This morning, the wrong side of the bed had my name all over it. I was a grump. An exhausted grump, but a grump nonetheless. Various forces have colluded to render my total sleeping time the past few days to be….well, apparently not what I needed. Eating my sourdough toast and half of a grapefruit this morning, I realized that my breakfast was about as sweet as I felt: not very.

I had to enact an attitude adjustment, and make it fast. My two precious little kiddos and sweet husband don’t deserve Grumpy.

Eventually I took a look around and thought about just how many blessings there are in my life. I don’t mean things. I mean: family, shelter, choices, love, humor. So many joys. I have JOY spelled out in big black wooden letters affixed to the wall over the built-ins in the family room. It is a reminder, a credo. I believe: JOY. We see it everyday, passing to and fro in the house. Remember our JOY.

Yet sometimes there is a need for striving. I wouldn’t be a human if there wasn’t. Even if most of the time I do, I don’t always remember my blessings so easily—I will always be childish in that way, needing to constantly tend to the shape of my heart.

When life sends along the temptation to be not our best, we have to send it back and remember that we deserve to be our best, and to live with our best heart, even when it takes work. We have to remember the game of ping pong:

(The sweatband was the work of my Aunt Anna—she thought it would be fun if we looked the part)!

Work for the joy, and it will come.