Joy and Thanks Entwined

While on vacation, I spent time with two women who were a great example to me of what it means to be joyful.  Both have lived longer lives than I have, and they have known hardship, yet they exude joy.  Honeybee told me over and over, “I just love Mrs. H. because she is always so happy.”  She wanted to know why Mrs. H. laughed so much and why Mrs. B. smiled so much.  I leaned close and told her the best secret of all, “They have the joy of the Lord.”

That may sound trite, but if you met these women, you would know I am speaking the truth.  I struggle with lacking joy and yet I know it is evidence of God’s grace to me and that it gives me strength — strength that I desperately need.  Today, when there is nearly no time to write, I choose to be thankful knowing that gratitude sets my mind aright and brings joy.

I love this:

… This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10b

And this:

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Ps. 28:7

#41 – 50 giving thanks

family gathered around the dining room table

grapefruit spoons from the thrift store – 25 cents each

making decent meals with what I can find in the kitchen

Rusty taking the kids to the pool – three days in a row

school uniforms that still fit

a call from a friend just to say she missed me

nine dentist appointments conquered in one day

successful knee surgery for Russ’ mom

golden wheat, ready for harvest

early morning walks with Russ

What are you thankful for today?

Encourage one another,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Shari
    August 19, 2011

    Blog posts that are honest, wise and encourage. Thanks for your faithfulness!

  2. Marissa
    August 19, 2011

    You know what's funny? To me you are that woman that simply exudes to joy of the Lord. It's so alive in you that it's contagious!!!!

  3. jane argiero
    August 20, 2011

    This is inspiring. Thank you!

  4. dusti
    August 20, 2011

    so true. often those older friends show us so much about life and faith.

  5. shannon2818
    August 20, 2011

    Sometimes it's hard to see joy in our lives. There's so much to struggle for.


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