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Sleep deprived and running on fumes from yesterday's coffee, I went to wake my kids one morning.  I climbed into my youngest daughter's bed and softly told her it was time to get up.  She barely budged.  After a few minutes of prodding - to no avail - I curved my finger and started to tickle her and from my mouth came the words, "The purple pickle...will tickle, tickle, tickle!"

I never would have guessed that from that day on I would hear frequent shouts of "Mom, do the purple pickle!" followed by loud bursts of giggles.  After several long and painful years, the laughter felt so good.  Before I knew it, "The Purple Pickle" became something that helped ease the pain-filled nights.  


I had planned to write one simple story for my three children but, as time went on, one story became two and then two stories became three.  And as they say, the rest is history.

All three of my children have reacted to pain and trauma in different ways.  One of my children is easily sad and melancholy, another wrestles with anger and another struggles with fear.  When you think about it, each of us have our own story to tell about our own journey through pain and heartache and we react to hardship in many different ways.  Whether you are a thirty-three year old divorced woman who struggles with depression, a forty-five year old woman who is still healing from childhood abuse or a little child whose life has been turned upside down for whatever reason, the truth is still sure:


God is a God of joy.

Even when we can't put words to our pain and even when we don't understand the "why's" and "what for's", God is still faithful and His promises still stand.  He delights in His children and sings over them with love.  In Him and through Him, our joy is full - no matter what tries to "steal our glad."  May Rickle the purple pickle not just remind our children of this wonderful truth, but may it echo in our hearts as well.  


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