joy quest: volleyball


As you can tell, this meme is not mine, and I cannot read the tag to tell you who created it. But it is so perfect, so it had to be here. It begged for its day in the sun on my joy quest.

Volleyball has been something that helps me now. I've been going for well over a year now to a singles volleyball night, and it's been life-changing. First of all, it's because I'm not as crappy of a volleyball player anymore. My improvement level is debatable but definitely measurable. I was pretty terrible when I first began. I hadn't played in almost two decades. I'm competitive, so that's how this can bring joy. Improving my sporty skills makes me feel great. You should see my joy level when I get a hit right. I crack my own self up sometimes. I really should be embarrassed, but whatever.

Secondly, I've made friends that have changed me for good. They understand some of the unique circumstances I have been in simply because they are single too. Many of my volleyball friends live parallel lives with mine. And knowing that people just understand you a little can bring joy to a bad day. Some of them have helped to heal my heart actually; there's no better joy than that.

So, here's to volleyball and the joy it brings! 

joy quest: poetry

Loud Joy

The voices from the future
Calling to me
Beckoning and begging
Me to not give up—to not forget who I am

Pressing onward into the bleak unknown
Fervently finding flowers along the way
To keep me going as
Stones dig into the bottoms of my feet

Children watching my every action
As I feel around, tripping, falling
Getting up again and again and again
Tears washing away the screams trapped within

Always, in the distance, a soft weeping for
What was lost
Always, at the forefront, a fight for
What might be won

Dancing in the shadows and the sunlight
On fire with wishing
Squelched by reality
And though the heart knows

It can as swiftly become
Shattered to bits as was healed over time,
It keeps making a joyful noise

Drowning out sorrow regardless



joy quest: support

I was going to put a picture and write a little something, but then I decided to let my words speak for themselves.

There is absolutely nothing like being in the company of good people who have your back and want you to have theirs in return. The lovingkindness and respect emanating from their presence alone is heartening. When you feel supported and cared about, the problems of life are made smaller—even if it's only fractional. Sadness is swept away for a little while or a long while preferably. And joy is given a prominent place in our thoughts more easily.

Today, I had the blessing of spending time with someone who gave all of that to me. And my fervent hope is that they were able to get the respite I had hoped to offer but received instead!

So much to be joyful about today. Feeling respected and appreciated and loved. I have felt understood. It has filled some of the holes that have been left gaping for too long. Joy is at the helm!

joy quest: soap


It's pretty easy to please me. Stuff like purple dish soap gets me excited. So as I was searching out a joy treasure for today, I decided to keep it simple and go with the whole idea of even taking a picture of purple dish soap.

Rushing around is nothing new to me. Being a single mother now has kicked life into high gear where it never seems to stop; however, I never used to be able to stop rushing around in other ways—important for well-being ways. One of those ways for me is stopping to take pictures when I see something special in a mental capture.

I am so free now to stop and smell the roses (soap) and think about plans. I realize how much joy there is in such a small freedom. Photography of any level is fascinating to me, and it's wonderful to be able to take a minute here and there, to pull over to the side of the road or stand on stuff to get a better angle, etc. without argument. Well, my kids do get a tiny bit bugged sometimes, but for the most part, they just count this as a way of life now and wait. It's really great of them too. Sometimes they even point stuff out to me to capture with my camera.

So my joy is not entirely found in soap, but it's more about becoming clean from the shackles I had on me and being free to choose taking a picture or two of purple dish soap.

(And, no, I was not paid to advertise those dish soaps—they're just gorgeous!)


joy quest: lava



In the two years since seeing this short film at the drive-in for the first time, many things have changed. Life is so different from what I thought it could be like, so most of all its meaning to me has had to change. Hence a tinge of loss sneaks in as I watch this video; nevertheless, it still ignites hope and joy as I recognize that this could be my story.

There is joy in believing that there is someone being prepared for me. There is joy in the belief that I am becoming ready for him. I am always working to become my best self, so I pray that someone will turn and look one of these days and see I have been right there growing and becoming, filling the sea with my tears.

This song is just so beautiful. It tells such a real story of watching, waiting, hope, loneliness, but best of all, the joy that comes in the morning. Joyful is the thought that I am building a joyful life as I keep hope in what's in store.