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Are You Joyful?

While at the post office gathering an incoming shipment of goodies, I came across a rarity these days.  There was a stranger who looked me straight in the eye and said, "Hello!" 

I smiled, and returned a lovely, "Hi!" before I turned back to face forward in my line. Then, unlike today's normal, this stranger continued on, and they announced an observation, "You look joyful!  Are you joyful?" 

Hand to my heart, I smiled again, " Awe! Thank you. I try to be!"    

Well, this stranger did not accept that as an agreeable answer! They went on to ask, "Well why not?" 

Slightly taken aback, I fishfaced for a moment as I considered a response. "I have four kids!" To me, that make perfect sense! Right? What mother today can always be joyful when there's sibling arguments, chores neglected, society's unrealistic expectations of things like clean laundry or raising Christian kids in today's world while praying you're not the reason they end up in therapy as an adult.  Right??!!

Well, this stranger rebuked me! That's right! They rebuked me!  "I have 9 grandchildren, and they are the light of my life." They said. "Children are such a blessing!  So tell me, what is stopping you from being joyful?"

That stunned me.  What IS stopping me from being joyful?  I could find every excuse in the world, but at the end of the day, the only thing truly preventing me from finding joy, is ME!

With that, we introduced ourselves as we went our separate ways.  Such a chance encounter it was, that I will not forget this revelation for a long time to come.  

Except, it wasn't just a chance encounter.  You see, we use one post office to receive shipments and another to ship.  In my blonde Mommy mindedness, I went to the wrong post office first!  Funny how God works in that sometimes, our seeming mistakes or blocks in our road are literally Jesus steering our wheel.  While I barely made it to the correct post office before closing time, I was in God's perfect timing to meet Walter. Just as Psalms 91:11 says: "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

Walter was sent to give me an attitude check during our Attitude of Gratitude month.  Since Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

I am glad I walked into that post office with an open heart to unknowingly entertain one of God's messengers.  With a lesson learned, I thank God for meeting Walter.  No excuses, I am JOYFUL!! Are you? 

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