Thursday, May 10, 2012


Finding joy in our journeys is one of the greatest secrets to life. I hear all too often…”but I just want to be happy… I just want to be me.” Why do we as a world feel that we have to have this constant bliss to be happy? We are each on very different journeys in life and with this come many different trials and challenges.

After getting off the phone with my sister tears welled up in my eyes. I told Jason that our niece would soon be needing surgery. I explained all of the details and then he looked at me and asked why I was so upset. Yes, the surgery is somewhat simple compared to things that our Bubba has to endure but the thought of my sweet sister having to rock her hurting daughter brought tears to my eyes, the thought that a sweet little one would have to hurt to get better. This got me thinking a lot about our journey. Would I have felt this deep compassion and worry if I had not encountered the obstacles that have been placed before me on my  journey? I would like to think that I would but really I don’t know.

 I am grateful for my journey and with this comes the challenge to find the joy in what often times seems like overwhelming days.  I am grateful for our trials. I am grateful that I am not in a constant state of bliss. It truly is the hard moments that make me stop and take a moment to reflect on the many wonderful things and blessings in my life. If things were easy and just handed our way I don’t know that our family would be as strong as we are. If we did not have to struggle, save, and work for each extra then we might not appreciate those things. What if we didn’t have a little Hero like Bubba in our home??... Would we be as grateful for our working bodies and minds?

There is a wonderful talk that you can find HERE given by President Thomas S. Monson entitled Finding joy in the Journey. I love this talk! I often go to this talk and read it when I need to accept.. No enjoy the changes in my life.  

“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows.” Thomas S. Monson

As my back aches and my tired brain tries so desperately to function I do just this… find things to relish in my life, lessons that I have learned, people that I have met with their own special journeys, and my sweet, sweet family.

This week Bubba and I found ourselves at the hospital surrounded by strength. We went to be part of a patient/ parent advisory board. They are building a new clinic village (woot woot!) and wanted our feedback and “dreams” for the new facility before breaking ground in January. I sat there just looking around the large table, taking in each of the children and their warrior parents, thinking about their stories and the journey that they are each on. If it were not for the hard journey that we are on as a family we would never have met these wonderful people and for that …. I find joy!

{Mitchell, Bubba, and Liz... all AMAZING and strong young warriors!} 

When Regan runs at school and beats all of the boys with her long, fast legs I am overwhelmed with joy as I watch her body work the way it should. I am grateful for each step that she quickly takes and that she is able to enjoy such a simple gift from God. I am grateful for our journey as a family because I don’t know that I would have found as much joy in such a simple act if it weren’t for Bubba’s example. I find JOY in her desire to use her body to its full capacity.

When I look into Bubba’s eyes I don’t always see an eleven year old boy. More often than not I see a warrior. I move onto his smile and each time I look at it my heart melts, a smile that is constant despite the constant trials in his personal journey. I am grateful for the journey that Bubba and I quietly take together, at the hospital, in the early morning hours, or as we cuddle all day long. I don’t know that I would find as much joy in that sweet smile of his if it were not for the trials that hold it hostage for days. I find JOY in his smile!

I find JOY in a large box filled with medications because they are Bubba’s earthly gift from God to keep him going.

With Hubs being home the past week and recovering himself I know he would most likely say that I have not taken much joy in constant presence.. wink! I take great comfort to know that I am not on this crazy, wonderful, long, sweet, quick, trying, and blissful journey alone. We have our hard days, come on who doesn’t? … but despite being mentally and physically exhausted most of the time we manage to always find a way to be there for each other. I find JOY in knowing that I am married to my best friend.
“Despite the changes which come into our lives with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days-as much as we can with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.” Thomas S. Monson

I find great Joy in knowing that just as I have my best friend by my side so do my children.

I am truly grateful for my personal journey through life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I am grateful for the trials and the JOY that comes with each one of these.

Here’s to each of us finding JOY in our journey!


Amy-Sue and Gian Del Bello said...

This is beautiful, Julie. It's truely a blessing to know you. Thank you for your strength.

Amy-Sue and Gian Del Bello said...
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Amy-Sue and Gian Del Bello said...
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Karen Hayes said...

Thank you, Julie. You are such an inspiration! Sometimes we just need to be reminded to stop and "smell the flowers" in the midst of our crazy life. Life IS good, even through the hard stuff.

Rachel said...

So thankful that when we have Jesus as an example, it allows us to use the hard stuff for good!

And I melt with Bubba's smile too!

The Story of us said...

Beautiful post. Thank you:-)