Joy is what happens

Joy to your world

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”Marianne Williamson

We don’t tend to think of airports as comfortable or happy places, but this video might change your mind.  During my years with USAir, I often thought how the airport gates were a setting that displayed the entire gamut of human emotions, especially during those days when people were allowed to go to the gate to meet or say farewell with those who were traveling.  Every day, I would see tearful reunions and farewells, people en route to weddings and funerals, anxious friends and families awaiting a stranded or delayed loved one, travelers dealing with cancelled plans or smooth sailing, customers venting frustration and anger, or bubbling over with excitement, happiness and  humor.

I feel obliged to issue a disclaimer: the folks at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board are not even aware I’m sharing this video, let alone paying me to do it. But when watched this video for the first time sitting beside Jeff’s bed in the early evening at the hospital, despite it being a rather sedate and sobering milieu, this clip had me literally clapping in time to the music with a big grin on my face.  I hope it does the same for you.

One year ago today:

Cheerfulness breaking in


  1. tpeastin

    How can I NOT comment! That video was truly remarkable and a great way to start my day and week! Thank you, Julia. Love, Pat

    • I’ve watched it several times. I just love it. Our dear friend that we lost to cancer in 2011 had sent me, the previous Christmas, a similar video in a mall where the Hallelujah Chorus was being performed. I’ll have to dig it up from my digital archives to share here sometime. Thanks for being with us!

  2. Judy from Pennsylvania

    Praying that Jeff is resting more comfortably and improving day by day. Having you at his side through all of this is a gift beyond all measure. Your marriage is a wonderful story of deep abiding love. You inspire us all.

    Thank you for the video you posted. It’s so full of joy and fun that I’m still smiling and can hardly wait to show it to my husband and FB friends.

    • Thank you, Judy. Jeff is sleeping peacefully as I write this. I feel so thankful that he has not (thus far) had to go through any of the awful things he went though in May. I told the liver surgeon yesterday, “in May your surgery was smooth and uneventful, and the recovery was rocky…this time, you guys had the hard part so maybe Jeff will have the easy part.” He smiled and said “I hope so!” I appreciate your kind words about us. Anyone who knows Jeff and me can tell you that we are far from exemplary in terms of being patient and kind with each other – we bicker and fuss so at times — but the underlying commitment is always there, truly a rock to cling to in the uncertain times. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video! I have watched it several times. It lifts my spirits every time. 🙂 Thanks for being here.

  3. It surely did bring a big smile on our (daughters) faces. We were almost clapping and dancing. Thanks for sharing that bit of joy. Wish you a Christmas season filled with joy and hope!

    • Thanks Bindu, I just watched it again a few minutes ago and was “dancing in my chair” to the beat, hoping no hospital people would come in and wonder if I had finally cracked (I was wearing my headphones so Jeff could sleep, and they would not have heard the music). I never tire of such joyful video clips. I’m so happy we have them freely available online to watch and share.

  4. Julia,I would like you to know that you are helping me each day to have hope in my life too. I keep you and Jeff in my prayers.

    • Cherie, it makes me feel so happy to read that. If what I am doing here can help anyone else, it brings me double joy. Thanks so much for your prayers. I wish you could be here right now to see how they are being answered, but since you can’t, I’ll link you to a photo we took yesterday, just after they removed the NG tube from Jeff’s nose. I finally was able to convince him to let me take a photo when his Aunt Gloria sent us some lovely flowers and he wanted to show her how pretty they are. The photo can be viewed here.

  5. What an amazing homecoming! Crying tears of gratefulness…this is so special! xo

    • Isn’t that a great video? (I think it would be a good one to send in a card ;-))

  6. thanks for sharing this uplifting video! we can always use another smile that lodges in the heart and stays put for the rest of the day.

    i hope that this finds jeff feeling stronger. for sure his angel julia plays a huge role in helping him regain his strength and will to keep fighting. you’re an amazing woman! lisa/z

    • Thank you Lisa. I find that most of us are stronger than we think we are. As C. S. Lewis has said, “You have never met a mere mortal.” I appreciate your kind words and encouragement!

