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I Choose JOY Despite the Circumstance

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? We have those words pouring into our devices, our stores, our television ads, and even in our mailbox. How anyone could be unhappy when Christmas arrives is something that often leaves some questioning that person’s Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, there are life circumstances or insurmountable pressure to do it all that some will never understand that leave folks feeling joy-less. It’s just that subject I want to touch on today. I choose JOY despite what life throws at me.

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces Reflecting on Choosing Joy |

I will be the first to say that I’m not always joyful in my heart of hearts, especially when this holiday season rolls around. Why? Because of what it’s become – commercialized, fake, unfocused on the exact reason we celebrate this holiday at all. However, if I choose to latch onto the negative feelings, that will surely find me lacking in joy in all I do.

In past years, I’ve shared with you about our family trials with health and children. In addition, I’ve also shared about our debt trials and joys. Boy, if life wasn’t a roller coaster, it would be a pretty boring ride, wouldn’t it?

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. James 1:2


You see, about 2 weeks ago I decided to take my kids on a “get-out-and-be-free” adventure. I had been working extra hard to fulfill custom orders and needed a break. Plus, I knew the weather was going to be superb for our area this time of year (near 60 & sunny at the end of November is a dream day). We headed out for a bit of hiking and soaking in nature. It’s my way of appeasing the country girl in me. I seriously never dreamed of raising my kids on a city lot.

We had a blast. The minute we exited the vehicle, they begin to beg me, “Can we just go run?? Can we??” They take off sprinting and racing, even throwing themselves downhill to roll. Can you tell we’re an outdoor family?

Kids Rolling Downhill | I choose joy |

Aaahhh…the freedom of being in nature. This fills my heart with joy, but at the same time a bit of sadness they have to come to somewhere to feel this freedom. We are by no means trapped in our location, but as I said…being a kid who grew up running bare foot through forests, I felt their joy of feeling free.

Outdoor Walk with Family |

Nature Walk with My Kids |

After the day was nearing an end, we headed home to make dinner, do more work, and then try to settle for the evening. My daughter had to stage her recently refinished vanity the next day, so I asked her if she needed my help. She said no, but I helped anyway. It was during those minutes that it hit me. My left eye blacked out for about 30 seconds. No other symptoms, just my eye.


Like anyone, I got scared. The blackness passed quickly and left me puzzled. I had two instances over the summer where my left eye went haywire. I chalked it up to my alignment being off because I’ve been a hot mess. Needless to say, this got my attention. I try to get into a doctor, but no one had an appointment for a regular visit. Instead, I went to the ER. While y’all were out black Friday shopping, I sat getting poked and waiting results.

Many tests were run to rule out what I had assumed was a possible mini stroke. All tests came back negative for any such thing, but I was prescribed to see an optometrist. I did that. Same. No test showed anything amiss. The doctor believes my summer episodes to be a retinal migraine caused by stress (as well as possible dehydration due to the time of year and my workload). Believe me, I was under HUGE stress thanks to a neighbor.

However, this time around, the blackout is believed to be related to an alignment issue causing a pinch in my optical nerve. Also, followed by an infection I had in my nasal passage which was causing slight pain. *while many of you may be concerned, please refrain from leaving me medical advice in comments. You can email me if you like, but I want the focus of this post to be on the positive. Thank you. 

UPDATE: I wholeheartedly believe this was all caused by my abusive relationships and trauma.


Why do I share this with you? Well, the days that I had to process what was going on left me terrified, anxious, nervous, and sort of angry. I had just paid off the last of our debt outside of our mortgage and was looking forward to Christmas. Now, I will have medical bills AGAIN that need paid (we do have insurance, but deductibles will win this time). But…I am here. Do I know what the end result will be? No. However, this gal is moving forward.


While I could be depressed about not getting to be with my children decorating or fretting about what might be, I choose joy. There were other folks in that ER in far dire circumstances than I. Because of the timing over the holiday of all of this, I had to wait a bit to continue getting seen by doctors. I wasn’t up to my normal energy, but I wasn’t going to miss out on a BIG event for me and my family.

