Six years ago, when this journey began, I had A LOT to learn about myself. To be honest, I was not in a good place. I had recently found out about the aneurysm, was fighting postpartum depression, extremely hormonal, taking care of a new baby girl, moving into a new home, and readying myself to head back to teaching. It was like...I had so much to be thankful for, to feel joyful about! But my head and my heart wouldn't let me think or feel it. I had become an emotional mess and decided it was time to talk to someone.
At first, it was hard to talk about me. Me? Huh...what could I tell her about me? It had been such a long time since I had really taken a good, hard look at myself. And really, I'm not sure a ME ever even existed up until that point. Truth be told, I found out I was always so worried about everyone else--pleasing everyone else, providing for everyone else, being there for everyone else, caring for everyone else--that it was literally making me crazy! I was a codependent person and felt stuck in that label--sad, angry, unhappy, and hopeless.
And from there, Ruth became not only my therapist, but my teacher, my mentor on this journey called life. She helped me find God's peace...and that brought me joy and hope. She helped me get unstuck. She encouraged me to go after my dreams. She helped me up when I fell and pushed me onward when I was afraid. She helped me find a me I never even knew existed! And eventually, I was able to walk the path on my own two feet. Six years of twists and turns, ups and downs, highs, and lows--and there are still days that I miss our 'talks'.
So. When we decided we would gift our first inspire.joy piece to someone who has inspired joy in our lives, she was the person that came to mind. You see, not only has she helped inspire me on my journey, she has set an example for me and so many others on her own. In late March of this year, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. You can read about her story here. Her unwavering faith, positive attitude, strength, and courage continue to amaze me each day. And I am so very thankful that God brought her into my life when He did.
On Saturday, we got to visit and I was able to present this very special piece, made especially for her. The idea behind our inspire.joy shareable trinkets is that you will find them (or receive them as a gift), keep them (as a reminder of the joy you are spreading in our world), and then, when you're ready, pass it on (to someone who has inspired joy in your life or that you feel needs inspired).
It is our hope to start a movement--to spread joy in and around our communities--by recognizing those who inspire us on a daily basis. We hope you'll join #inspirejoy and share your stories with us!
Ruth's windchime is now on her front porch and as the wind blows, is a daily reminder of the joy she is inspiring in our world. <3