  7. MaryAnn

    So glad to be praising our Lord for continued good news @ my Denton family!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann! We feel so thankful tonight.

  8. I don’t know if you have ever seen the movie “Love Actually” It is not an award winner but it is very sweet in many ways and of course I love it because it is sappy. The opening line is one of my favorite movie lines and it fits perfectly with what you said today. “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” Wishing you and your family much love always. Take care my friend.

    • Wow, what a beautiful quote and an even more beautiful thought. I once heard my all time favorite preacher (Harold Hazelip) say that when people ask how there could be a God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world, he thinks of all the nobility, love, heroism, goodness and mercy he sees all around him and thinks, how could there NOT be a God? where would all this goodness come from if we were really an accidental species, beings simply out to survive? Joy to the world, and especially to everyone HERE! 🙂 Hope to see you soon.

      • I too love Hazelip and what a beautiful thought. If we can keep that in our hearts life is certainly more bearable. Praying to God everyday to lift you up and keep you in his care. Love ya.

        • After thinking of him while writing that, I discovered some podcasts of him online, also some from Rubel Shelly that I downloaded. I have some old cassette tapes of Harold and I never tire of listening to him. What an amazing man he is and always was. An intellect to match anyone’s combined with the gentle spirit of Fred Rogers. He’s the only minister or speaker I can think of whose speeches (never more than 15-20 minutes) always left me wishing he would keep talking longer. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  9. Sheila

    Julia, I can only add “Ditto!” to these comments about the video. I will share it, that’s for sure. It’s so heartwarming! You continue to give us a wonderful blog everyday with your quotes, photos and words. I do enjoy reading the ones that I missed a year ago. I thank God for these days of healing. Sheila

    • Thanks Sheila! I just showed Jeff the video and I think he enjoyed it. I’m so happy you are still reading my little posts, then and now! We do have so much for which we feel thankful — including you! 🙂

  10. Ann

    This is my second day of watching the video what a wonderful way to start the day! I agree with all the comments above. Thanks for sharing the comment from Harold Hazelip.

    • Thanks Ann. I’ve watched that video several times myself. It fills me with joy. I’m so glad you like it too! Also glad you liked Harold Hazelip’s thought. His quiet wisdom, amazing erudition and humble eloquence were a tremendous blessing to Jeff and me during the earliest years of our marriage, when we heard his sermons weekly at the Highland Street church in Memphis, TN.

  11. You’re right, air travel has lost much of it’s mystic. But Oh how fun this was! What a great marketing idea. Current and heart warming, so glad you shared it. On our news tonight was a story about Westjet. They’re a short haul Western Canadian carrier known for their fun flights and personable staff. 250 customers who flew from Toronto to Calgary had a big surprise on’s the story. (note the last line of their story)

    • Hey, I didn’t get the link; can you post it again? Sometimes it takes awhile to appear. If you check back and it’s there, I guess that’s what happened.

      • Gee, I wonder what happened. Try this again…it’s really cute, thanks for asking 😀

        • Wow, I just love this! Very ingenious and so much fun. Thanks for sharing it! Loved the blue Santa suit :-).

          • I thought that was a good line he said too when someone asked about it. Santa said he only wears the red one on Christmas Eve and blue the rest of the time…quick thinking..hehe. Blue is the Westjet colour too. He was a good looking Santa.

            • He must have planned for that one. If I was there, I’d ask him if he would consider aqua for summer :-). I figured blue was the Westjet color. No kidding, if I’m ever traveling anywhere they fly, I will be more likely to take them just because of this brilliant promotion. If only all advertising dollars could be as well spent. Super Bowl advertisers, are you listening? (Of course not.) BTW Santa has ALWAYS been a handsome dude, fat or thin, black or white, red suit or blue, he cannot go wrong :-).

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