This is to be the very first year we have a real tree. Why is this such a big deal? Well, as a kid a fresh tree was all I knew. My parents would load up our truck, drive off into the forest on their property with us tucked in the back. We are on the hunt for our very own Christmas tree. Mind you, not just any tree, but usually a 20 ft tall one for the living room had glorious cathedral ceilings.

We’ve only ever had faux because it’s what we had. This time though, I am staying true to my self-imposed motto, No Regrets. So, the Saturday after my ER visit, we went on our own family tree hunt at a local farm. I will let the pictures tell the story, but I can say this is one of my fondest memories to date. Joy in my family, joy in nature, and joy that I am here today.

Christmas Tree Farm |

Fresh Christmas Tree Retrieval |

Pair of Percheron Horses Pulling Christmas Tree Sleigh |

Carrying Fresh Christmas Tree | #prodigalpieces

Christmas Ornament Hanging |


It’s a sad reality that the holiday season has the highest depression and suicide rates. That is only the Liar, the devil, doing his work to quench the joy in our Savior. Tell him to shut up! Do you feel like you’re carrying a load that no one understands? I’ve been there – oh, so many times. I also know how freeing it is to let the load go and give it to God. I have to each and every day. Maybe you have insurmountable health problems, or a strained relationship, bills that are mounting, or feeling utterly alone.

He is waiting…just waiting to give you the strength you need. All we need do is ask. God only knows.


Not one of us knows what the future brings. I plan to make the most of the time allotted me. No, I can’t force my hand and have everything just as I want it. Maybe you are unhappy with your job, your home, your marriage, your parenting…the list goes on. What is stealing your joy? Identify it and give it to God.

Have you ever seen the movie Pollyanna (a book by Eleanor H. Porter)? A little orphan girl comes to live with her high society aunt. Pollyanna is always telling others how she can find the happy in anything. She essentially faces her own debilitating accident and loses faith. The community, that she affected positively, help her find her joy again. Proof that we need to build each other up as a community, a society, a people.

As far as I know, there is always a speck of hope in every situation to find joy. I haven’t been faced with everything there is to encounter in this life. Therefore, I look to stories of the past. How can David write the Psalms with fear and joy? He believes. Or how about Job who loses everything dear to him and finds it within himself to find joy. There are even modern-day stories of folks who still bring light in the most desperate times.


You are officially challenged. Instead of being filled with the Christmas spirit, I ask you to fill yourself with joy on daily basis. Giving hope, love, peace, joy is not limited to one time of year. Seek the Savior in each day. Pay that compliment to the grump in your office, help that person who won’t ask for it, smile like you’re alive and ready to take on the world. Negativity is the death of us all. Today and every day CHOOSE JOY. Undoubtedly you will see the change transform your life and the life of others.

I’ve created a free printable for you to use for yourself. Print them out and stick one in your car, one in your bedroom, one in your bathroom…you get the idea. However, I also want you to share it. Do you know someone needing a hug? Or how about the person you see looking down? Maybe your cashier is going through something. You just never know who just spent time in the ER waiting…like me. Print them out and share the joy – even write a note on the back.

I choose JOY free printable cards |


I can’t help that I have such happiness that I want to share it with you. I’m bursting at the seams! Likewise, don’t fall into that rut no matter what stage of life, choose JOY.

For fun, here’s the story behind this phenomenal song – HEAD HERE.


With that, consider yourself prayed for and loved on by lil’ ol’ me. My gift to you each day is to bring my joy in all I do. I am wishing you the Merriest of all Christmas now and forever more. Don’t let the push to perform and meet self-inflicted/societal pressures bring you down. In addition, I have a little something to send to you if you need a boost. All you need do is drop me an email. Don’t wait…reach out.

