A spark of joy and wonder

Oakley's birthday ~ Crystal Gornto | HeartStories

That face.  Those eyes.  The dirty creek.  That snail.  The wet hair.  That smile.  All of it.

It’s Oakley.  

When I woke up to write about Oaks today, I could have chosen from hundreds of pictures.  My phone is full of his hilarious faces, football stances, model poses, prankster gigs and other crazy shenanigans, but this one wins the prize.   This one picture represents it all.


This kid is so full of life.  Life is an adventure and he’s sure to conquer it.  He takes every chance and relishes in discovering the unknown.  He notices even the smallest of “treasures”.  He’s in awe and wonder of everything around him.  He can’t return home from a trip to the park on his scooter without some new discovery in his hand.  There’s no exploring the creek without eagerly unearthing a treasure, like a cool snail or fossil.

He doesn’t tip-toe in the water.  

He dives right in. . . even if it’s only three inches deep.  He has to experience it all.   He can’t just play a game of football.  He gives it every last ounce of gusto he has, because he’s passionate about winning.

heartstories, crystal gornto

He has more than his fair share of struggles.  

But I can see that God made him with a fervor and the guts that will get him through.  Parenting him is like trying to inform and direct a flame.  It’s maybe one of the most difficult things I will ever do.  But his delight in this life brings so much joy and light to those of us in his path.

It’s worth all the struggle, a million times over.  

So today, on his birthday, will you celebrate with me?

Will you pause right here, take this moment, and think of one thing that brings you joy?  (seriously)

What lights you up?

What do you delight in?

What brings you passion and fervor and a zest for life?

Is it time with your family?  Your friends?  Completing a hard project?  Painting?  Music?  Running?  Napping?

Do you have it in your mind?


Celebrate today by doing more of that.

We all have a flame of joy that needs rekindling every now and then.  Don’t let yours die out.  Even if it’s just a dim flicker. . . it’s there and we need it.   Find a spark of your joy today.

We need your light.

to more love,


P.S. We’ll be fanning flames of joy at the GNO Thursday night.  Come join us.

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