The Joyful Things

Destiny Welsh is a special education teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools. She grew up the youngest of 14 children in the small northeastern town of Lansing, Iowa. Hiking the beautiful bluffs along the Mississippi River as a child created a sense of adventure that continued into adulthood. She has always felt God was calling her to learn about cultures other than her own, and now spends much of her free time working with immigrants and refugees in the Des Moines area. Destiny continues to rely on God to lead her to her next adventure, wherever that might be.

The Joyful Things

At times I’m so discouraged

With problems of the day.

I fail to see the joyful things

That are along the way.


When troubles overwhelm me,

It’s then my nerves may fray,

That’s when I need to take the time

To simply sit and pray.


Reflecting on God’s many gifts

Does make me so aware

Of all the joy in little things

Around me everywhere!


I must try to remember

Though problems come my way,

Not to miss the joyful things

And the beauty of the day.


I have a confession to make. I did not write this, my dad did. He wrote it 16 years ago and gave it to me and all my siblings during the Christmas of 2001. He went on to say…

We believe that as the year 2001 comes to an end and the tragedies we witnessed this year, we must all take more time to live as this verse describes.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Mom and Dad

Remember to ask the Holy Spirit for the gifts of understanding, patience, and love every day.


My dad went into the seminary as a high school boy. He jokes that he did it to, “Get out of doing chores on the farm.” But I truly believe if the Divine Word Seminary in Epworth, Iowa hadn’t closed for a short time, my dad wouldn’t have been a dad to 14 children. Instead, a Father to hundreds. And what a wonderful priest he would have been! He met my mom when he was 26 and within a year they were engaged and married. A man who, for a while, thought he was called to the priesthood went on to become a loving husband to a wife of 57 years (and counting), a wonderful dad of 14 children, a grandparent to nearly 40 grandchildren, and a great-grandpa to 3 great-grandchildren.

Childhood memories of my dad include driving out into the country to put up bluebird houses then going to check them for nests, eggs, and my favorite, baby birds! On these country drives we’d play a game we called, “I Spy!” If we saw a can on the side of the road we would yell, “I Spy!” That was dad’s cue to pull over and let us out so we could grab it and toss it in the back of the truck. Sometimes he’d let us sit on his lap and steer the truck. I didn’t say he was the SAFEST dad. As a local business owner my dad knew everyone and everyone knew him. During those drives on back country roads in northeast Iowa, he could tell you who lived where and for how long without hesitation. My dad was good at a lot of things!

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I was A LOT like my dad in many ways. His sense of humor, his looks, and his love of writing have all been passed down to me. I love that poem of his for many reasons, but perhaps the reason I love it more than ever is the fact that he can no longer write. You see, my dad is now 84 and Alzheimer’s has taken away much of his independence. Driving, a steady balance, and even the ability to write have slowly slipped away from the man who took me driving, helped me learn to walk, and taught me to love writing.

No matter how hard it is for us as a family to experience this, I can’t help but believe he is more himself than ever. He remembers his prayers as if his memory has not been touched by this disease. He thanks God every day for the, “Things we do have and the things we don’t have.” He blesses us each time we help him with the smallest of tasks, “Thank you. God bless you.” His driving, balance, and writings were all part of the man who raised me, but his deep faith is truly what made him the person he was and still is today and that’s the greatest trait he could have ever passed on to me.

In his honor, I pass along my dad’s message to you today.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Remember to ask the Holy Spirit for the gifts of understanding, patience, and love every day.

Destiny and her dad Lloyd

Copyright 2017 Destiny Welsh