Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding Joy

"I am so happy!" Lauren says to me today. This girl just exudes happiness. She is the most happy, laughing, giggly girl I have ever known. She often reminds me of my paternal grandmother. In fact, I often can almost hear Grandma Harris laughing from beyond the veil at this little girl with all her giggles.

I am a thinker. My mind always is pondering something or other. Lately, I have pondered quite a bit about finding joy amid grief. I want to let myself feel all the emotions that pass over me so I can let them go, but I also do not want to dwell on the sorrow and grief. I do not want Camille, and especially not her death, to be the overwhelming focus of my life.

I figure there will come a time and season when she will be the most glorious sole focus of my life. I anticipate that day like you can only imagine if you have not lost a child. But I have three other daughters here and now. I don't want to cheat them out of their mother's attention and focus on top of the loss they are already feeling. 

So today as I was driving, I was thinking about how I want to model my own life for them to follow. I want them to be able to feel sad and cry when they need to let that emotion out. But, I mostly want them to feel joy -- real, honest, heart bursting joy. I think it is hard for them to feel that if I don't. The mama sets the tone in the home. 

Feeling more honest joy is something I am going to be working on. I just need to make my mind more firmly focused on the numerous and overwhelming blessings in my life to feel that joy. It is totally doable, if I can just focus my mind.

So today the girls and I watched a movie together and Lauren "held" me through all the scary parts to protect me. It was really cute. Then when the movie ended she exclaimed in pure joy with arms spread wide "I am so happy!" At that moment, I felt that pure joy emanating from her little self like a heat wave. I love you my Lauren. 


Anonymous said...

How sweet. Your girls are a blessing and a joy i bet. What a goal to set for yourself. I think we all need to find more joy. Thanks so much for sharing.

Miss Molly said...

Oh, this was wonderful. I have been asking myself over and over (as well as others), "Will I ever feel true joy and happiness again in this life?" Today I thought for sure that the answer was "No, I won't". How could I when my heart is so very broken? I am hoping this new baby will aid me in my journey towards joy. I know it is possible.

I loved this post. It was like reading my own thoughts. (thoughts i have on a good day...which was not today). THANK YOU

Heidi said...

She "held" you? That is too cute! What an adorable, sweet little girl.

Kathryn said...

I'm so glad you have Lauren's giggles in your life. That is pure joy, the laughter of a child!
Do you remember that book called "Glimpses" about Marjorie Hinckley's life? One of the main themes of that was to find joy in your children. It's a divine message. Thanks for posting about it. Hugs to you!!!

Rachel said...

Now that my kids are getting older I miss those uninhibited giggles. That's what I love about kids that age, the unguardedness of their feelings. Sad, happy, confused, amused, you never have to guess, it's all over their face and in their voice and even their emphatic body language. And I think you're doing a beautiful job of modelling for your daughters healthy ways of handling this grieving process.

Liz's Blog said...

I haven't commented in awhile but when I read the post today, I had too!!!! What a great post. Your girls are proof everyday of what a wonderful Momma you are!!!!

Caragirl said...

I also haven't commented in awahile, but I am still an avid reader! I thought of my own daughter when you talk about Lauren, (she is only a few days younger then her, I remember your post on her birthday) They are so full of JOY. It also made me think about Adam and Eve, and how the Lord told them we cannot feel joy until we have felt sorrow. You have felt the worst sorrow imaginable, so I can only imagine the Joy you can feel too. Thank you for your continued strenght and endurance, you are an inspiration to so many of us Mommies out there.

Marleen said...

Sweet Lauren. She still made my day when she said she liked me best. A very sweet post.

Shanan said...

I can always use a little dose of Lauren's smile and joy! Thank you!

The Morris Fam said...

Soooo... Does Lauren take after the biting grandma??? What a fun life she will have. Thanks for the reminder to Love Life and show my kids how to do the same!

Allison said...

Hello! I have been following your blog and often thought about you and your family. This morning as I was driving to work, I was listening to the soundtrack of Joseph Smith the Prophet by Rob Gardner. I have listened to this soundtrack a lot. This one particular song made me think of you and sweet little Camille. It's a song Emma is singing about her baby she and Joseph lost. I looked for the song online but couldn't find it. Anyways, here are the lyrics:

The wind through the cyprus made them sway,
And rolled the clouds back that winter day,
The sun shone through long enough to say,
"Your baby was here, but cannot stay."

For there are more important things to do,
And she must add a gleam to heaven’s hue
To help brighten the pathway for one and all,
For through the darkness, great men fall!

This little spirit, so pleasant and fair,
Returned to the ones who were waiting there.
And when I walk out in the night divine,
I know one of the stars that shine is mine!

She came to the earth just for a while,
Not long enough to see her smile.
For this little baby we loved so much
Was just to precious for a mother’s touch.

How grateful I am for your blog. As someone without children yet, I look to your example as a mother. I hope I will be as selfless as you are. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


You don't know me my name is Dannielle and I visit your blog regularly and enjoy reading about your beautiful family. I was reading the entry about your girls going back to school and noticed what a beautiful kitchen you have. I am in the process of redecorating and was wondering if you knew the name of your tile and paint. If you don't mind and if you get a minute you can email me at Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet picture. You always write such thought provoking posts.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

I am so glad you are coming out of the dark! Life does go on, and making a gratitude list everyday is something that has helped me in times of turmoil. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Mimi's Toes said...

She has such a Doll face. She beams beauty!