My kids are joyful. They really inspire me. I would venture to bet that not many parents could say this. It's interesting to see how they are joyful in different ways and for different reasons. Some of this is due to age, and some is due to just general life situation.
The youngest girls just may not know any better, but they seem to find joy in most situations. In fact, when they are most getting on my nerves, I remind myself that it is their sheer joy that is causing me discomfort. I do sometimes have to reel them in a bit, but to have that uninhibited joy and energy around is infectious. Nothing in particular has to happen to bring out this joy, because it just burst out of them in every day situations.
My "middle" child has a more quiet joy. It's like something that is lurking under the surface, just waiting to explode at any moment. She has great self control, much more than I do, even when it comes to her joy. However, it's there, and it's obvious, and it has a great affect on those around her. Her joy is most evident when she is just being plain silly, and she can be silly with the best of us. I also see that joy ooze out of her when she is working with young children. She glows when she has the opportunity to inspire a young life, and this in turn inspires those around her.
My oldest daughter has a joy that leaves her able to deal with things maturely. It puts things in perspective for her. It comes along with a faith that God is in control in all things. She has less self control than her younger sister, and she is more likely to lay things on the line. Different things bring her joy as well. For one, her music brings out the joy in her life. Anyone who has watched her and heard her sing will tell you this. Also, seeing God place the puzzle pieces of her life together makes her burst with joy. Being content in choices she makes because of her confidence in God's plan for her just lays that joy right out there.
Ironically, my kids bring out the joy in my life. There are other things that do it too, but the girls are a big part of it. I don't do a very good job of letting them know that many times, because life is so darn crazy, stressful, and fast. I hope to do a better job at this in 2011. When someone has such a profound affect on your life, you really should let them know about it.