Finding the Joy

With the excitement of the holiday buzz, comes the commercialism. It’s the buy, buy, buy mentality of the season. I think Charlie Brown said it best, “Even my dog has gone commercial!” Don’t get me wrong. I like a good Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale just as much as the next person. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season. Filling my days to the brim with Christmas activities. The creation of new traditions, married with old ones.

But, as I sit here quietly, curled up in a cozy spot on the couch with only the soft glow of our Christmas tree lights illuminating the room, I am reminded of something very important.

Tidings of Comfort & Joy…

If you asked me to find the joy three years ago, I would have felt hard pressed to give you an answer. It wasn’t as though joy didn’t exist, quite the contrary. We were preparing for our daughter’s arrival. This was reason enough to celebrate!

And yet…

As the holidays approached, a rather unfortunate chain of events began to unfold. My husband’s job did not go as originally planned. This left us scrambling to figure out what to do next. In between this rocky course of our lives we did find bright spots. We tried not to let the shadows touch those moments. Little did we know, as our course became more challenging, it was in preparation for something wonderful.

Joy just around the corner…

My husband found the perfect job, leading us to this area. He made the daily commute from the Quad Cities to Iowa City for over two years. While the commute wasn’t ideal and we were at our wits ends when it came to searching for a home, this time allowed us the opportunity to find the right home in the right neighborhood. Eventually leaving the 600 sq. ft apartment behind.

As I sit here, I am reminded of the challenging journey that would be three years in the making. There were many difficulties along the way, but we got through them together. Individually, some of these struggles seem so small, but when you string several together, even the smallest challenge can feel like a mountain. There were many tears shed and a lot of frustration.



Looking at my sweet family, I am reminded of the true joys of the season. We are able to be together, enjoying each other’s love and company. Creating memories that will last a lifetime. Our days are no longer filled with one challenging moment after another. Instead, we can focus on one another, filling our December calendar with one fun activity after the next, truly appreciating the real meaning of Christmas.

In the process, we are teaching our daughter to face life’s challenges head on. Never losing sight of all the positive things, despite the challenges she may encounter on her journey. Joy will always be waiting, just around the corner. Your journey to find it may take some time, but it’s there. So, this Christmas, as I bask in the glow of our tree, my heart is filled with the JOY of the season.

I hope through the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, you can find the joy and hold onto it all year long!

Joy to the World and Merry Christmas to all!


Nikki is new to the area. She graduated from the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Campus in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education. She married her husband the same year. Nikki loved the creativity of teaching and continues to bring that same creativity as a stay at home mom. During the day you can find her chasing after her precocious toddler. By night she is a Pinterest junkie! She enjoys getting out and spending time with her family!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.