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What is Five Minute Friday?  It’s our chance to write 5 minutes on a given topic–today’s is JOY.

Then I check it over to be sure it makes sense, doesn’t have any typos and I add a  photo or two and links.  After that, it is on its way to you.

Take some time to look at some of the other articles over at Gypsy Mama…and comment.  Comments are very encouraging to blog writers.  They help us know what you think about what we have to say.  It is you carrying on your side of the conversation.


A few weekends ago, we were in Austin, TX spending a few days with our oldest daughter Dawn and her family for a last weekend together before they left for a three year stint in Kiev, Ukraine.  Her son Stevie, then 21 months old, was showing off his cuteness.

The new song he recently heard was one we used to sing in our childhood.  (I didn’t say the words were terribly profound, I just said I learned them long ago.)

“I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?

Down in my heart. Where?  Down in my heart

I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where?

Down in my heart to stay.”

For some reason, this song results in his laughing with glee whenever he hears it!  He sits and smiles and with each “where?”, he laughs all the more.  It was a joy to watch him.

In fact, it was a fun weekend as we ate “last meals” at places where they knew they wouldn’t be eating for a long time.  I had been quite morbid before we went there…feeling sorry for myself amidst many friends who live near their grandchildren when mine are far away…and now this one was moving WAY far away!

(But by the time we got there, we focused more on the few things we could do to help.  There weren’t many things WE could do to help really.  It was up to us to stay out of the way for the most part.  Tuesday morning came all too fast and we had to say, “Good-bye” at the airport.)


Poor me!  I so easily go to that place…just like Elijah the prophet did.  God had to show him all the other prophets who were serving Him as well.  Going to that “poor me” place is so easy…and squelches joy rapidly!

But I also have a lot to rejoice over.  My children have all grown up and are serving God in the places He has put them.  In the business world, as housewives and mothers, in the professional world of physical therapy and in teaching and selling computers and computer products.

This branch of my family tree is serving God in Ukraine…helping get seminary training on computers so it can be seen in places where Americans can’t go now.  That is very exciting.  This family will also be able to show their Ukrainian friends what a Christian family looks like.


After the years Dawn spent there as a single missionary (6) who was not going to marry if she did not find a Christian man, this is an encouragement to the women she worked with over there.  Many don’t think God can provide for this desire of their hearts. While there, she demonstrated before them a young single woman who was enjoying her life the way it was.

Now they will see her with her husband and son.  Her ministry now is going to be more with mothers and children in the nearby park as they go to get out of their apartments each day for fresh air.  Many of here duties will not change.  She will continue to use her gifts of hospitality as she did before.  She continues to manage finances for the team there…from her home now.  But many other aspects of her duties will be different…at least by proportion.

Rejoice in the opportunities God gives you to serve Him wherever you are.  Don’t fall into the “poor me” trap.  It will sap you of strength and vitality.  It will sap you of the joy of your faith in Christ.

Our joy isn’t based directly on our circumstances.  It is based on the God who orchestrates them.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”

STOP  (Yes, I did go overtime today!)