures, notes, cards, and letters in the mailbox;

Coffee, lunch or a walk with a friend;

A big ole dollop of whip cream;

A warm bath by candle light;

A 20-second therapy hug from the hubby;

Coloring a picture or drawing on the chalkboard;

A round of golf on the Wii in winter;

An uplifting devotion;

A dazzling display of Christmas lights.

Find joy in the little things.

May I invite you to do the same? Sit down with your favorite cup of tea and pen out a few of those simple things that have brought you great joy this year. It is an activity I know will bring you…JOY. 😉🙌

We pray you find joy in the little things. Happy holidays from us to you…

📸 credit: Pam O., Wendy’s niece.

Stay Calm & Celebrate Joy!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.