Free Max Lucado Book for Those Needing a Hug |

Finally, I want to hear from you. Not only tell us how you find joy, but how you spread joy to others. Lift us up!

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces on How I Choose Joy in all Circumstances | #prodigalpieces

Also, pin and share to reach those that need it most.

How I choose joy in all circumstances. It ain't easy, but there is hope | Head to Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #joy #life #stress #guilt #fear #health #debt

You can read my update HERE.

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In addition, more of the ways I choose joy:

How a Family of 8 Paid off over $11,000 in Debt in 18 Months. Debt Free is the way to be. | prodigalpieces.comHow to Make Sense of Troubles in Life with God's Grace | Prodigal Pieces |


  1. Kim says

    You are a treasure, Larissa! May you have many blessings now and in the future.

    • Larissa says

      Sending that right back at ya, Kim. Thank you for the love.

  2. Angelina Taylor says

    A number of years ago I was in the hospital, my husband was still recovering at home from being hit by a rig on his motorcycle on the hwy, the doctors were saying that I was dying. I have had 23 abdominal surgeries, for a very rare condition. According to dr’s it will take my life at some point. I had been in hospital this time from the middle of September this time. I was mostly bed ridden. I had spent my Canadian thanksgiving in hospital and the hope of getting home for my December 15th birthday or Christmas was looking grim. I had seen many room mates come and go home . I was praying, my family and my church were praying. I chose to keep my joy by blessing and showing the love of Jesus to anyone I could!! I shared with doctors, nurses, and room mates and their family. I prayed with and over anyone I could. The result was many blessings. I had a surgeon come on her day off and play her violin for me, I had room mates who came for follow up visit with gift, the hospital allowed my church choir come and sing Christmas songs on my floor . I was seeing so many blessings. I kept my joy by looking outward at how I could bless others, choosing to look around and see the blessings and favor I was being given, and not focusing on where I was or what the doctors prognoisis of death. I did get home in time for Christmas!! The doctors really do not have any understanding medically of how my health made a sudden improvement. But I do!!

    • Larissa says

      Goosebumps!! Praises for your gift to self. I felt the same way when I looked death in the face in ICU. It’s truly a choice. Hard at time, but certainly worth it. Hugs, Angelina!!

  3. Denise says

    Good morning, Larissa. It’s so nice to go to your posts and feel like your are talking with a friend.
    I lost both my Mom and my stepdad within months of each other this year. As we go into the holidays, I feel, well…lost. Nothing seems quite right, but I too am choosing joy. It’s not always easy, and there are moments when the loss hits hard, but I know my Savior holds them in His arms.
    Have a joyful Christmas!

    • Larissa says

      Oh Denise, I’m so sorry. We went through something similar when my husband lost two grandparents within a month’s time. It is hard. I’m happy to hear you are choosing Joy. Many heartfelt hugs and prayers to you!

  4. Candy Walsh says

    Thank you Larissa, this is exactly what my heart needed today. It’s so apparent that you have such a strong sense of faith, family and joy! Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of how precious all of these are every single day. Life isn’t always easy but it can be filled with joy~thank you for reminding me of this.
    I hope you and your beautiful family have a blessed holiday season and find more time to run thru the woods barefoot ❤️??

    • Larissa says

      My pleasure to share, as it is a daily choice. Nothing is ever easy, but He gives us way out. Blessings to you too! And yes…more barefoot and carefree.

  5. Linda C Johnston says

    You are truly a gift to those whom you touch. You are so like so many of us. Trials, tribulation and yet one who has and will have many blessings. I needed to hear all you said today. It has been a very tough year. My thoughts have been “Oh no, it can’t be Christmas!” No money, no heart in the joy one should have this time of year for so many reasons. AND, then came Larissa. Thank you for reminding me of all the good things in my life and the JOY I should find in them.

    • Larissa says

      It’s on my heart to share and I am truly blessed to hear from those I write for. Thank you for spending time with me and encouraging me in what I do. Sending you HUGE hugs, Linda, and you have my prayers too.

