“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Unbridled, childlike joy

I have had the immense privilege of watching the excitement and joy of TWO children over the past day or so--along with a steadfastness and focus I'm not sure I've ever seen in either of them.

Last week, my son was looking through a toy catalog we'd gotten in the mail (mostly because we'd ordered several things from it - a TOTALLY fun catalog at generally reasonable-ish prices). He spotted a toy he really wanted: one of those marble race building things. We decided to use this as Andrew's first opportunity to TRULY learn the value of money (and perhaps anticipation). He had about $15 of allowance saved up (not sure what he was saving it for - except maybe his lazy mama to take him to the dollar store), and the cost was $20. We told him if he'd give us $10 we'd pay the rest. Annika had also found a harp in the catalog that she was dying to have, so we decided to get it for her too (she's only 4, after all!).

Well, the box came by UPS yesterday. I don't think I have EVER seen either of my children so excited as they were as the opened that box and saw their new toys. They wanted to play with them right away, and both of them (though Andrew more) were literally dancing the entire time they were playing with it. They didn't want to eat (not even a Creamsicle), drink, sleep, play at the playground - nothing. Andrew just wanted to play with his marble maze, think about playing with his marble maze, plan how he was going to play with his marble maze, get everyone else to play with his marble maze with him. Annika was much the same way about her harp - she even played a little song to her stuffed doggie "to put him to sleep", and carried it with her to the restroom! You'd think I'd given them a million dollars, or bought Disney World for them. If this kind of incredible happiness only costs $40 for the two of them, I'd gladly fork out the cash.

Shouldn't we be the same about the gifts that God gives us? I should be dancing around the room celebrating the writing gift the Lord has blessed me with, and I should truly enjoy "playing with it," like Andrew is with his marbles (yes, it's been 24 hours, and he's STILL enraptured). And how about the gift of His Son, and my salvation? It truly should be my obsession, and should bring about unbridled, childlike joy.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. Psalm 92:4 NIV
Lord, help me to rejoice in Your wonderful gifts to me. Help me to learn from the joy of my children how to feel, and express, the joy I have for all You have given me, including Your precious son. It is in His name I pray with joy. Amen.


  1. Shall we dance together? If only my joy were as unbridled as my tongue. ;)

  2. I love it! I love the purity and simplicity of children's sense of joy and wonder. Wouldn't it be something, if that transferred into adulthood? Lovely post, Joanne, thanks for sharing!

  3. You brought back sweet memories to me of Joseph as a little boy-he's a teen now and they show NO emotion (not cool). The funny thing is, when you reach my age, you kinda get over yourself and learn to be happy for the little things (and you can bug and embarrass your teen at the same time when you "express your joy" in the store.)Lovely post with a wonderfully up-beat message!

  4. Awesome reminder for me today! I'm going to dance around, in childlike joy - soaking in my Father.

  5. What a cool post, Jo, and I love the lesson in there for us!! (I need, NEED some of that excitement right NOW!!) God's been so generous with me and I need to dance over that! Thanks, Sweetie!

  6. It's amazing how most kids find happiness in the smallest of gifts, and yet we often overlook the wonderful BIG gifts that our Heavenly Father gives to us. I'm very thankful for the gift of writing that he has given to me. I'm also thankful for the talents and gifts that he gives to others. I have been blessed by them.


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