And Its Name Was Joy

Yesterday as I was dressing my three-month-old daughter for church, she looked up at me with the biggest grin and let out this big belly laugh. It was a laugh that doesn't come from the throat or the mouth, but a laugh that comes from deep down inside where big, fat, healthy laughs reside. I still have no idea what I did at that exact moment that I pulled her legs through her pants, but whatever it was, it made her laugh the best laugh I've ever heard in my life. 

A candid snapped by the hubs yesterday that I honestly feel embodies the joy he and my daughter bring to my life. I can't even remember what happened at this moment, but I love that he captured my raw reaction. 

I watch my daughter every day as she eats, plays, coos, smiles and takes in the world. And her heart and little mind are filled with joy. It's the kind of joy that comes from a place of innocence. It's joy that hasn't been tainted or disenchanted by the bad things in the world. It's a joy that isn't capable of being anything other than itself; it's a joy that doesn't know any better. 

And it reminds me that I need to appreciate the things that bring joy to my life that much more.

Each day this week, I want to focus not on candy, boxed chocolate, cards or cheesy lingerie, but on JOY. Without joy, what a meaningless life this would be, no? I also think joy is the foundation of love. So what better to concentrate on that the thing on which love itself is built. 

What brings me joy?

-The smile on my daughter's face as she discovers something new or hears a song for the first time. How her little legs move so quickly that it looks like she could take off in flight.

-Being in the company of my husband. His laugh, his grin, the way he always puts his hand on the small of my back when he leans in to tell me something. 

-That moment when I see a part of God's plan for my life revealed. As if he pulls back the corner of a chocolate bar and shows me just enough to get really excited for what's next.

-Hair highlights. Fresh ones. Amen.

-A perfect glass of sweet iced tea.

-My husband's homemade spaghetti and gravy (sauce)

-Hearing the stories my Papaw tells 

-Laughing with my mom so hard that we cry

I took a poll on Instagram yesterday to see what brings joy to you all. Here were some of the answers I got:

These were just a few of the amazing comments people left on yesterday's Instagram post. If there had been room, I would've put them all on here. Do yourself a favor and go here to read them all. I promise, promise, promise your spirits will be lifted after reading them. 

You can also follow me on Insta to be a part of each day's JOY post. (My username is ablondeambition if you choose to search for me on your phone.) Every day this week, I'll be posing a question that will be a springboard for each post. Your comment may be featured on a blog article!

Now tell me, friend; what brings you joy?


  1. The look on my husband's face when I make him laugh randomly.

    Being around my family and being silly.

    My two sisters, who are my best friends.

    A beautiful sunrise or sunset.

    A fresh, hot cup oh joe :)!

  2. The feeling of exhaustion I get after a long run.

    My first cup of coffee in the morning :)

    Pulling a batch of cookies out of the oven and breathing in their smell.

  3. Great post. Joy is often overlooked by sadness, fear, anger, etc... It truly is the little things like this that we need to focus on so much more.

  4. Cooking a meal that gets nice comments from my hubby and daughter - and clean plates!

    When my grandson grins and laughs at me.

    Getting just outright silly with my 17 year old daughter.

  5. This makes my heart so happy :) What a wonderful way to start off the week. Hope your week is joyful, sweet friend :)

  6. I almost commented yesterday on your instagram, but I did not. When my children are all tucked in and ASLEEP in their beds... that's when I feel joy! It's also the every day little things that I try not to take for granted. The little smiles, giggles, laughter, the first loose tooth, the first crawls, there's just so much! Thank you for this post! Looking forward to the rest of the week!

  7. Jesus brings me pure joy and satisfaction!

  8. Quiet time with my Jesus Calling devotional this morning.

    Watching my precious son sleep during naptime, his sweet little eyelids flickering as he dreams.

    My amazing husband telling me that I am beautiful on days when I am wearing no makeup and have on the mom uniform - ponytail, yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Bless him.

    The Kathy Lee and Hoda segment of the Today Show.

    And, Leslie - this may be my favorite post of yours ever. Loved it so much. Have a good day, sweet girl!

  9. I feel joy just from this post! I agree with so much of what everyone has said...being a teacher for kids in poverty brings me joy, knowing my husband is mine forever and we get to be silly for the rest of our lives brings me joy, and ice cream at any moment. Yup, that brings me a whole lotta joy!

  10. Shopping, candy and the Grace of God!

  11. my little sister (3)–her sweetness, silliness, and sassiness

    watching God do the miracles in our family we have prayed over for years

  12. Cee's little grin!!! I'm dying. Dying. Dead.

  13. so sweet! what a great focus for the week!

  14. Ooh ooh i see mine!!

    oh my goodness, Leslie..Miss Caroline is just blooming into the sweetest little girl i ever did see. i swear her little face is just precious.

  15. Oh Leslie, thank you for posting my response. We lost one of our sweet girls on Monday and seeing my words reminded me how strong our families are and why I was chosen for this job. Finding joy in sadness is most difficult, but a precious girl finally at peace is beyond joyous. Hoping her family can find that same peace and joy, too.


What'cha got?