  6. Celine says

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, believe me when I say you are an inspiration to me and to many,I adore you?

    • Larissa says

      Celine, that truly means so much to me. More than you know…

  7. Laura F says

    Thank you for sharing your story and your heart….choosing Joy, choosing positivity, is so important, and it truly is a daily experience for me….my husband and I have had an especially stressful year (job change, new store, health issues), but we make sure to remind each other of our blessings ….we choose Joy 🙂

    • Larissa says

      Consider yourself covered in prayer, Laura. 🙂 Yes, it affects our whole being – our mental attitude and stance is can mean life or death. Blessings!

  8. Martha Jones says

    Thank you for this post on a day when i need it! Today I Choose JOY!

  9. Karlee Fuchs says

    Thank you for sharing real stuff. I’m sure many of us can relate. I know I’m Right there with you! Stress eye black out and all! I have a hard time reading that every person on the internet with a blog or a page is trying to show you Perfection 24/7. That isn’t life and that contributes to stress and the feeling of disappointment. Many people don’t realize that everyone has trials regardless of how they look on camera. I think it’s very important let people show that when they’re in the public eye. Thank you for opening up and sacrificing a bit of privacy to help all of us.

    • Larissa says

      I totally get it. And being on this side of things, I know more goes on behind the scenes and I prefer to be real. Thank you for your encouraging words of hope, Karlee.

  10. Susie | Chelsea Project says

    How much do I love you…..your kind and gentle spirit, your warrior princess outlook, and your courage to speak truth….love you for all of these reasons….and so many more. Bless you and bless you…today and always. XOXO

  11. Jenn says

    A beautiful and refreshing reminder, especially during this season! Praying for your health and for God to show himself faithful as always!❤️

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much. It can be hard to see past all the fluff at times.

  12. Gail Reeves says

    Thank you Larissa for the message to remind us all of the need to choose Joy! Yes we can let Satan take away our Joy for just the slightest reason…..but we have the Greatest Reason that Joy should fill our souls every moment. I pray you and your wonderful family will have a Blessed Christmas! Gail

    • Larissa says

      It can be so hard when times are dark. But, we have to prepare for that choice when it hits us. I’m so glad you are joining in here, Gail. Merry Christmas!

  13. Janette says

    This reached out to me so perfectly today Larissa, things have been hard with lots of ups and downs, but I look around at how awful some people have things and I thank God, I am so lucky compared with so many today, your words are a huge help, Thankyou. We all need to help each other in this turbulent world, I always tell myself the old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I”. Take care in all you do, bless your

    • Larissa says

      I am much the same, Janette. Focusing on Him is key, though not always easy. Sending hugs!

  14. Charleen says

    Dear Larissa. You are a Joy. We all have things in our lives,that we think is all encompass ing,that no one knows or care. We have a Savior who knows and cares. We can always look around and we will find out that we don’t have as bad as we think,just human nature. God bless your sweet heart. May the Lord continue to anniont you will the oil of joy. Have a blessed Christmas.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you for that virtual hug, Charleen. Yes, He is just waiting. 😀

  15. Melanie says

    You are a very strong person. Yes, joy is a choice. Have you read the book on this topic by Kay Warren, wife of Rick? A very good read! I would like to check out the Max Lucado book you recommended.

    • Larissa says

      I couldn’t do it without God, Melanie. I haven’t read that one. I’d love to send you one. Just email me at larissa at prodigalpieces dot com with your mailing address. 🙂

  16. Jo-Anne Reavis Anderson says

    Praises to our God who allows us to choose JOY! Your mention of Pollyanna warmed my heart! That movie is one of the reasons I love my lamps that are adorned with hanging prisms and my front door and side lights that have beveled glass that spread rainbows throughout my house when the sun hits them. Oh the joy! The same goes for when my brother was so sick before his passing, I gave him a long feather and the book Dumbo reminding him to be brave. Currently with my husband and his neuroendocrine tumor cancer, we continue to choose joy because we know who holds tomorrow! Keep the faith! My prayers are lifted up for you! ❤️

    • Larissa says

      Oh how fun! The prisms are just a wonderful reminder. You are a kindred spirit, Jo-Anne. I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s troubles. Prayers and hugs!

