Sunday, January 11, 2015


Several days ago, I ordered Jennifer Louden's latest book, A Year of Daily Joy, and signed up for her year-long adventure in looking for and creating joy in our lives daily. Mary, my daughter who lives closest to me (about half an hour away), is going on the journey with me.  Yesterday I listened to what the author called a "spreecast," in her own inimitable style, to jumpstart the year.  

As I was reflecting on this beginning, I realized that following this path is a journey I would never have expected when Mary was a teenager and clashed frequently with me.  Those were years filled with drama, conflict, and tears, and I often wondered how we would survive them.

Today, when Mary has five small children of her own, I see the similarities between us, which gave rise to much of the friction, but now they are a source of understanding and enjoyment.  In addition to our joy journey, Mary has agreed to give a talk with me to the newly-formed mothers' group at our parish on "Yes, There's Hope!" about building relationships with your children as they grow and when they become adults.  As I look forward to giving this talk, I feel a little shock of delight that I am doing this with my daughter who has grown up into my friend.  Not only that, but all five of my daughters, who are individually very different, are all women whom I admire as dedicated young mothers and enjoy as intelligent, compassionate friends.  What a gift to be able to continually unwrap throughout the coming years!

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