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The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Day 24: Welcoming joy (there’s still time) — even on Grinch Day
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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Grinch Day began as a very practical thing. My in-laws celebrate Christmas Eve late in the day, and we have kids who get antsy before 10 a.m. We needed something to entertain them.

We started by turning eggs and pancakes green. Then, we added a trip to a local museum, a stuffed animal and the book. This year there were pillow cases from Grandma Marie and an off-center banner sewn by me.

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With all that extra effort, all those extra trimmings, this year was going to be the best. We just knew it.

Only it wasn’t. And we nearly blew it.

We started out late. The nephew couldn’t join us. And the time at the museum? Well, there was more than one melt down.

But tonight, as we slipped the Grinch movie into the player, I thought about Who-Ville welcoming Christmas despite the Grinch and all he had taken… and I thought maybe there was still time for my home to welcome joy, too.

We’d missed the mark and fallen well below our expectations. But joy doesn’t have anything to do with what is missing — it has to do with what is present.

And thankfully, both love and joy are present here.

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