  17. Tess says

    Joy is my favorite word-Jesus-Others-Yourself. If you live within that order, you will be happy. Not easy always but worth it. We do have choices. Why not choice joy and being positive. We don’t do this alone. God sends us family, friends, strangers to help us through. I wish more people understood this truth. Merry Christmas to you and yours! And a healthy new year!

    • Larissa says

      That’s perfect! And so true. A community makes it bearable, a good community, that is. 😉

  18. ColleenB.-Tx. says

    Looks like you & your family had a wonderful time on your nature outing.
    I spread J O Y by helping others in time of need; especially during the holidays. When asked what I want for Christmas, I tell everyone to make a small donation to a favorite charity of mine. When a person gets to be 70 yr. old; there isn’t much a person really needs and I feel truly blessed with a great family & good friends.
    “To put it simply, joy does not necessarily mean being happy. I think that we can have joy when we are happy, and we should.
    When things are going well and everything seems right, we can have joy in the Lord. We can be happy that He has blessed us with so many good things. Psalm 16:11 says “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” This passage speaks of having joy during the good times. It speaks of joy in the presence of God and giving Him praise.”

    Thanks Larissa for being a great inspiration to us all.
    Wishing you and your great family a Very Merry & Blessed Christmas.

    • Larissa says

      You hit the nail on the head, Colleen. So much to be shared in the world and we tend to hoard the blessings. Good on ya! 😀 Merry Christmas!

  19. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Larissa. God Bless You! I cannot tell you how your blog just lifted me up. I am a Believer and I do know what it is to suffer and be sad and I need this today so Thank you! So very much, /thank you! I Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Larissa says

      I’m so glad you stopped over, Cheryl. Thank you for affirming what I felt God had laid on my heart to share. Hugs and Merry Christmas to you too!

  20. Kim says

    Larissa, what a JOY your post was. Words of wisdom and faith. Two years ago I almost died. I had battled an ear infection for 2 months. One day I layed down to rest and woke up 7 days later out of a coma. I was in ICU for a total of 9 days – 14 days total in the hospital. My ear infection had somehow turned into spinal meningitis which turned septic and I went into septic shock. I was very depressed at first but I think it was hearing that an estimated 11,000 people had prayed me through my ordeal brought a rush of humility, thankfulness and joy. I praise God everyday for letting me live to move back close to my children and grandchildren. What a JOY they are! I find myself sinking into negativity sometimes but then I think of how God chose to save my life and the JOY is back. I choose JOY!!! God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas!

    • Larissa says

      Oh my…what a terrifying journey you had. Yes, I too “should” have been dead about 16 years ago. Woke up to faces all around me rushing about and asking questions they thought I couldn’t answer because of damage. In my mind I was just fine. Crazy how life is. In a flash it can change, however we can change it daily with our choices too. It’s certainly hard at times, but joy is where it’s at. Kudos to you for seeking it. Merry Christmas!

