Finding Joy in My Funk

Today, I am linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. Each week she invites writers to join her in expressing our thoughts on a prompted word and just write for five minutes. No pressure, no over-thinking, no editing, no hesitation. Just writing for the pure joy of writing.

This week’s topic is “JOY”.  I’m a day late, but on Friday I was feeling anything but joy. Such an interesting internal conflict that bubbles up when you are feeling one way but reflecting on an entirely different emotion. Simply put, I’m in a funk. And searching for joy amidst sadness, confusion, frustration is hard to do! 

Yesterday my husband and I took our sweet pup, Brody, to the vet for severe mobility issues he’s been having. He is not quite 3 years old and has always been very active. Running, jumping, playing, and swimming are his favorite things! But over the past month or so, he has been wobbly and falls often. He just can’t keep his legs under him. He is no longer running, jumping, playing, or swimming. He has difficulty even walking.

We had taken him in a few weeks ago and they couldn’t find the source of the problem. We restricted his activity and hoped for recovery. A small glimpse of the happiness of puppiness would be an oh-so welcome blessing! But he has gotten worse instead of better. And yesterday’s second opinion confirmed what we had feared… that it is a neurological problem.

In a few weeks, we will be traveling to meet with a veterinary neurologist for tests and an official diagnosis. But in the meantime, we are making him as comfortable as we can. And there is just nothing very joyful about any of it.

Here’s where the joy is…


This sweet little puppy face brings sunshine to even the cloudiest days.


And now that he is older, this face still melts my heart. I am putty in his paws anytime he bats those big brown eyes.

There is something amazing about the joy that dogs can bring to our lives! The purity of their love as they rely on you for every need. The unyielding enthusiasm of wiggly butts and wagging tails at their first glimpse of you when you come home from work. The way they fully embrace every beautiful moment of life with every fiber of their being inspires me. Their joy is contagious!

Brody 541

The way a frisbee on a nice day is everything they’ve ever wanted or needed.


How the adventure of a boat ride brings absolute bliss. And a swim in the lake or the pond or a puddle is the best part of any day.


The way that the crisp autumn air and fallen leaves provide the perfect backdrop for a spontaneous soccer game. And how it never gets tiring to chase the ball and bring it back. There is no such thing as “too many times”.


The way your personal space bubble no longer exists and even this close is not close enough. On your lap, in your face, the closer the better.

The joy of simplicity. The joy of play. The joy of connection. The joy of love. The joy of mutual respect. The joy of naps. The joy of treats. The joy of friendship. The joy of adventure. The joy of car rides. The joy of sniffing new smells. The joy of fresh air. The joy of a belly rub. The joy of taking up more than your fair share of the bed. The joy of early mornings. The joy of spotting a squirrel. The joy of feeling safe. The joy of running through the sprinkler. The joy of sloppy sweet kisses. The joy of eating the cat’s food and sometimes even their poop. The joy of sticking your head out the window. The joy of a lazy day. The joy of being told “you’re a good boy”. The joy of sneaking a snack when nobody’s looking. The joy of a walk in the park. The joy of having everything and everyone you need. The joy of belonging. The joy of being.


While we don’t know yet what Brody’s future will hold, I do know that even if it brings sorrow, it will also bring joy. And the joy he has given us in his short little life has been an unmeasurable blessing. On good days and on bad days. Despite the circumstances. Even in my funk. He feels joy, he brings joy, he is joy.

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10 thoughts on “Finding Joy in My Funk

  1. Shaina March 22, 2014 at 2:40 pm Reply

    Brody is a ray of sunshine that brings light into all our lives and I pray so hard that there is hope for a long future for such a special pup! He’s beautiful and strong and so very kind…JOY is the perfect word for him and everything be represents. Paw Prayers 4 Brody Brode! ❤

    • trisbendickson March 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts! We sure are hoping that our Brody will be around to spread joy for many years to come. So much love to you ❤

  2. Debra H. March 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reply

    I hope the next visit to the specialist will bring some hopeful answers. I know how hard it is to sit alongside a sick canine friend who is such a tremendous part of your life. They do bring such a special joy and companionship to us. Praying for you and Brody.

    an FMF neighbor

    • trisbendickson March 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm Reply

      Thank you for your kind words Debra. Blessings to you FMF friend 🙂

  3. sarahssundry March 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm Reply

    Awww, Tris. I’m so sorry for this struggle with your, as we lovingly refered to our dogs, ‘furson’. It’s soo tough when we have to watch them struggle and have done all we can for the moment. Hoping that the neurologist has good news and that you have many years with your boy. *hugs and prayers* Sarah from

    • trisbendickson March 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm Reply

      Sarah, thankful for your hugs and prayers 🙂 He sure is our “furson”… I like that! Blessed by your kindness.

  4. Tonia Bendickson March 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply

    Sissy I’m so sorry Brody is struggling. I love your post though, and have been thinking a lot lately too about similar things – love you. Keep us posted.

  5. poetry joy March 24, 2014 at 8:12 am Reply

    What a lovely tribute to your sweet dog! Brody’s amazingly joyful attitude to life and the way he expresses it to you makes me wonder how a simple, child-like trust in our heavenly Father’s love, care, protection and provision could enable us to remain joyful too. Yet we so often lack joy when problems press heavy and anxieties weigh us down. If we could live with the freedom, faith, positive attitude, gratitude and exuberance your beloved pet demonstrates here, then maybe our joy would multiply. He has much to teach us. 🙂

    • trisbendickson March 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm Reply

      Your sweet words come as such a comfort to me. Grateful for the beautiful reminder that we need faith to find our joy. So blessed to read your reply today when my worries and anxiety are leading my thoughts. Thank you so very much!

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