May 11, 2020 By Admin

One day I was substitute teaching in a first-grade class and as most of you know 1st graders can be spunky, determined, self-assured tiny humans. The teacher had left me a crossword puzzle to complete with them. The puzzle word choices were all “oy, oi” words: boy, toy, joy, coin, join, noise, etc.… So as any good teacher would do, I read each word - had students repeat, we talked about what the words would mean in a sentence, then looked over the definition to see if any matched up. 

I hinted to them to fill in all the 3 letter words, then all the 4 letter words as a strategy for working puzzles. As the students started working independently, I walked around helping. I was letting them work with partners so lots of chatter was going on. As most began finishing, I noticed one partner pair in a deep discussion. So, I slowly moved toward them trying to gleam what the discussion was about. This particular pair had completed all the 4 letter words and were left with two 3 letter words - Joy and Toy with the two definitions left “it makes you happy” and the other “you can play with it” 

The young lady knew that Toy matched “you can play with it” and by default Joy was “it makes you happy.” However, the young fellow said “wait a minute I agree a toy can be played with, but Joy doesn’t make you happy - it IS happy. Joy IS the feeling of being happy. Food makes me happy, kissing my mom makes me happy, Joy IS actually just being happy."  

I had to look around to see if I was on candid camera with this tiny human schooling me and his classmate on the definition of JOY! I encouraged both to make their “best guess” and complete the puzzle knowing that the conversation would never end. He wasn’t giving in and she wasn’t either 🙂  

So I recently looked it up and the definition of joy. It is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness; to rejoice." He was right! Joy doesn’t make us happy - it is the feeling of being - it is the celebration! So, I challenge you to think about what makes you happy - What brings you JOY? For me it’s just listening to our tiniest disciples explain simple joy, being around other followers, servants who just want that simple JOY in their lives.   

Joy to the world! the Lord has come: Let earth receive her King!! 

With Simple Joy

- Robin 

Robin McCutcheon, MEd. is Samaritan Counseling Center’s Executive Director. She is a Lamar University and McNeese State University graduate. Her career has spanned public school teaching, regional, state and national educational consulting, program evaluation and effectiveness, and higher education teaching and field experience coordination. Born and raised in Southeast Texas, Robin has loved raising her children around friends, family and her church community. She spends most of her time attending events for her children, nieces and nephews alongside her family and friends. Robin finds her greatest joy in serving others and finding ways to empower those around her to find their purpose. 

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