Last weekend--the third Sunday of Advent--the priest gave a homily about the struggle many people have to find joy, especially at this time of year. He challenged everyone to stop thinking about what they don't have and to be thankful for the things they do have.
Throughout the whole homily, I couldn't help but think of Barley. She embodies joy.
It's hard not to find joy in life when you're hanging out with Barley. Of course, she creates plenty of stress, too, but Barley has no trouble finding joy in the little things in life: squirrels, snacks, snuggles. She's helped me find joy in the world, too.
Soth doesn't have much trouble finding joy, either--despite his struggles with FLUTD. Give him a fuzzy blanket (or a dog bed), a catnip toy, or a bite to eat and he's happy.
Barley, Soth, and I hope that you're all feeling the joy of the holiday season this week, but if you're struggling to find that joy at this time of year, try taking a page out of our pets' books. Find joy in mischief, in nature, in family and friends, in snacks, in curling up under a well-loved blanket. Christmas really isn't about what we don't have. Love is Christmas and if you have a pet, you definitely have love.