It’s been a while since I’ve written but I’m definitely back!! Going into the third week of January, I’m wondering how many of my friends have already abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. I typically don’t set resolutions and didn’t so this year either! Instead I try to focus on JOY throughout the year even on the days I don’t feel all that Joyful!
This week there was so much to be Joyful about, especially the fact that the Coloring project I’ve been working on with Mom since last fall will be published in the next few weeks. Most thrilling about this project is that the title even came from Mom! While we were coloring one Sunday afternoon she said “I feel like the colors are flowing from my mind”. I knew there was a book title in there and it gave me so much joy!! I told Mom that we were coloring the world with joy and she said “we need that”. Mom has never been more right!
Given all the upheaval in the world today I’m trying to apply the coloring the world with joy to all of the people I interact with. Last night I went to a party at church and chatted with many people. In the crowd I saw a couple I used to be close to but hadn’t chatted with in more than three years. Not only had we not chatted, but on the two occasions we had seen each other over the last few years we didn’t even acknowledge each other when we made eye contact. I never understood why or what had happened to our friendship.
Then last night one of those individuals approached me and said “I hear you’re doing big things and speaking all over the country, what are you speaking about?” There were so many things I thought about saying in response, such as “where have you been?” or “why are you speaking to me now?” But I didn’t. In keeping with my Coloring the World with JOY, I answered his questions and smiled as his spouse joined our conversation. As we parted there were hugs all around, and I thought about Mom and that she would say “that was nice” about the encounter with my old friends.
I don’t have any expectations going forward that I’ll be great friends with this couple again. BUT I was willing to let them into my circle at that moment and it felt good even though I had hurt feelings about how our friendship had ended. This morning I was making some LEGO scenarios for an upcoming team building session. As I put the LEGO people together I realized that Coloring the World with JOY means not closing off our circle of friends and leaving people on the outside sadly looking in feeling excluded. Extending JOY means extending our hands and hearts and allowing people into our circle even if we disagree with them or don’t understand things that have happened in the past. In the moment last night I chose to extend my Joy to others and three weeks into 2019 I’m incredibly hopeful about the Joy I will give and receive for the rest of the year! I’m wishing all of us much Joy!
Thank you for your post. I am excited to hear about your new book and about its theme and title. After the turning of the New Year I went through a phase where my dreams were FILLED with colors. I couldn’t remember the substance of the dreams, but I could vividly recall having spent time being surrounded by moving, shifting, changing colors, and somehow they flooded my consciousness, so that I knew I needed to get out my coloring books and all my implements of applying colors – crayons, markers, colored pencils, watercolors – and simply play with color for a while. So I did, regularly, for a couple of weeks. And now I hear your and your mother’s experiences of coloring recently and that you have created a book on coloring the world with joy. Indeed. That is exactly what the world needs! Your mom is SO right! I think your perceptions of the world’s needs right now are akin to what arose in my dreams, and something deep within us is calling us to that realization.
I’ve been watching out my kitchen windows into the winter woods that are all shades of black, deep browns, beiges, grays, and white, which I actually love in winter, but what I’ve been so grateful for this winter are the astonishing little spots of color of the cardinals, the bluejays, and the woodpeckers at the bird feeders and in the bare trees, with their splashes of vivid reds and blues against the monochromatic landscape. Somehow the picture out the window is so different with even small bits of colorful brightness. I think that says something about our daily lives as well. We can tolerate the hard things we all have to face if we are offered the occasional bright spot of joy to change the way it all looks and feels, to give us hope of relief, assurance of the presence of something other than the mundane, the difficult, the heavy, in short, if we also experience the random joys that make life worth living.
I know you bring beautiful spots of color and joy to the world wherever you go, Loretta. What a blessing you are to those who encounter you, like the old friends you quietly and warmly welcomed back into relationship. I’m sure their world seems brighter because of your recent encounter. I’m so glad that happened.
I can’t wait to see your new book, dear Loretta. Let me know when and how I can get it!
With much love and gratitude,
Thank you Thank you Karen!!!! Your post filled me with soooo much JOY!! When Colors Flowing from My Mind! hits the shelves I’ll send you a signed copy.
One of the amazing things that happened today at church was that seemingly all of the recent widows were in church today (with me being the longest of the group at this point at 2.5 years). When the two most recent widows arrived they hugged and shed tears…. then the others. I was Verger, BUT still went over and did a huge group hug. One of the ladies shared that I was a role model for them in terms of carrying on without your loved one and that I brought them JOY. I immediately thought back to this post though I’d yet to see your response. Even in our sadness we have to make life worth living as you so eloquently put it. I didn’t associate it with my widow friends until this afternoon. No one wants to be in this club, but since we are we lean on each other cry & laugh. What started as a huge group hug of tears, ended with us all laughing. I’m stunned by the different colors I saw in my mind at church today and how much JOY I received and shared!!
Much love to you and thanks again for all that you shared in your joyful response!!
Thank you, Loretta. I love picturing the group hug with tears ending up in laughter all around! You are the Joy Catalyst, my friend!
I can’t wait to get the book! Thank you!!!
Love and hugs,
My dear Loretta, may your desire to color the world with joy come true, which is to say, I pray that God will bestow continually upon and within you the Spirit-power to attain the desire of your heart and soul, which means, at times, laboring to counter less than positive input and expressions of others, which alway is an aspect of life lived in community and in relationships. I shall pray this prayer of intercession for you. Love
Paul, I truly appreciate you reading my post!! AND am especially grateful for your prayer!! I really need it given the difficulty of relationships and differing opinions. Whew!!! Praying this will be a really Joyful year!
Love ya back!
YES I’m sure it was quite the scene at church with the widows!! I don’t know what we ended up laughing at, but it sure was funny!! It’s great to have support right???
Much love my friend!