Lessons Learned by the Side of the Road

The phone rang last night at 1:20 am.

If you’re a mom… You know what that means.

My heart raced.

My stomach dropped.

And, I began to take a quick inventory of the whereabouts of all my children.

A mom’s heart just knows when one of her children is in need!

Sure enough, when I answered the phone, it was my daughter-in-law, Rochelle. She and Peter had been driving home from the airport with our little granddaughter, Kaleigh, when they hit a deer.

Thankfully, everyone was uninjured, (except for, unfortunately, the deer) but their car was wrecked.

What’s a mom for anyway? I jumped in my car and drove off to the rescue.

I’m still chuckling about what I found when I arrived.

Peter was concerned about the car…

Rochelle was exhausted and ready to go home…

And Kaleigh…

Well, this is what Kaleigh looked like.


She was beaming from ear to ear, just so excited to see her “Peeps!” It didn’t matter to her that it was the middle of the night. She didn’t care that we were beside the highway. She was unfazed by lights, and blinkers, and speeding cars.

No, she just exuded JOY!

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy lately. In fact, I’ve been teaching a series about joy to the ladies in my Sunday School class. It’s been an eye-opening study for me to prepare. It’s challenged my heart. In fact, it’s been convicting.

We’re funny, us women. We’re great multi-taskers, boo-boo kissers, planners and providers. We can wake up early, stay up late, and be there when we’re needed. However, the one thing we just aren’t so good at is holding on to JOY.

Joy seems to be so elusive.

We find moments of joy, but a continual, abiding, perpetual joy seems to elude our grasp and escape our vision.

Oh yes, we surely have moments of joy, but circumstances, and relationships, and illnesses, and… well, monotony, all conspire to steal that joy away.

Kaleigh understands joy in a way that I long to understand for myself.

You see she didn’t need the perfect circumstances to give her joy.

She was safe and secure with her mommy and daddy; and she was content because she had her grandma and auntie.

That’s all she needed. Not stuff, just security.

When I stop to think about it, I have all I need, too.

I’m safe and secure with my Father.

I’ve been blessed by relationships with family and friends.

I have everything I need to hold on to joy, regardless of my circumstances.

I can be like Kaleigh!

How about you?

Are you safe and secure because of your relationship with Jesus? Do you understand the joy that comes from knowing He’s intimately, protectively, and constantly with you?

Are you content with the relationships He’s brought into your life? Do those precious souls who share your life bring your joy?

Happiness is fleeting… It races away when adversity comes.


But Joy… Joy is different. It’s a gift from the Father to those who belong to Him. Joy came in the person of Jesus and indwells us with the joyful Holy Spirit.

This kind of joy isn’t exclusive; it’s inclusive, available to all.

This kind of joy isn’t expensive; it’s priceless and came at a great cost.

This kind of joy isn’t elusive; it’s eternal.

Today, may we grasp joy; a face beaming, ear-to-ear smiling, wide-eyed winsome JOY… The Joy that comes from Jesus!