I can find joy in these stories and in these moments. The joy that is often elusive on the other side of the page. Joy that one feels forced to find, to the point where we feel like we must manufacture it; especially for the sake of the children. I remind myself during these happy/sad moments of a truth* told to me that "the sad seriousness and happiness comes together to make joy." For me, I feel the importance of that blend. It seems to me that joy does not feel authentic without confronting life's groans first. And clearly in this season of expectation, the cries cannot be ignored.
I think next our family will turn to the old Dickens standby, A Christmas Carol. Here gratitude and joy flow together freely from me around the fact that this good man gave us something cheerily and merrily concise, when his other masterpieces feel out of reach for this stage of life. Yes, a Dickens primer sounds perfect right now.
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A thought of Jerome Berryman, creator of Godly Play.