  21. Kim says

    Your words, your witness, sweet girl, as always are a blessing to me. There is so much hurt going on in my family right now. I was blindsided. I never thought satan could get in my family like he has been allowed to. I am standing on God’s promises…train up a child… all things work to the good…and rebuking the deceiver in Jesus name! When I think I just need to go straighten this out (yep one of those mamas) God reminds me… be still! Stay from between me & your children. When I find the worry overwhelming He reminds me…capture your thoughts. His truth & promises are my rock. After the miracle we have watched Him work by His hand beginning Sept 30th there is no doubt He is truthful to His promises. There was no doubt before but this! I’ll make it as short as possible but I HAVE to share it with you❤ We have 3 children, 2 girls & a son. The girls have been married 19 & 13 yrs. Between them they have blessed us with 15 grandchildren (2 of which are in Heaven, so we know His plan is not for us to always be able to keep them)
    Our son has been married 4 years. His wife is our daughter in heart. They went through a very hard time about 3 years ago. It is truly a miracle they are together. In Jan they learned a baby was on the way. She always wanted babies. Our son really didnt, mostly out of fear. Fast forward 4 months & they learn the baby has a heart defect. A bad one but one that most children survive with surgeries. Just coming out of such a hard time in their marriage, it was a blow to them. After weekly trips ( 5 hours round) for monitoring our precious granddaughter was born at 37 weeks weighing 4 lbs 3 oz. The goal was 28 weeks and 2 plus lbs. See what God did❤ But we are far from through this. Her heart defect was as they expected, they started life saving measures with surgery planned at 5 days and otherwise she was perfect! This is where it gets unimaginable. Because they did on a whim genetic testing, they delayed surgery (not good, the meds to keep the hole in her heart open causes damage to other organs). She showed a slight chromosome deletion ( it has no data showing anything other than slight developmental delays) BUT based on this they ( a well known childrens hospital) refused to do her surgery. Their best argument was they had no info on its affect on quality of life…she may not be able to go to school, ride a bike, the stress will harm your marriage… I felt like I was in a horror movie out of the pits of hell. This went on for weeks. Our son & daughter in law would not give in and just let her die. They asked that all qualified hospitals be contacted about taking her. They claim they did and said all declined. We were devastated. The hopelessness and helplessness was so overwhelming for those of us who have walked many years by faith but for this young mama & daddy it was excruciating. BUT… I looked up a pediatric cardiologist in Dallas ( we kept hearing to check them, even the NICU nurse said get her out of here! but we didnt trust the hospital here anymore) My youngest daughter called this number, the receptionist put the cardiologist on the phone…she listened then told my daughter she would contact 2 hospitals in Dallas and 1 in Houston & that she should hear from them within 24 hours. 45 min later nurse coordinator for Childrens Hermann in Houston Becky Sam’s called my daughter, then my son. She gave my son her number and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Salazars number. She had already talked to him and told my son he wanted to talk to him. This is what he told my son… I am not God, but I depend on Him for what I do, it is my ministry, I think I can help your baby!!! All those !!! Are Praise God! Within days (and many obstacles) Houston sent their jet with their team for our precious baby!!! This man prayed for our baby before he ever touched her. What Birmingham said was impossible he trusted God with only to find her heart is better than Birmingham told them! She has had some minor setbacks. She still has a major surgery a few months ahead. But God willing our lil miracle baby will be heading home to Alabama in a week! Her mommy has only been home for about 16 hrs since Sept 30th when they came home to get things to take to Houston. Her daddy has had to leave them 800 miles away to come back to work. It has been a hard road. But God has built their bond with each other so much stronger but most importantly this has drawn them to our Heavenly Father! No matter how short or how long this babys life, she is a testimony of our Creator and His power, His mercy & grace❤ How can we not choose joy? We dont deserve the blessings He has given us, yet He does. I saw this quote long ago & it’s still a good reminder…
    Pain is inevitable but misery is optional. It’s very true. We have to choose every day. Please pray for our girls. There is a hurt between them I never thought possible. I have to believe God will heal it. Praying for you sweet girl and believing God has many many years for you to share Him with this world❤?

    • Larissa says

      Oh Kim…I am beyond words. You are right…God is above all this and has a plan. Patience when it comes to things like this has never been my forte. I am much like you…fix it NOW. When my water broke at 21 weeks with my daughter, the doctors, nurses, everyone basically put her in the grave. No one attempted to save her life for another few weeks. I believe, there could have been hope if they had tried because I’ve seen other babies be born her age and make it. I even labored alone…so alone. I feel for your son & DIL and will cover them in prayer, and for you as well. God’s got this. Do keep me updated and feel free to email me their names so I can pray specifically. Thank you for allowing me to lift this to God. 🙂

  22. Mary says

    Every day is filled with joy if we just look for it. God bless you Larissa and I hope everything resolves itself.

