Five Minute Friday: Joy

What a week! Life is moving so fast for us right now, and I know I’ve promised an update…

Like the proverbial dieter, I will make this promise: Monday.

Today, I’m taking five minutes to join up with others in Lisa-Jo’s community to write about joy. This week’s prompt is a tribute to Sara, and her commitment to choose joy whatever the circumstances.

Ready, set…


A few years ago I started running. It was part of this boot camp thing I was doing. Before the sun peeped through the smog, a bunch of Orange County housewives would meet at a local elementary school to be beaten into swimsuit readiness. It was grueling.

Part of the routine was our weekly run. Each Wednesday we would head to a park, instead of the school. and there we would have five miles ahead of us. Some, who had been doing the boot camp for much longer than me, ran the entire way. I was lucky if I could jog for more than a minute or two.

Then somewhere around week three, I noticed a change. I was enjoying it, this running thing (or what I called running).

Much of my morning exercise was spent on my own. With earbuds plugged in, Queen serenading me with rock ballads, and a steady rhythm under my feet…I found joy.

Months earlier, if someone had told me that I could have found pleasure in running through a park at 5:30 AM, I would have laughed at them. Even today, I laugh at the idea. It seems ludicrous

Which is exactly how I feel when James tells me to consider it a bonus when I encounter trials. Joy…in trial?! Someone drank a little too much of the kool-aid.

I don’t think it’s the trial that we’re supposed to find joy in. Rather, I think it’s the endurance we build up, the strength we didn’t know we had, the toning of our spiritual muscles.

It’s been awhile since I ran regularly. My muscles have returned to their non-toned status and once again the idea of running for fun seems absurd. Maybe it’s time for me to push myself again, to find joy in the trial.






The Final Push


Everything in me wanted to be done. It had been an hour of pushing and repositioning. This being my first delivery, I really had no idea how much longer it could go. Panic set in; my heart raced and sweat broke out on my brow.

Sensing the change in my attitude, the nurse began to cheer me on.

“OK, Melissa, just keep breathing. You’re almost done. You’re doing great. Just one more push.”

The tightening of my stomach told me another contraction was starting. I nodded my head, lowered my chin, and thought about how badly I wanted to see my son.

“1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Breath! Again. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.”

In the final moments of the contraction, desperation set in and I pushed with all my might. I did not want to go through another contraction; this needed to be the end.


Today I’m posting over on’s blog Fresh Brew! Click over to discover how I found the endurance to make that final push…