The secret to joy.

“I felt as if I were in the presence of superior beings who loved me and beckoned me to come. I sat down beside them and wept for joy.”

– John Muir

I am sitting on my porch in the middle of a mountain rainstorm, thinking of beautiful summer days past.  There is nothing like it in the world…the deluge out of the open heavens, the thunder that calls and is answered by each surrounding mountainside.  Moments like this are one of the reasons we live here.  I wanted this for me and for my children.  It’s a reminder to me of the secret to joy.

There are times in our lives that feel as though we are standing in the middle of an absolute deluge of sorrow or trial.  Heaven seems to have opened all of the stops and let it all out at once.  Looking up, there seems to be no sun, no pinpoint of light, no relief from the cold that soaks your skin.

But it doesn’t stop there…it can’t.  The secret lies in seeing each drop in its purpose and beauty, in seeing that the drenching rain from Heaven is actually a gift that Heaven saw we were ready for.  Often our most painful moments lead to our greatest joys.  After the rain comes the renewal of life.

My joy is found not in perfect days or weeks, but in perfect moments.  They are perfect because I choose to see that the drops falling from Heaven or the river rushing by or the breeze in my face are all whispering to me that a loving Father has sent all things to me to bring me closer to Him, because He knew I was ready to come nearer.

I believe He speaks to each of us in our own language, and in our own way.

I feel so blessed to have found mine, the language of the river, the wild grass, and the trees.

So, this week, I remember peeling river-soaked denim off of little legs and say a prayer of thanks for these moments of rest and love, moments that speak to me in the language of my heart.

I remember the laughter of playing in the river fully clothed.

The magic of mud and water.

The love of sisters.

The quietness of a barefoot hike back to the car, carrying shoes and quietly talking.

Gentle mountain paths just waiting for our feet.

Not every moment is like this.

But I choose to remember those that are, for seeing and remembering the blessings is the secret to joy.

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