    • Larissa says

      You are spot on, Mary. Yes, me too. Hoping nothing comes of it.

  23. Cheryl B says

    Thank you Larissa. This was so needed at this time. Sharing ourselves is such a gift. It’s not presents and bows and packages. I’d rather bake cookies and bread with my kids. Its time spent that matters so much. Hearts are with you. Love to have the booklet. Cheryl.
    Bless you

    • Larissa says

      You are very welcome, Cheryl. I’m with you. I don’t remember many gifts I received as a child, but I remember the family times and memories we created. Send me an email with your address for the book – I’m happy to send one to you. 🙂

  24. Michelle says

    Your line, “what is stealing your joy?“ is well worth prayerfully pondering

    • Larissa says

      It can be elusive, but taking the time to find the source is will worth the investment.

  25. Peggy Morris says

    Last year, my in-laws passed after several difficult years; two of my best friends died (one in her sleep to heart attack and one to cancer) ; and our sweet great-niece, Collins, was born with skeletal dysplacia. Unfortunately, that disorder comes with many problems and she never left Children’s Hospital. Collins touched many lives in her 5 months here on earth.
    On December 17, 2018, I had vision problems with my left eye that required a trip to our local eye clinic. Two days in the hospital, tests and a journey that I’m not sure will ever be over.
    I ignored my health issues because there were so many others who needed care. Now, I am suffering from chronic illnesses and the pain that goes along with them. But, the pain is the losses was so much greater. When my friend, Jeannie died, I didn’t leave home for a month. Barely left the bed. She was an Angel and the last of our losses. I could not have made it through our other tragedies without her. I’ve never felt so alone.
    Luckily, I have a wonderful and supportive husband. I attend a great church. Our theme for the is “Choose Joy”. This article was a true Godsend this morning. Thank you for sharing.

    • Larissa says

      What a burden you’ve had to bear, Peggy. I’m so sorry. It can be so very hard to find that new norm…it’s never the same again. I’m happy to hear you are choosing joy because it really can make a difference in all you do. Sending you prayers and hugs.

  26. Kristina says

    Thank you Larissa for always being an inspiration to me and for me. I have struggled horribly this holiday season, so much so that I haven’t even read most of my blog emails that I subscribe to because I had lost all of my joy for most things That is why I am just now finally getting around to reading this one. I so wish I read it sooner knowing it might have helped me. My husband of 37 years suddenly decided that he wanted to separate and unfortunately I had to leave the only state I had ever lived in and move 1500 miles away to move in with my brother and his family. In other words the only life I have ever known has been turned upside down. My children have decided that their heart currently sides with dad so it’s been devastating to say the least.
    I am so very great full for my brother and his generosity and try to take comfort in that and know that God has decided that he has different plans for me and my future but I married the only man I ever loved at a young age and never envisioned that we wouldn’t grow old together.
    I will continue to pray to find my joy again and reading what you and others have written here today has given me renewed hope.
    Thank you so very much Larissa and may God bless you and your family.

    • Larissa says

      Oh, I’m so very sorry, Kristina. I can’t imagine the stress you’ve been under and understandably lack of joy. I’m also so glad you came to read. Yes, things aren’t always what we want them to be. I’ve been dealt new issues this last week and working through them myself. I am lifting you up in prayer. Please keep me updated – feel free to email me at larissa at Sending you HUGE hugs!! {{{hugs}}}

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I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

~ Laurel

Prodigal Pieces

~ Laurel

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

~ Stephanie

Prodigal Pieces

~ Stephanie

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

~ Mikki

Prodigal Pieces

~ Mikki

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

~ Sharon

Prodigal Pieces

~ Sharon

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!

~ Deanna

Prodigal Pieces

~ Deanna

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!
Prodigal Pieces