JOY: [noun] the emotion of great delight or happiness; pleasure; elation.

COMMUNITY: [noun] a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage.

When I say I'm blessed by the job I have, I mean it. I'm blessed by God's grace and am daily reminded that many people don't love going to work or have somewhere they call their home within their job. Most of you may know me as a blog designer around here but I work full time at my church home as the Welcome Services Coordinator. I spend my days smothered by amazing, Godly people who only encourage and uplift my spirit. I spend my days with friends filled with laughter and so much ease.

Tuesday mornings our staff meets for an hour to discuss, build community within our family and sometimes to do simply what the Lord is telling us to. Today, he laid it on our teaching pastor's heart that we would be prayer walking. We would go out into our neighboring communities spending time praying for those in need, praying for people to feel God's love and see His love in people around them. When we take the time to smother our community we try to do it such a transparent and friendly way so today, we brought coffee and donuts to 3 elementary schools within the small area around us. Today we lifted the spirits of our educators, we showed them God is watching over them and we gave them a small sense of hope after dealing with their worlds being rocked.

Now if that doesn't bring joy to your heart, I don't know what would.

There were hugs and tears. Prayers and hand holding. We made an impact by this small gesture saying "We love you, appreciate you and can only thank you for what you do."

After Fridays news we were hesitant about making our way into these schools. We knew things would be tight and all security would be armored but God does amazing things. He lead us to these schools knowing we'd bring a small sense of brightness into their lives, knowing we'd ease that heavy heart just slightly. Isn't that beauty? Isn't this the perfect example of building community?

We've done these things in the past but never has it made this kind of impact. Never has it stirred so much emotion in our hearts or others. Never has it brought such a sense of peace over someone who's worn so thin.

Blessed. I'm serious; because after these morning events, our staff spent the afternoon praising our Lord in worship and spent time loving on each other and building again, joy within our home and community within each other.
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