Teach me

01 Jun

As I contemplate “finding joy” (our Spiritual Journey Thursday topic this month), it occurs to me how little it takes for me to lose mine. A stretch of bad weather, a cold that hangs on, misplacing my things, upcoming obligations that worry and stress me… These and many more easily grab my attention and, if I let them, steal my joy.

On the weekend I visited a friend who, a week ago, had a heart attack. Now mending from bypass surgery, her attitude of noticing all the positive things and being grateful for them is, I think, a template for retaining joy through bad times or good.

She was perfectly peaceful about relinquishing her classroom to a substitute for the rest of the year. Her husband was laid off from work a while ago, but because of that he was free to be with her in this distant city through this time. Her doctor happened to come by her room as her heart was misbehaving, witnessed what was happening, and pushed up her surgery. Her daughter, passing through on holidays visited the night before surgery and calmed her mother’s jitters using her doula skills. My friend has a strong faith and interpreted these things as evidences of the care of a loving heavenly Father.

For all of us—my friend navigating through her life-and-death health challenge to me with my petty annoyances, I believe finding joy comes in seeing and focusing on the good in the situation and being grateful for what is, rather than wishing for something that isn’t.

I leave you with a short prayer that I wrote some years ago but still need to pray:


Image: Pixabay

teach me

the sweet leisureliness
of being a lily
the implicit trust
of my child-hand
in Yours
the unlikely joy
that sings sparrow-songs
even when I’m on the ground

© 2007 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday, hosted this week by Margaret Simon at her blog Reflections on the Teche.


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14 responses to “Teach me

  1. Karen Eastlund

    June 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

    This is beautiful, Violet. I especially love your poem. Thank you for sharing your faith and poetry.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 1, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks so much, Karen! And I enjoyed your joy list in Margaret’s comments.



  2. margaretsmn

    June 1, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I had to write your poem into my journal. Such a special way to express humility and joy. It seems when the worst happens, our true selves are challenged. Your friend is showing her faith and her goodness in the face of tough times. I hope I can do the same.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you, Margaret!. “… when the worst happens, our true selves are challenged.” So true!

      I wish there were some way of preparing for these challenges because they inevitably take me by surprise. I think it’s only as we practice the joy hygiene of habitual gratitude that in a small way we build reserves into our lives for the extraordinary challenges.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. cvarsalona

    June 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Violet, your narrative reminds me that we need to continue to have a glass half full rather than half empty so we can bolster ourselves with gratitude. Your friend is to be commended for her positive attitude and her true faith. Your poem/prayer is a beautiful one that I shall continue to ponder in hopes that my daughter has a blessed delivery.

    Will you please send me an offering for the spring gallery, Springsations. The poem and image here are a great pairing.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks, Carol! And yes, I will keep your daughter in my prayers. (I will try to find a photo and poem for your gallery. The photo here is not mine but from Pixabay.)


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene Latham

    June 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Oh that unlikely joy! I love this poem, Violet. Thank you! xo


  5. dorireads

    June 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    What a beautiful prayer, Violet. Yes, I’m putting it in my journal, as well. Prayers for your friend. It’s so good to see God’s care in the midst of difficulty.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you, Dori, I’m honoured that you’d want to keep the poem.



  6. Donna Smith

    June 3, 2017 at 3:05 am

    It is this certainty – that we need to always be aware that our hand is in his hand, no matter the situation, no matter the outcome; and we must remain singing even when on the ground. Lovely!


  7. Ramona

    June 3, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Love these words from your poem:
    “the implicit trust
    of my child-hand
    in Yours”
    Thanks for sharing this poem with us. Prayers for continued healing for your friend.
    And hope that we can all be taught
    “the unlikely joy
    that sings sparrow-songs
    even when … on the ground.”


  8. Tabatha

    June 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Really enjoyed this, Violet! I’m saving it to re-read.



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