Several years ago I asked God to give me eyes to see, to really see...To see people the way he does.

I asked to be softened.

I asked for a heart to genuinely love people right where they are and with no expectations.

You know that old saying “Careful what you ask for?” 😉

One of my favorite songs says, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.”  

I have never been a crier.

I have always had empathy, sympathy, compassion of course... but have never been one of those people who can’t let anyone cry alone. ♥️

I’m sure you can think of a friend right now. If you cry, they cry.

Kinda like your cry or die. 😂 😍

But in the last several years I have changed. I didn’t even see it coming. It sort of snuck up on me.

I may have once even considered tears at inopportune times unwelcome, but not anymore.

Today the tears that come for the burdens and joys of others are welcome to me. They flow often and quickly.

A wise friend once told me, “It’s okay to have joy with a heavy heart. It’s okay to smile through the tears.”

This has proven to be excellent advice for me that I am most grateful for.

Over this weekend, this month, this year, my heart has seen and felt so many emotions just the same as yours.

I know of babies to come that had been given up on long ago. Hope has been restored, thankfulness overwhelms. ❤️

I have friends who have lost their spouse and still have children at home to raise.

I have friends who just began their lives together with sincere promises and excitement for what their new lives together might bring.

We have been invited to 8 graduation parties this year!!! Kids that have gone from fun loving and carefree are transitioning into world changers.

Other little ones that were desperately loved and wanted more than anything ...never to see their first birthday.

Too much violence in the hearts of too many, but also so much more kindness if you have eyes to look for it.

               ❤️The heart feels many things. ❤️

Maybe you’ll remember a year or so ago when our little peach tree was heavy with peaches after several years of pruning, protecting and growing.

It was about to produce for the first time ever. We were excited to finally reap the fruit that had been a long time coming. But before that happened strong winds came through and snapped it right in the middle.

We didn’t know if it would recover. We certainly didn’t know how to repair it. We basically wrapped it in an old towel, hoped for the best and gave it time. We didn’t cut it down. We didn’t count it as a lost cause. We just kept on living with the hope that it may be strong again.

As I walked out to our garden I stopped to check on it and I smiled through tears as I saw it all green and growing back with strength and hope for the future. It’s shaped a bit differently, sure. Life will do that.

But even so, that’s what our little tree looks like to me.


It is just an inanimate object but such a beautiful reminder. My hope is anchored and secure. 

This life is going to have joy, countless joys.

It’s also going to have days darker than you ever wanted to see. Strong winds will come.

Friends, wherever you are (and I know many of you are walking through heartbreaks that feel like they must overtake you), know this:

It’s okay to feel things big and still have joy AND It is okay to smile through the tears.