Thursday, December 2

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2021 Advent Devotional: In the Midst of Changing Ways – Many Gifts, One Spirit

Week 1: The Gift of Joy

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:9 – “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you.”

Reflector: Glenna Briant

Where do I find joy in my life?

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay
Starting from a very young age, I always loved music. My cousin Doris lived with us while working on her music degree, and she played piano for practice and calming every day. I had an 8 key children’s piano, so I played along with her until, when I was 4 years old, my mother and Doris said I should have piano lessons and learn it correctly. What a joy! I learned music and practiced so much that I would play up to 8 hours a day whenever I could.

School, college, teaching and then marriage – I married a Frenchman who could not sing nor play, except for the radio or phonograph, but he loved it when I played for him.

Now I have 6 grandchildren, 5 of whom do music one way or another: piano, guitar, trumpet,
saxophone, baritone, flute and voice. It is a great joy to go to or listen to their recitals!

There are many other joys in my life: friends in France, Taiwan, England and all over the USA; plus children and grandchildren, traveling all over the world, and good fish, wine, and fois gras!

Even Covid‐19 has brought joys. When we were so tired and sick that we couldn’t move, what
wonderful neighbors we had, bringing us food and SMILES. Our children FaceTimed us every day until we were better, which strengthened the love between us. Again, JOY. We did the same for our son and granddaughter who got Covid and pneumonia, and then experienced relief and, yes, JOY when both recovered.

I could continue forever, but I need to tell you how these joys have helped me through changing ways.

Music helped me through leaving my country to work and then to marry, to speak a new language, and to get to know many new people. Being a wife wasn’t always easy, but what joy comes when both persons can change enough to compromise or even live very differently. Becoming a mother and a grandmother is not always easy nor evident. We learn as we go along and find the joys.

But what a joy it was this month when my 17‐year‐old granddaughter, who had been very sassy and
uneasy to get along with many times, had an interview for university. The person who did the interview is a judge of the southern district of New York. He asked her to name someone who has meant a lot to her through her life. She said, “my Grandma.” What a joyous surprise!

So for me, joy is doing what you love, and to be loved by others.

We all know that Jesus loves us!

Prayer: Loving God, you bring joy into our lives even in times of pandemic and stress. We thank you for your love, and the love of all our friends and family. Amen.