en- — prefix . . . forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem

Joy — noun — the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying

I have had a joyful week. And it’s only Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning, but I’m still up . . . as usual. I’m too happy to go to bed).

Nothing gives me greater pleasure—or joy—than helping other people. The joy piles on when I get to use my creativity and talents and, more especially, when the help and creativity required gobs of difficult but exceptionally satisfying work.

Years ago, in a Relief Society (our Sunday meeting for women) lesson, someone told a story about one lady, Sheri, praying for her friend. In her prayer Sheri asked God to bless her friend to be able to buy the house she was hoping to, “Or something better.” That story has stuck with me for years.

For a looooooooooong time, it’s been my dream to write and publish children’s fiction—not for wealth or personal gratification. I hoped to give back to the world something akin to what all the authors of children’s books had given me while I was (and still am) growing up. The books I’ve read throughout my life have not just entertained, but shaped my character and enriched my life. I really wanted to do the same for others.

When the opportunity to write a book on pin loom weaving came my way, I was glad, but also something else. Logically, my mind said, “This isn’t The Dream,” and I think I tried to force myself to feel disappointed. Or, at least, I was surprised that I didn’t feel so.

But then, how could I? Because while a pin loom weaving book isn’t The Dream . . . it’s turned out to be “something better”!

I can’t tell you how associating with pin looms and pin loomers has enriched my life and, yes, even improved my character; it’s brought out the best in me. I can’t count the number of friends I’ve made. My blog stats just informed me today (something I’d never noticed before) that I have 71 subscribers. I had no idea! I only knew of one, and only because she told me a few weeks ago she was following my blog.

If what I say influences 71 people . . . well, that’s something! It’s way more than just influencing Polly and Casey (my dogs, with whom I’m not sure I have a lot of influence).

It so happens, though, that I’m interacting with more than 71 people. There are the 2000+ members of the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group. There are the few people I met and talked with at my husband’s wood turning meeting last night. And there’s Katie.

Katie is a quilter and my neighbor. Recently she’s started designing quilt patterns for sale at the fabric store where she works. Aaaaaaaaaaaand, she lets me help her!

I’m not a talented quilter. However, I’ve been studying writing for years and I am not a bad editor. In fact—this will probably sound like I’m boasting, but I don’t mean to—when I’m helping Katie with her manuscript of instructions, I’m impressed by what comes out of my brain. It’s amazing when you find out all this stuff you didn’t know you knew.

Katie’s been over a couple of times this week, for a few hours at a time, and at times when we were both so tired we really should have been sent to bed till-tomorrow-or-later. But we had to meet when we both could, and fatigue isn’t always accommodating, is it?

We had a great time working on her pattern though the work was draining and we were so tired; I couldn’t honestly say we had fun. But we had joy. We en-joyed ourselves and each other because of the work.

And then, over the past 24 hours, there’s been the phenomenon of The Looms. Busiest week-long-day of my recent life. Hugest stats my blog will probably ever see in a day. Lots of work, but such joy!

Is it strange to claim that joy is the result of hard work?

While the work seems to drain you, joy fills you with serenity and elation. I find I can’t quite rest from it. It lingers and lingers . . .

Painting by Ira Mitchell-Kirk titled “Climb to Love,” but I’m using it to represent the work required to achieve joy

So, about the pin loom weaving book—after receiving a formal OK from the publisher and a CONTRACT to read and (eventually) sign, I spent a heckish amount of time and effort working on my pre-acceptance letter this past weekend. I had to ponder concepts I’d never before considered, learn about legal and financial obligations, PLUS battle my phenomenally powerful self-doubts. It was almost like preparing for a mission—only this time I sort of knew what I was getting into. (I served a mission for my church in the early 1980s.) Maybe the pin loom book is The Dream after all—my chance to give back to a bunch of kids of all ages. I mean, what if it enriches their lives like it has mine? <joy!>

There’s probably a ton more I want to say, but I’m going to bed before dawn tonight. So, I’ll wind up my ramblings with this fun little meme. I found it on a Catholic website and it caught my attention because of the attribution. His name is really Columba Marmion and—I’m sorry I don’t know enough about the Catholic church to explain his title: Dom. I think it means blessed because he’s been beatified.

Anyway, the meme neatly sums up what I think about joy.

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