Harbor of Joy
by Lili Richey Willard
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Rosebuds of Faith: A Harbor of Joy
"God will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."
I am just now coming off of a 'funtastic' two week long vacation. Today is the very last day with my four aweseome grandaughters. Tomorrow I take them back to Ohio, I will come back home the next day, and then I will return to my job the day after that. So this precious time is slipping away quickly, too, too quickly! I write this as my girls are soundly sleeping in. Today will be a day filled with laundry, acking, general cleaning up, and hopefully a movie or two. The popcorn is waiting!
As I sit and ponder the end of this so needed, so planned, and so anticipated vacation with my gals, I also relish the knowledge that my God made it all possible. He carved the way for my sweet boss to allow me this extended time. He helped me coordinate and plan for the best possible time of the year, one which would mesh with everyone's schedules and plans. He gave me wonderful ideas, and put folks in our lives to enrich the time we have spent together. He provided the opportunity to go to the NC islands, and stay in a safe, beautiful place, which was close to everything, yet family oriented, comfortable, with friends just across the driveway from us, a blessing right there! And we allowed Him, each and every day, to lead us and to guide us,as we embarked on our adventures with gusto! He is, indeed, a God of joy!
I have never laughed so much in all my life! One of the funniest things to my girls is something we discovered early on in this vacation. They have always made me laugh uncontrollably, and so much so when I am driving that I can't get my breath, so I have to pull over to the side of the road until it passes! Add a new side effect this year...post surgery, my right eye closes when I am laughing that hard! Yes, it is crazy, but it does! So now I not only can't breathe, but I also can't see either! I am not too upset by this new side-effect, but am sitting here laughing about 'The Eye' as I type this! Once the laughter subsides, it is fine and dandy, but it is a hilarious thing to experience!
We have seen some of the most beautiful sites ever, right here in NC. Makes me so proud of my adopted state. The Outer Banks are a must-see, and I regret it has taken me twelve years to do that. But it turned out that this was the right time, with the right people, and in the right circumstances. We have pic's that are fantabulous in their beauty, and many that are funny as well. We saw turquoise water, white, fluffy sand, beautiful green marshes, a lighthouse, wonderful historic sites, and even two wild ponies on one of the islands! That was the desire of little Thelma's 10 year old heart! We also had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful, loving people, from all over the states. It was all great! We will be going back!
Anyway, the last few months have brought me much sadness, confusion, worry, physical hardships, and other 'life' issues, too numerous to go into. With two boys in the military, I have wrestled with the uncertainty of their safety. Work has been extremely difficult, though I love it and am thankful for my job. But I have been so very tired. And I have been finding it more difficult to laugh, at least with the total abandon I love to laugh with. Depression has been trying to make an inroad into my life, and even though I staunchly fight it, I sometimes can feel it pressing in and around me. And while my issues are not in any way comparable to what Job and his family experienced, they nonetheless do encroach upon and weigh down my enthusiasm for life each and every day.
I stopped listening to my music; I gave in to time pressures, and did not pursue my love of playing piano; I have not found time to read anything at all other than the Bible and my devotions, and even that time has not been what it should be. My family relationships, including my dear husband, have suffered because of my time crunch, and my ensuing tireness.
But, once again God proves faithful! He is the one who lifts hy head; He is the one who whispers wondrous words of love in my ear; He is the one who brings refreshment and rest when most needed, when one more day like that just could not be envisioned. He has shown me how to breathe again.
My girls are quickly growing up, and one day will grow away. No, they will not stop loving their Grandma and Papaw. But they will begin their own lives, their own journey's and their own walk with God. They will do what they are supposed to do...live! I will still see them, still laugh with them, and will still make memories, but the ones we have made the last several years, while they have been young and beginning to understand the world and the wonders in it...these have been the formative years, and I am blessed to have had a part in them. I do not know how many summers these young ladies will want to come and spend two weeks with the old folks, but I will partake of this joy as long as I can. And I do have the memories...wonderful memories to last a lifetime. I thank my daughter and son-in-law for allowing me and trusting me to share this quality time with their children every summer.
Yes, God does fill our mouths with laughter, and our lips with joy. Just ask my gals...they know where the laughter and joy comes from...and they know God is their portion, as He is mine. And I thank Him for the memories He has woven into our lives. He is a wondrous God, one of love and faithfulness. And as I and my family viewed and enjoyed the lovely harbors of Morehead City and Beaufort, I know the One True Harbor of Joy holds us in His mighty hands...and I give Him praise!
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Thanks for sharing this. It seems to me that a "spirit" of depression is attacking the body of Christ moreso than usual. I know circumstances can contribute to these 'feelings'...but I am reminded of something I heard years ago.."This too shall pass"...and while we wait, we read (even if it is just calling words), we pray and praise not depending on how we 'feel' but because we need it and soon the depression will leave. Did not intend this to be so long so I will stop for now. GOD BLESS YOU.