Practicing Joy: Week 3 – Sharing Joy

GPC parent, Natalie Jorges-Castellanos did an awesome job of illustrating sharing joy by talking about a birthday party. She asked the kids what each one liked the best about a birthday party. They said things like balloons, cake, games, party hats and finally presents. 
Natalie then told a story about a girl she had known when she was little whose parents would always send a gift for her to open when the birthday girl or boy was opening theirs. She reminded us that when we are invited to a birthday party part of our job as party goers is to be excited for the person whose birthday it is. They get to open all those great presents, and we share in their happiness. For that time at the party, our attention is focused on our friend and how happy we are for them. We are sharing their joy, not thinking about our own.  
Sharing joy isn’t always easy to do. In fact, sometimes it’s very hard, especially when someone gets something that you really, really want. But that is one of the jobs God gives us, that is part of loving people. God puts us here and puts us in families, in neighborhoods, in schools to love and care for each other. Part of that loving and caring is sharing joy (when it’s easy and when it’s hard) and sorrow or grief.    
-Carolyn Hayes
Director of Children & Young Family Ministries