Advent Week 3: Joy

What brings you joy? The kind of joy that rises up like a spring from inside your true self… The kind of joy that goes deep-down-in-your-bones… The kind of joy that defies circumstances… Talk to me about that kind of joy. I’d love to hear about the places and spaces it has shown up for you.

This week I’ll be reflecting on images that bring a deeper knowing of joy in my own life, coupled with quotes that help me lean into joy. As I was looking through pictures I’ve taken over the years, I realized so many of the images that evoke a sense of joy in me are of children – my own and others. For example, if the following short clip doesn’t scream “joy”, I don’t know what does!

I’m realizing that, at least for me, a crucial part of this gateway to joy involves a return to a childlike state…

Living in the present

Immersing myself in the natural world and the elements

Playing and allowing myself the time and space to be creative

What is your gateway to joy?

This photograph was taken in a rural village in Tanzania (2008). One of my students, Minus, and I traveled by foot and hitch-hiked all day to get there and be with her family. One of her younger siblings grabbed my attention and LOVED being in the spotlight. The joy on this kid’s face was unmistakable.
It seems fitting to end week 3 of Advent (Joy) and begin week 4 of Advent (peace) with this photograph, taken today in Cambridge, MA. The joy of spending time with old friends and centering myself with the time and space to play guitar and worship has filled my soul. I am filled with gratitude and touched by the generosity I experienced today.

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