Two women sat visiting in the local coffee shop looking out the picture window at the town's courtyard. The first was Gilda Freeman, who was in her late forties, with dark brown hair, and was somewhat plump . The second was Felicia Strom, who was about the same age and sporting her new hair color of the month; a streaked mixture of auburn, blonde and black. Both women were sweet by nature and had just come from their appointments at the local hairdresser.
"Look Felicia, there goes Becky Harker! She's such a sweet little thing. Have you ever noticed how happy she is all the time? I mean really, she always smiles and has something good to say. She even walks happy, if that's possible!"
"I know, it just puzzles the fire out of me how she can always smile. I hear tell she even wakes up happy! I doubt she's ever spoken a contrary word to anyone in all her life. And, I've known her since she was just a young'n."
"Ya know, come to think of it, I ain't never heard her say a cross word to anyone. Not even when that hateful Lena Clemmons slapped her one time at a church social. Becky just apologized to that awful creature and never said a harsh word. In fact, she took food to that woman when she got real sick a year or so later."
"Felicia do you remember the time when her husband had that dreadful accident? She was so calm when we went to sit up at the hospital with her. In fact she kept trying to comfort us, and see'in if we needed anything!"
"Yep, that Becky really is quite a lady."
The women watched Becky as she smiled and greeted people while crossing the courtyard. She was a petite little blonde in her mid thirties. Her smile was radiant and her green eyes danced with happiness as she made her way toward the coffee shop.
"She's had lots of really hard knocks in her young life, Gilda. Yet, she never appears to get sad or overwhelmed! I'm a Christian, and I do my best to live a life that's right. But, I have to admit, I think I sure would be downtrodden if I had to go through just a fraction of what she has!"
"What do you suppose we are we missing? There's no denying her happiness is genuine. What do you suppose she knows that we don't? "
Felicia pointed toward the door of the coffee shop.
"I don't know, but I think we may be able to find out."
Both ladies waved to their friend and motioned for her to join them. It was Gilda who spoke first once Becky got her coffee and sat down.
"Sweetie, we've been talking about you as we watched you coming across the courtyard."
Blushing, Becky prompted them. "And?"
" Well honey, we just couldn't help but notice that you always seem so happy. Gilda and I both know you have had your share of troubles. Yet you're always so upbeat and cheerful. And, we just wanted to know how you do it?"
"It really is pretty simple. You see, several years ago I was feeling overwhelmed and defeated by life in general. That's when the Lord opened up my eyes to the scripture that says the joy of the Lord is our strength. Since the good Lord says our strength comes from our joy, or happiness, then I wanted that strength. I believe that true happiness is a choice that should never be determined by our circumstances. So, I just do my best to practice being happy, no matter what I face. Sometimes I don't do so good, but I aim to practice until I'm perfect at it!"
Becky's cheerful laughter floated across the room as she finished her explanation to the two ladies.
Gilda leaned forward and gently cupped Becky's sweet face in her hands.
"My dear, you are such a blessing! And you have taught this old bird a valuable lesson today!"
Felicia nodded her head in agreement.
"Such a wise woman you've become, my dear!"
A good long while passed in that coffee shop, as three women sat enjoying sweet fellowship and looking out the picture window into the town's courtyard. Each knew they had received a special blessing by being there that day.
.. for the joy of the LORD is your strength. -Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)
From the beginning the Lord let me know I was to share whatever He inspired me to write. Now, over a decade later, I'm still sharing what He's given.