What If Today…You Felt Joy?


“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Khalil Gibran

I was in the store talking to a friend when I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

I cried in the car for the sweetness of the children.

I cried for their silly jokes and belly laughs, for their tiny hands and arms that give the best hugs and kisses and show love by reaching out and hanging on. I cried for a lot of beautiful reasons.

My eyes were opened to the wonder of my life. Colors became more vibrant. The walk on the beach the next day was more soothing. I had increased understanding for my children’s squabbles. The monotony of meals and laundry was swept away in gratitude for having mouths to feed and bodies to clothe.

Perhaps I’ll stand alone in my joy and thanksgiving for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.

Early yesterday I sat next to my 10-yr.-old daughter on the couch. She was home from school because of a virus she and her little brother have. Neither of them knew about Sandy Hook. So I told her while her brothers slept and after the older ones had left for school.

She is not afraid because I’m not afraid. That’s the way she is. I didn’t talk about safety or trust in locks, teachers, or first-responders. I didn’t bring up guns or gun control.

We briefly talked about mental health and how important it is not to judge.

I introduced the concept of wisdom. We’re both ruminating on that one. With the facts in plain view, what choices do we make? How do we live full and happy lives? So many opinions. They all tire me out.

The answers for me are in the children.

So quick to forgive. So eager to play. So ready to love.

Is there any other way than to find joy in the deepest sadness, to let it take root, and nourish it?

For me and my house there is no other way.

You and yours?


16 thoughts on “What If Today…You Felt Joy?

  1. Beautiful post Betsy – you have such a glowing heart! I’m so with you here, so there’s not much more I can contribute. I find solace as I reflect on the life of my child and how we share it together … truly just me and her – the waves of joy and sorrow crashing into one another. I’ve written this before and I truly believe, that one cannot understand or appreciate true love, true joy unless having experienced deep, true sorrow – embrace both for they are the veins of a worthy life!

    Peace & goodness to you Betsy! Merry Christmas!!


    P.S. – you quote my favorite … Khalil Gibran

    • Thank you, Elena. So much talk about making sense of the senseless. Bad things happen to good people because they do. It all makes sense to me, AND my mind keeps gravitating to joy. I’m grateful for that.
      Merry Christmas to you, too, Elena!

  2. Betsy,
    Yes, beautifully said. I have felt as if something was wrong inside me… What can I say to anyone, about anything?

    If I talk about the terrible and horrific tragedy… what do I know about anything? I believe I would die to loose my babies, like that… but in any way. If I talk about anything else… what kind of soul could care about anything else?

    But we have to live. We have to keep moving forward, however slowly.

    This soothed a little of the rawness around my heart, Betsy. I could feel your love for your children and how grateful you are for their very lives.

    Merry Holidays and Safe Adventures, my dear sweet friend.

    • Amber-Lee,
      Truthfully, I had a very, very hard morning today. I felt so guilty for unkind words and letting tiredness be my excuse. But real life with real feelings and growth that includes joy and pain is all I know. All of us have strengths and weaknesses and in order to live fully we have to allow ourselves to enjoy joy even when we don’t feel deserving or when we feel like it diminishes others’ pain.
      I imagine the giggles of those beautiful children who are livingon the other side now, missing their families but having new adventures with open hearts.
      I honor them when I laugh and smile and forgive and move on.
      Love you, Amber-Lee!

  3. I love the children too. I felt everything that you described about them. You see, I have four grown children and ten Grandchildren. They are all safe, warm and dry. Oh and have full tummy’s! I had a terrible child hood, yet the Good Lord has given me a childhood and so much more, through all of the children, in my life. I am so blessed as there have been many little ones!

    I see a child with his/her Mom or Dad and I smile. I always complement them, if it is appropriate. I find that a big smile melts away any fears. I say hello, pay the complement and I get to keep the joy for the rest of the day. Sometimes there are several! Imagine my joy!

    Again and again, I would like to offer prayer for the families of the little Angels, that went on to live with Jesus in Heave, And of course, the teachers, the hero’s! I am so proud of them. This may seem strange, but I love them all, deeply in my heart as I know that I will meet them someday. They are all my Dear Brothers and Sisters.

    I send out my love to all that hurt and or struggle. Try and observe the little children being happy, living their lives and loving their families. It will give you a ray of light and the joy of Heaven.

    I am so grateful to be able to communicate with you kind and wonderful people. God Bless You All!


    • Wayne,
      I love that you chose to walk a different road than the one your childhood set you on. That’s a miracle to me. Thanks for coming by and adding your voice. You’re appreciated!

      • Thank you Betsy. I give all of the Glory to God! I am so glad that I am welcome here. It is a comfortable place to just, well, chat. It is good to be able to be positive and happy. I am involved quite a bit in politics and it wears me down. However, I believe that we have to do the work. This is my resting place. πŸ™‚

    • It’s so simple. Isn’t it, Carolyn? And yet we all struggle with it’s application. Brene Brown’s blog post, “Wishing You Love and Light” came through my email after I’d posted this and she says it all so well. Read it here: . And I have to agree. Children are precious. It’s so cool that the world keeps getting replenished by their warmth, love and wisdom! Life is good! Thanks for coming by, Carolyn. Merry Christmas!

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