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A whirlwind of activity has swept me away from blogging these past few weeks…but what a fun few weeks it has been.

Every now and then it is good to just sit back, close your eyes and let your mind replay the videos waiting in your memory to be revisited. Making sure of course, that you pull up the ones that will make you smile and giggle, the ones that bring peace and bathe you with the realization that you are indeed blessed. Yes, it is true that life is hard and sometimes downright daunting, damnable, discouraging, disturbing, disastrous… among even more descriptive adjectives that describe “painful”…But life is also beautiful and filled with such joy…if we allow ourselves to be appreciative of what we have and if we allow ourselves to contemplate where we have been, where we are and where we are going. I believe it is all about attitude and where we choose to focus our attention….because you cannot have an emotion without first having a thought. These past few weeks, I have been adding to my memory collection some pretty good videos to replay…and they will definitely result in smiles when I recall these times.

So in this grand effort of mine to be all shiny and bright….one step at a time…I have found that the last few weeks have been effortless in the joy department. The joy rose up all by itself, because I have been surrounded by family…lots of it..and great friends, not to mention some pretty good feasting and fun. My Mom and oldest sister are visiting and we have definitely been having fun. From the beaches of Ventura, up the Coast to Santa Barbara, into the Valleys and Hills of Ojai, we have giggled and played. New restaurants have been visited and old favorites have not disappointed. Not to mention, the weather has been shiny and bright also.

Mom and Teri have been welcomed with feasting, thanks to my boys and their beautiful wives…and our congregation has flung their arms open wide and then embraced the two of them…resulting in some good times and new friendships. Having Mom and my sister, Teresa, under my roof is so comforting. Watching my mother smile and enjoy being here is so satisfying. Seeing her get excited about things and hearing her laugh is such music to my ears. With the loss of Dad, and now Mom’s sister, we carry grief and I guess we always will. Some days it is heavier than others, some days it is debilitating..but we also get airborne with the joy that comes from being together as a family and experiencing the ease and sweet comfort of companionship between mother and daughters. No drama, just love. A very good thing indeed.

Yep…life can be sweet and fulfilling and full of Family, Friends, Fun and Feasts. It is what you make it. I am really liking this joy thing…it kind of tingles and makes me smile. I want more of it. Thanks Mom and thanks Teri…You are loved.