Purple Joy by Author Lane Arnold

We were strangers in a strange land in a strange season of our life. Betweensville was our current address. Have you been there, too, where you’re not quite here, not quite there? Waiting themed our discombobulation from a job suddenly ended through no fault of our own.

An unexpected gift of a long weekend in a tiny cottage not too far from the ocean took us out of our norm. In the six weeks of living in Betweensville, amid disappointments, dreams ending, roadblocks, and dead ends galore, we had declared Defiant Joy, echoing words from wise heart friends.

But, truth be told, Defiant Joy is far easier lived in the early stages of Betweensville, while numbness and hopes are fresh. By now, my husband and I both lagged a bit in the Joy Department.

Being early morning people, we are up and out before the world is in fast motion. By the time we’d polished off pancakes and burritos on the shaded café patio, the sun shooed away the ocean’s chill. A walk was our next step.

Photo courtesy of  unsplash.com

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Paddle boarders, canoeists, and kayakers traversed crisp bay waters, weaving on waves among sailboats, jet skis, and fishing skiffs. Sea lions barked. Pelicans soared above. Walkers like us kept a brisk clip on the seawall sidewalk.

My turquoise shoe lace unraveled. When I stepped aside to tie it, my husband rumbled on. I stretched and gazed, taking in the people: young, old, every size, shape, nationality, all in motion.

Stepping back up on the path, a dapper gentleman peered at me from under his wide-brimmed hat, eyes crinkled by laugh lines, face traced with years.

“Bless you today. May it be a good, good day. Enjoy it all. It’s a wonderful world. Bless you.” He didn’t just say this in passing. He stood completely still, looked me fully in the eyes, fully present, intentional with his blessing to me, a complete stranger. A short encounter of deep presence.

“Thank you.”

He grinned, nodded his head, headed on down the path. I watched him go, his purple-checked shirt easy to spot. Time and again, he stopped. Looked someone in the eye. Said something that brought on a smile. All down the path, he sprinkled his own brand of purple joy.

In that moment, I realized how much I’d let Betweensville drain me, rob me of Defiant Joy. It just took a stranger in a strange land in a strange season of my life to see that.

Photo courtesy of u nsplash.com .

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com.

To all the strangers I met as my husband and I walked on, I became more present, more full of my own brand of blessing and joy offerings. I bounced along the walk, my heart lighter and deeper at the same time.

Where, dear one, has your joy slipped away? How might you offer your own dear heart a brand of your special joy? And what about that stranger walking past you? You never know how much a short encounter of deep presence can change the atmosphere of someone else’s heart.

According to Lane, why small moments matter:Small moments matter as they are mosaic tiles that create wonderous masterpieces.

LaneArnold  small head shot May 2012.jpg

Bio: I’m Lane Arnold, a southerner who delights in joy and whimsy and words, words, words.

I live in the wild wonder of Colorado, where weather changes every few minutes and beauty is unending.

 My husband, where there’s always adventure, was my high school-college sweetheart but I didn’t see him for 33 years. We haven’t even been married a decade yet.

 My grown children & their spouses are always up to something new. My grandchildren are full of fun.

 I’m a spiritual director, author, writer, encourager, listener, and quilter.

I’m madly in love with Jesus, delight in my good, good heavenly Father, and enjoy being with the beyond-wild Holy Spirit.

I’m mighty glad to meet you! (Please learn more about Lane Arnold at www.lanemarnold.com)

Brave Tutu Note: To say that Lane “came along at the right time” wouldn’t be accurate. Lane has been in my life since I was in pre-school with her daughter Susannah. I knew, in order to get Brave Tutu off the ground, I would have to have editorial support. I put the plea on Facebook and Lane responded. She walked alongside me and encouraged this journey to “take courage in delight and discover power in small moments.” She believed in me and the Brave Tutu mission. When I struggled, she supported. Without her, there is a big chance Brave Tutu wouldn’t exist. Additionally, without her encouragement, I am not sure I would have pursued my career at Texas Center for the Book. My life is forever changed because of Lane’s talent, wisdom, listening and love.


Your Brave Tutu (You’re Brave Too-Too)

-Take Courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.