Finding Joy in Compassion

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As Jake and I are moving into a new year and approaching the February 15th anniversary date of finding out he had lymphoma, I cannot help but go through different emotions about that time of year and what it meant for me personally, as his wife and as a caretaker to him. 

A friend of mine recently shared this devotion with me and told me that it reminded her of my blog, but that she had never thought about Joy in this way. And neither had I. 

Solidarity in Weakness

Joy is hidden in compassion. The word compassion literally means “to suffer with.” It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy. Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty … such experiences can bring us deep joy. Not happiness, not excitement, not great satisfaction, but the quiet joy of being there for someone else and living in deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this human family. Often this is a solidarity in weakness, in brokenness, in woundedness, but it leads us to the center of joy, which is sharing our humanity with others.

Source: Henri Nouwen Society 

Words taken right out of my heart to express what I felt during the most roughest, soul-aching moments of Jake’s sickness and my time spent with him. 

I could not have expressed this any better. Thank you for sharing Beth. 

My Three Joys

Happy Sunday! And what a gorgeous Sunday it has been. Jake and I have had a wonderful week and weekend of watching March Madness, being lazy, working on crossword puzzles and enjoying the cool breeze coming in through our windows.

Number One:

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WHOOHOOOO!!!!! I am happy to report that I am free from going to classes for the next two weeks! Yep, you read that correctly. Not only do I have a week off for Spring Break, but both of my professors cancelled the following week due to being out-of-town. Now I should say that while classes are cancelled, I still have several homework assignments due, but hey, I can handle that.

I also took advantage of knowing that classes are out for two weeks and didn’t touch a single homework assignment the past four days. It felt WONDERFUL. I realized I have been a little stressed about trying to fit everything in and just wanted to have a couple of mental health days of doing what I wanted to do and not think about homework getting done. It feels so good going into the week relaxed and knowing I have some more time at home with Jake.

Number Two:

Temperatures here in Iowa climbed to over 80 degrees the past few days and it was pure blissfulness. Jake and I have enjoyed some of our favorite things such as sleeping with our windows wide open, lighter evenings, sitting outside at Mars Cafe reading, and sipping on pre-summer drinks. (Only me of course).

Sweet tea vodka and pink lemonade If you like tea and haven’t tried this drink yet, you are missing out. It was my go-to drink last summer and well, with temps feeling like summer, I just had to take advantage. 🙂

Number Three:

Yesterday Jake and I sat down with Nate and had our first interview together for the documentary.

Nate has had a couple of interviews with Jake and was finally able to catch both of us for a question-answer session.This week we surpassed our goal of $7,500 on Kickstarter and well on are way to our new goal of $10,000!  I am overjoyed to see this documentary to come to fruition. I cannot thank everyone enough for the re-tweets on Twitter, sharing of links on Facebook and going to Kickstarter.com and becoming a backer.

Well another week is in the books and I am off to get back to one of my newest guilty pleasures of watching the new 90210 (courtesy of instant watch on Netflix) before Jake boots me off for the next basketball game. 🙂

Have a wonderful week!