We made it!  2021 is coming to a close and we are grateful for all the good things that happened in the year and for surviving all the challenges the year brought.
It is easy in the midst of the pandemic we have struggled with for two years to see only the challenges, respond only to our fear and anxiety.  When we do this, we miss all the joy that is right in front of us.  Perhaps it feels a little “off” to talk about joy when we think of all we have experienced this year; maybe we should just talk about surviving, keeping our heads down and trying to simply get through the days.  If you’re like me, I’m sure you have had several days like this in 2021.  I am  reminded, however, of the words of the writer Angela Williams Gorrell in The Gravity of Joy, perhaps “we can give ourselves over to the what if? of joy. We can live postured toward joy, alive to its possibility, even in the unlikeliest places, even in close proximity to our sorrow, even and most especially in the midst of our suffering…We can look, listen, and be open to the awareness that any thing, any person, and idea could unexpectedly seize us with joy.”
In this month’s newsletter, we are sharing stories and photos representing all the joy you brought to our lives this year.  All the joy that sometimes is right in front of us and we just miss it.  Look at the smiles on the faces of those in our care. See the happiness your care and attention brought to them – and to us!  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all that is happening in our world, I hope the stories and pictures we share will give you a glimpse of the possibility of joy, the promise of it from the angel announcing the birth of Jesus, “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

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