Be the Joy

fishDon’t we all love to be around someone who is happy and joyful?

It rubs off on us and we get to bask in their cheerfulness.

During my second daughter’s baby blessing, the Lord told us that she would be a joy in our lives.

For some reason, this one sentence struck me with force and stood out to me.

And it proved to be true throughout her life. She always brought joy to our family.

To this day, she makes me laugh out loud. Actually, she often makes me laugh uncontrollably.

Not only that, she was always the peacemaker in our family and helped everyone get along.

I often think about one time in particular when she brought joy to our family.

One evening just before dinner, my son was cleaning out his small fish bowl. He had one of those amazing betta fish as a pet. Betta fish are so fun, they are truly a fish that has personality. If they see themselves in a mirror, the sides of their fins fan out like the dinosaurs on Jurassic Park. If you hold your finger at the top of the water, they will attack it, as if they could bite it. As far as fish go, they’re fun.

fish2

It was one of those busy nights in the kitchen where too much was going on. I don’t recommend trying to cook dinner while your child is cleaning the fish bowl. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Just before he added new water to his fish bowl, I washed a pan with extremely hot water.

My son then filled his fish bowl and plopped the fish inside.

Now I’ve never seen a fish do this, but it literally JUMPED out of the  bowl. JUMPED!

And sadly landed on the floor.

We all just stood there and stared, stunned.

We all told my son to quickly put the fish back into the bowl.We hadn’t realized what had happened just yet. We assumed he just missed the bowl and the fish had accidentally landed on the floor.

My son picked up his fish and placed it back in the bowl. It promptly sank to the bottom of the tank.

What was wrong? What happened?

We all gathered around the bowl as we wondered what was wrong. My son was devastated. This was his beloved fish and he took very good care of it.

I touched the bowl and immediately felt the warmth of the water. It was boiling hot.

We quickly figured out what had happened. My son had filled the fish bowl with tap water, thinking it was the usual neither hot nor cold temperature. But it wasn’t, it was still wicked hot from prior use.

As you can guess, the fish died almost instantly.

My son cried, feeling as though he had killed his fish. We tried to make him feel better, but he was inconsolable. Brokenhearted.

We decided to have a funeral the next morning, followed by a solemn flush.

We gathered around the toilet and we each said a few words about the fish that had brought so much joy to our household.

Everyone felt bad for their brother, who was guilt-ridden.

When it came to my second daughter’s turn, she said a few words, and then ended with, “We’re sorry that you didn’t like a hot tub. We really thought you would.”

That did it. We all cracked up, to include my son.

Her words lightened the mood and spread joy during a time of sadness.

I’ve never forgotten that moment. It was one of many wherein my daughter spread joy in our household.

We can all be the one who spreads JOY, the one who spreads sunshine into the lives of others.

Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy and to experience joy during our earthly lives.

In Second Nephi it reads: (Book of Mormon)

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BE THE JOY, BE THE SUNSHINE.

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