The Joy of Life
My youngest daughter is set to turn 13 next month. For her, it doesn’t mean an eighth-grade graduation, a bowling party with her friends, or a new obsession over clothes or the latest song.
Jonalyn has multiple special needs. She is my perpetual three year old. But boy, does that girl love life. We recently went to a family wedding. As we got ready to go, she twirled around the hotel room in her new dress and asked over and over when the dancing would start.
My dad took a group picture of his grandchildren before the festivities started. The rest of the teenagers, primped and wearing their grown-up dresses, posed for the photo, hands still, standing tall. And there was Jonalyn, arms and legs flailing, a huge smile on her face. She couldn’t stand still. There was life to be lived.
Later that evening, my dad snagged a video of Jonalyn dancing. In it, she jumps to the music. Then she stops and throws in a perfect pirouette.
Simple pleasures, simple joys. Why don’t we live life to the fullest and enjoy each precious moment the Lord has given us? Let’s smile a little more, dance like we mean it, and embrace the days our Father has granted.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013 and was a 2014 Selah Award finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014 and Remember the Lilies in February 2015. She is also an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Pencildancer blog.