"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


The room sparked with excitement as guests passed the word, “She’s here! She’s here!” Peeking out the window, we could see the car carrying the guest of honor as it slowly approached the entrance to the building. As the guests stood to their feet, Merri came through the door and the whole room erupted in a chorus of “Surprise!”  It was hard to tell who was more ecstatic – the guests or the honoree.

Dottie, Merri and Jewel in the Funny Picture Booth
               The event was Merri’s 40th birthday celebration. Crepe paper streamers and other decorations were hung in such a way the room was transformed into a carnival. Game centers placed around the room kept the party goers entertained as they moved freely from one to the other. Some spent their time in the beanbag toss area, while others played Pin the Party Hat on Merri.
A Funny Picture booth kept everyone laughing as hats, boas, glasses, and other paraphernalia truly did make for some funny pictures.  “Dottie” and “Jewel,” Christian clowns, helped convey the carnival theme. Balloon hats and animals helped put everyone in a festive mood. Bingo and line dancing were popular, too. For the last activity, all the guests went outside for a Silly String fight. What a battle!
Merri's special birthday hat
Merri spends her weekdays working at the Vocational Rehabilitation Workshop. Local businesses support the workshop by contracting with them to have repetitive tasks, sub-assemblies and sorting done by workshop participants. The workshop also teaches life skills to its clients. Other than family, Merri’s party guests were her friends from the workshop and a group home.
Merri dancing with friends
It was a delight for Dottie and Jewel, to spend time with people who know how to take pleasure in the tiniest things – getting a beanbag in the hole (or even close to the hole), dancing with friends, sharing lunch conversations, wearing a funny balloon hat, playing with silly string. One of Merri’s friends asked us for a picture. When Dottie gave it to her, it became an occasion for jumping and clapping and an exclamation of, “This is my lucky day. I can’t believe you gave me a picture. I can’t believe this. Thank you.” My heart was warmed and filled with great joy that such a small gesture made such a big difference to someone.
What do you do in your life for the pure joy of it? What small gesture could you make this week to brighten someone’s day? Please share with my readers.
Go out with joy and spill it on the world around you-
Cathy (a.k.a. “Jewel”)


  1. Great story and the pictures light it up!

  2. Thanks, MJ. Between clowning at the March of Dimes Walk and this party, we had a joyfully blessed day.