Starting the Year With Joy (And More)

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope 2019 started with all things wonderful for you and yours! I know lots of people choose a word for the year, but I’m not very good at choosing a word. I felt like I needed a good handful of words to get me through 365 days and so, after some long thinking (that looked suspiciously like a long nap), I chose peace, love, and joy.

Yay! Exactly what I need for 2019! But then I thought there was something very familiar about those words. I mean, besides the fact that I still had Christmas cards hanging about and peace, love, and joy are big themes of the season. So I decided to get a cuppa and think upon it.

There’s a shelf above my sink where I keep my coffee cups (and why do we call mugs “coffee cups” or “coffee mugs” but a more delicate cup, the one that comes with a saucer, a “teacup”? I only drink tea and I drink it out of the coffee mugs. Mister Man only drank coffee but he was just as likely to drink his coffee from a teacup. Is a puzzlement.)

Anyway, when I reached for a cup, here’s what I saw:

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Hahahahhaaaa! My favorite tea mug! I guess as long as I don’t break that cup, I won’t forget my words for 2019.

And honestly, I needed those words, when a few days into the new year, I received an email that…well, you can read for yourself over at the Muffin in “The Value of a Professional.”

I feel like I have LOTS more to say about the value of a professional so I hope you’ll all give it a read and then come back in a day or so (or possibly six) when I expound on that topic. Meanwhile, in spreading a little joy, I have an update about my friend, Sonia, and her book, Finding Joy in Giving Back to God that I shared with you here back in early December.

41Uy077Uf1L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Sonia has not only sold her first batch of books, but several more batches (and I’m getting ready to order 50 more books for her)! A pastor from another church contacted her, asking her to speak to a group of parishioners, and so this weekend, she’ll have her very first speaking engagement (which is why I need to order more books!). She asked if she could share my Muffin post “A Christmas (Publishing) Miracle” and of course I said sure and brought her a copy of the post this morning.

Oh, my, that Sonia is a force to be reckoned with! Almost every day, she has news or questions or I-don’t-know-what-all, but mostly, she’s just full of joy. Not because of her accomplishment–though I think she still can’t believe how far the book has come–but because she’s helping so many people in different ways. That would make anyone joyful!

And her joy brings me joy. That’s the way it works with joy and with peace and love, now that I think about it. I can’t imagine a better way to start a new year, can you?

 

A Cheery Day, After All

I’ve had a bit of a day here, dealing with a situation that’s proved impossible. (Just insurance, people, no one’s jumping off cliffs.)

(Yet.)

Anyway, I’ve put on one of my favorite Christmas music CDs (Neil Diamond’s Acoustic Christmas) and I’ve got my Peppermint Tootsie Roll Pop because chocolate and peppermint and Neil fixes everything. And now that I’m in a better place, I can tell you about my friend, Sonia, and her book.

If you’ve come over from The Muffin, then you already know Sonia. If you’re just popping in, then you’ll want to read “A Christmas (Publishing) Miracle.”

41Uy077Uf1L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Sonia calls me every day to ask if her books have been delivered (they’re coming Friday). Or to let me know that a friend has ordered the book (though I already know because I manage her bookshelf). And sometimes, she tells me what Father Sunny said (again). But really, Sonia just calls because she’s so darn excited. And because, though she wrote this book, I think she’s still in awe of what she’s accomplished. Sonia needs me to say, “Yep, the books are coming.” Or “Wow. You’ve sold two books!” Or even, “Father Sunny said that?!” But really, what I’m saying is, “Good for you, Sonia. You did it.”

I’m so very happy for her, and truly, it was a privilege to help her. When Sonia’s beloved husband died a few years ago, she was beyond devastated. She wasn’t interested in living in a world without Cipriano. But Sonia’s a woman of deep faith and she turned to that deep well of faith, the saints, and to the virtues that had been the constants in her life. And Sonia came back to life, back to her joyful self. This is the story she wrote about in Finding Joy in Giving Back to God. 

If you’re dealing with grief, here’s a little book of hope for you. And you can help the church in the Philippines grow because Sonia’s donating all the proceeds to the Fransalian Missionaries, Inc. in the Philippines (where she grew up). But you don’t have to buy Sonia’s book for a happy ending to this story. Sonia’s joy is back and that’s a wonder to behold. She cheers me up every day.

Even on a day when insurance thinks it will get the better of me. (But it hasn’t.)

(Yet.)