Joy Hope Love

This morning I met up with a group of running friends for an annual holiday run. It was 6 miles, but on a very hilly course, and then we gathered at Starbucks after to catch up. This group is a fast group of runners, fortunately two of my friends were taking it easy and ran with me. One girlfriend had already just run the course and was getting 12 miles in, the other girlfriend just ran a marathon last week and was running easy. I enjoyed the company and ran a quick 11 minute mile pace. A faster long run pace for me and a good lighter run for my friends – win win. I really enjoyed the time running and chatting as well as celebrating after with the group.

I dropped my dogs off at the groomer before the run – today I wanted to finish decorating my home and get my Christmas card pictures taken. I am happy to report I accomplished both. The dogs are all cleaned up and wearing their holiday bows. Getting three dogs to sit still for pictures is no easy task. While I was at it, I also took pictures of my two cats. They are individual – getting all five together for one picture will just never happen. Here are the three pictures I chose for my card:

Barnabas, Phoebe, and Priscilla
Barnabas, Phoebe, and Priscilla
Molly
Molly
Kosey
Kosey

And my tree:

The finished tree
The finished tree

With all of the terrible news and sadness from yesterday, I was happy to have time today to celebrate the season with friends. Decorating my home added more Christmas spirit and the pets most certainly made me laugh. I took quite a few pictures to end up with the final three. The card I chose has three blocks with words between the pictures: “Joy, Hope, Love.” These words are very fitting, both in the holiday time and every day of the year. Sometimes it is easier to let bitterness, anger, and despair take over. Just like in training for a marathon or triathlon, the path to accomplishment is not the easy one. Focus on joy – the underlying sense of happiness and peace, hope – anticipation of our hearts’ desires, and love – affection that is often more a verb than a feeling. It may not always be easy to do, but it will strengthen the soul just like a good workout strengthens the body.

 

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