Keeping Joy on the Road Ahead

Rough Road for RealAfter thirteen years of living in one city, our family moved two hours south, away from a smaller, rural setting, into the exurbs of a metropolitan area. We made the right choice for my husband to take a new job, but the bumpy two-month process of packing, moving, and settling seemed to steal my joy.

Our water heater broke in the house the week before we left. Our heating system acted up. Our vehicle received a nail hole on the very day I loaded the tailgate with large items to donate around town. Half of our things didn’t fit in our moving truck, and we had to take a second trip and unload late at night in the bitter Minnesota wind. Our washing machine froze on the way to our new place. Just as we settled in, our car developed a fuel leak, and our dishwasher, computer and snow blower broke.

I know I have a tendency to focus on the negative and not see the positive. So, I’ve taken my own counsel to look for what’s good. And I found it.

Two friends left generous gifts of cash to help with needed repairs. My mother drove six hours north to help us unpack in our first few days. She cleaned, organized, fed us and listened so I could help myself and my children over the rough patches. New friends stopped by to welcome us, and others invited me on their outings. Family and old friends centered me with needed phone conversations. And, VW covered the fuel leak repair.

Joy and confidence in our decisions doesn’t have to disappear in the first stretches of our journey. Life happens. The work and effort needed to change course and head a new way compounds every task, emotion, and challenge into a result that feels wrong, negative, and even painful.

That’s normal. Expect it to happen. Persevere. The road will flatten out. Peace will return. Then, joy will not come from quiet nothingness but a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.


  1. jocelyn
    Feb 5, 2013

    Boy! You really hit the nail on the head with the final two paragraphs of this post. I love your perspective. The concept that all of the work and effort we put into changing course can cloud our optimism. Only when we find ourselves triumphant over seemingly insurmountable trials do we feel the joy of the journey.

    I can’t get over the number of difficulties you have encountered as of late. I can’t even express how much I can relate to monetary pitfalls piling up! I am touched by your faith and your gratitude for the small blessings that are present.

    Hang in there. I am anxiously awaiting the day that your road finally levels out.

  2. Camille
    Feb 5, 2013

    Wow. I’m glad you have some moments now to reflect and use your writing to find understanding and move forward. Enjoy the new phase and place and call me whenever you want to talk. Love you!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *