My mom-in-law went home to glory last week. We celebrated her life at her funeral a few days ago. While her legacy is fresh on my mind, permit me to share with you about a lady who for nearly a half a century, really left her mark on me.

Hers was indeed, a life well-lived! Her attitude was like an ice cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. In fact, the minister presiding over the funeral service said that “Mary Lou’s special talent was taking the lemons of life and making lemonade.” Marilyn and I have been married for nearly 42 years so that means I knew mom fairly well for over 43 years and I very rarely saw her grumpy or grouchy. And she suffered with a debilitating illness for most of her life which makes this even more remarkable.

Now most people would tell you that I’m a fairly upbeat kind of guy but I am not, nor have I ever been in the same league as mom when it comes to looking on the bright side of things.  I’m convinced after personally witnessing her life for so long and then hearing the eulogy shared by children and close friends that she had a way of “looking on the bright side” – a trait that pretty rare these days.  And her secret sauce can be summed up in a word.

Joy.

That’s it. Just joy.

As the song says, she “had that joy, joy, joy, joy down in her heart.” Every day was a good day because God was in her life and on her mind all the time and therefore, there was nothing that the two of them couldn’t handle because she knew that he was there looking out for her.

I know. Some people think this one word “secret sauce” is trite perhaps, but most of us know someone who is upbeat no matter their circumstance and if you’re like me, you’re maybe just a little bit jealous of them.

The logic of the joy-filled heart goes something like this.

Jesus loves me.

He lives in me.

He’ll never leave me and has my best interests at heart.

Therefore, the joy of the Lord shall be my strength.

In the words of Paul. If God be for us, who can be against us. Romans 8:31.

As I remember the life of my dear sweet departed mom-in-law, I will always remember her indomitable spirit fueled by her joy. And when I think of her, I will smile.

See? Even departed to a better place, she’s still spreading the joy here on Earth! (I see that smile on your face :))

Something to think about.

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