I woke up this morning under the patchwork “crazy” quilt that my Granny Lewis made for me when I was 10 years old. When I think of Granny, I think of quilts, Fritos and bean dip, crocheted afghans, playing croquet in the front yard, and “camping out” in a hammock stretched between two trees. Those two trees still stand in my dad’s yard.
I have special memories of all my grandparents, but the quilt made me think of Granny and her grandkid spoiling expertise. I have heard that she once told my uncle that he should use “psychology” instead of spanking to punish his children (her grandchildren). I have also been told that he responded that he wished she had heard of psychology when he was a child!
More people than I can possibly count have told me that your life changes forever when you become a grandparent. “Oh, sure,” I thought. I am not going to be one of those silly old guys who totally loses his mind, shows photos to people who don’t care, and turns every conversation into a story about his grandchildren.
And then she arrived. And I have gone stark raving stupid.
Last Wednesday afternoon, my beautiful baby girl gave birth to the most beautiful and perfect baby girl in the history of baby girls. Favorite granddaughter’s name is a Persian word meaning “cherished one.” How many pictures can one take of a sleeping baby? I don’t know, but I have already uploaded almost 100 to Facebook. I have been tweeting with a new hash tag: #drgrandpa.
One of my pastor friends sent me a message that comes as close to describing this situation as anything I have heard. He wrote, “I know your heart is filled with a brand new kind of joy.” Bingo!
This new joy found me, but I can think of times when I have gone looking for joy and found it. I’m not talking about looking for situations to make me happy when I am sad. I’m talking about what the Apostle Paul must have intended when he wrote:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:4-8)
To intentionally find your new joy, you will have to choose your attitudes, your responses, and the focus of your thoughts. Our lives matter to God and that is a reason for deliberate rejoicing. It is amazing how He brings us peace when we choose joy.
Perfect granddaughter photos available at facebook.com/drgerrylewis
Question: What keeps us from deliberately seeking to find our new joys?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your perspective.