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The place where joy lives

the hiding place

As a writer I spend a lot of my time remembering.


Thinking back on my life and the stories I have lived. The ones I have heard, witnessed, or been fortunate to have someone share with me.

We all have a story.

Sometimes we’re quick to judge, or slow to forgive, but we’ve all been somewhere others will never know or even begin to understand.

My story isn’t much different from yours.

The details are different but deep down we’re really the same.

Each of us, when it truly comes down to it, just want the same things.

To know and be known; to love and be loved. Peace, joy, health and happiness.

It’s really quite that simple.

Remembering helps me focus.

It helps me tune in to the things that are truly important and forget about the rest. The distractions that muddy the waters of a clear, calm mind.

The details that tempt me to remain busy.

Because sometimes remembering is hard. Sometimes it brings pain.

But deep inside the heart of pain is the carved out space for joy.

Because joy rides shotgun. The space carved out by the well of sorrow is the secret place where joy lives.

I took this photo the other week and it reminds me of my grandma.

She was fiercely strong and stubborn and brave. She could be mean and harsh and incredibly soft.

She was everything, and yet left so much to be desired.

She taught me some of the most important things I know.

And she hurt me deeply.

But her memory lives on. In favorite phrases, candy dishes, cigarettes and pads of butter eaten on a spoon. Card games and cheating and cackling laughs, grandma was one of a kind. She called a spade a spade, and she always said that too.

This plant reminds me of her.

They remind me of my mom because my mom said they remind her of grandma.

Hens and chicks.

I’ve planted them throughout my gardens. When I see them I will always think of the women who made me strong. How I want so badly to grow in and among them, close up and yet the edges can sometimes be sharp.

Joy rides shotgun to sorrow. Kind of like family.

Today’s Challenge: Spend some time remembering. What is a memory or thing that reminds you of your childhood or someone from your past? Something that makes you feel strong or brave or full? Not necessarily because it’s a good memory, but because the lessons you learned through the person or the trial or the situation have made you better and braver; kinder and softer. Decide how you will allow this memory to write your story. Because choosing to remain soft in a cruel world is not weakness, it is courage.

This is day 10 of our Revolt Against Busy Challenge! You can sign up and find the homepage right {here}.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rachel October 10, 2014, 4:27 pm

    Tammy thank you. Thus far I have been blessed encouraged and spurred-on as I read your posts this month. I have read out to the blog post to my husband and shared the inspired words with him. Thank you x

    • Tammy October 11, 2014, 4:03 am

      Thank you Rachel! I’m so glad you’re here. xo

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