In Others’ Words: Joy

“Joy is the best makeup.” ~Anne Lamott, novelist & nonfiction writer

Sometimes I don’t want to look in the mirror.

Well, really, sometimes I look too closely in the mirror and I get all uptight about this wrinkle and that wrinkle and that one there! and there! and there!

Sheesh. I’m surprised I don’t go running through the house with a hammer and break all the mirrors.

But the angst doesn’t last all that long because I’ve found a fool-proof way to hide wrinkles: I smile at my reflection. And then I remember that I have lots of reasons to smile. If I stop staring at all my imperfections and give myself a smile and a wave — and then walk away from that silly mirror — I see so, so many reasons for joy.

  • The silly otter faces (yes, otter faces!) smiling at from the card I keep on my desk. A friend sent it to me because she knows how much I love otters.
  • The digital picture frame I treated myself to (yep, I sure did!) that holds hundreds of memories that make me smile, smile, smile. ย (Want to see my pictures?)
  • A snowflake I made in my daughter’s kindergarten class. Yes — this brings this craft-challenged gal much, much joy!
  • A floor, walls, ceiling … in other words: my house. I have been blessed with someplace to call home. Warmth. Shelter. ย And I don’t ever want to take that for granted.
  • A tiny ceramic cross my daughter, Amy, made that says: Above all Love/With All Love.

When I’m staring at my reflection in the mirror? I start thinking it’s all about me.

No, not at all.


In Your Words: Look around you … and then tell me one thing that you see that brings you joy. I’d love to hear about it.


photo by val-i/
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  1. Jeanne T
    March 16, 2012, 6:45 am   /  Reply

    Only one? That’s tough. I’m disobeying. The beauty of the morning sunrise. A well-laid out scrapbook page evoking memories of events past, hugs, the first colorful flowers of spring poking through the ground. All of these bring joy. The sounds of joy include sweet mama-love words from my kids, among other things. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 6:51 am   /  Reply

      You go right ahead and break the “just one” rule, Jeanne!

  2. March 16, 2012, 7:33 am   /  Reply

    For me today it’s transforming paper into a tangible farm w/ house, small barns, apple trees, tree house, enough land, pond half-way back–maybe we can make it deep enough for otters . . .

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 7:48 am   /  Reply

      Yes, most definitely otters!

    • Jeanne T
      March 16, 2012, 10:52 am   /  Reply

      So exciting, Dee!

  3. March 16, 2012, 7:39 am   /  Reply

    My kitty is curled up next to me in bed as I write this post. There’s something so simple about an animal’s love. Unconditional. I love it.

    And it also brings me joy to look at the calendar and see that it’s Friday!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 7:48 am   /  Reply

      Now I’m wondering what your kitty’s name is …

      • March 16, 2012, 9:37 am   /  Reply

        Bella. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Beth Vogt
          March 16, 2012, 10:07 am   /  Reply

          Nice name for a kitty.

  4. Karen S. Elliott
    March 16, 2012, 8:01 am   /  Reply

    What brings me joy – my grandsons. I don’t have any pictures up or out right (I’m displaced), but I can see them on the internet and I can visit them in person and hear them yell, “MoMo!” when I walk in the door.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 8:08 am   /  Reply

      Isn’t it great to be able to connect via the Internet? One of the greatest reasons I love the techy-age.

  5. March 16, 2012, 8:02 am   /  Reply

    I love how you take the time to see joy. Wonderful! Let’s see…as I look out that window, I see the trees filling out in lush springtime greenery and a turtle climbing up on a rock to look for the sun that hiding behind the clouds. Joy! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 8:09 am   /  Reply

      Now I’m wondering what’s out your window, Donna, that you can see a turtle climbing on a rock …

  6. March 16, 2012, 8:36 am   /  Reply

    OKay, since you bring up otters, I went to the zoo a few years ago with friends and the otters were so loud. It was hilarious, so we took a video. And yes, I watch it every now and then and it absolutely brings me joy.

    What else has brought me the most joy in the past week…I bet you can guess…Ollie!!!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 9:03 am   /  Reply

      I would love to see that otter video.
      Even more … i want to meet the one and only Ollie one day.
      I do, I do.

  7. March 16, 2012, 8:57 am   /  Reply

    I’m at work at the moment…at church! Joy comes in the freedom I have to worship and that I work with such great people!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 9:04 am   /  Reply

      Freedom, indeed!

  8. March 16, 2012, 9:46 am   /  Reply

    I’m breaking the rule too! What brings me joy? Jesus. The love of my family and friends. A well-written scene. A beautiful sunrise/sunset. A hummingbird…

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 10:08 am   /  Reply

      Hummingbirds … a have a special story about hummingbirds …

  9. March 16, 2012, 10:56 am   /  Reply

    Beth, this post put things right into perspective for me. It’s not about me! I need to be reminded so often :/. My 2-year-old daughter brings me such joy. She is almost always happy, and when she’s screaming I know it will be just a (short!) matter of time until she’s smiling again. Of course, the rest of my family is cause for joy, not to mention my house and all the comforts God has provided me. I am blessed indeed. Thanks again for helping me find perspective. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 11:11 am   /  Reply

      Glad I can help … I’m always looking for a joy-filled perspective. I’m battling my glass-half-empty mindset. Always filling my glass.

  10. Loree Huebner
    March 16, 2012, 11:14 am   /  Reply

    That’s funny! -I have a hummingbird collection – anything and everything hummingbird. I even have a hummingbird finger puppet…lol.

    Joy is my word for 2012. Right at this very moment, I see my dogs sleeping. They bring me so much joy. I love them dearly. Also, the collage of family photos on the wall…joyful memories.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 1:24 pm   /  Reply

      Loree, we must talk hummingbirds one day.

  11. March 16, 2012, 1:46 pm   /  Reply

    I can see framed pics of my kids’ artwork. Makes me smile!
    Thanks Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 1:54 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, I have some of that hanging up in my office too — my kids’ artwork, not your kids’!

  12. March 16, 2012, 5:45 pm   /  Reply

    Our pellet stove brings me joy. It’s humming away, and I’m draped over the armchair in front of it toasting my toes. Nice!

    • Beth Vogt
      March 16, 2012, 10:33 pm   /  Reply

      That’s a nice visual, Keli.

  13. March 17, 2012, 7:51 am   /  Reply

    This morning it’s the clean floors โ€” as in no toys or books thrown about. They will be covered when kiddo wakes up and that will bring a smile. Then, I’ll clean them up for tomorrow morning. Clean. Play. Repeat.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 17, 2012, 3:56 pm   /  Reply

      Clean. Play. Repeat.
      I remember those years …

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