My New Home Town

Give life and hope into your family, village, community, country, continent and the world at large.  – Israelmore Avivor

hometownsThe last months as I was able to get out more, I realized I was falling in love again with my beloved New York City, my special “home town.” It’s a place of great diversity, delicious food, special music, art, and plenty of grit. People are welcome to NYC no matter what their color or culture or language. New Yorkers seem to want to help strangers. If someone looks like they don’t know where they are, almost immediately they are surrounded by New Yorkers asking if they can be of assistance. I am reminded of Hebrews 13: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

But when I look back at the many places I’ve called “my home town,” I realize that in some way I fell in love with all of them – whether it was Clatonia, Nebraska or Boulder, Colorado or Richmond, Virginia or Anaheim, California or Karachi, Pakistan, I appreciate all of them and feel like each one is my special “home town.” – places where I can go home again.

For example, I remember how I felt when I went back to visit Richmond – a place that was “my home town” for a number of years. In Richmond I had faced a big challenge when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. There my colleagues at Child Fund and members of my church supported and cared for me when I was uncertain if I would live. Looking back, my visit felt as familiar and comfortable as slipping into an old soft shoe. The days passed with laughter and tears and powerful memories, and I felt a sense of gratification that I had “gone home” again.

Now after more than 20 years living in my beloved New York “home town,” I am making a major move to Florida – mainly because of health concerns related to my paraneoplastic syndrome. I confess this change is a bit frightening. But it is a normal part of life which occurs regularly in our lives, our work, our relationships, our physical and spiritual lives. Maybe change makes us feel uneasy because we do not understand that we can choose to respond to change in a positive way and thus experience growth, new life, even fresh hope.

At this time as I move to a new “home town,” I have no idea what life will be like in the future. But I know I need to make good choices because I realize just how vulnerable I am and how precious life really is. So I don’t want to be sloppy with my living; I want to be careful about what I choose to do with my remaining days on earth. I believe that this change to a new “home town” will provide me with opportunities for learning, growth, and deep meaning.

* What are changes or transitions in your life that you are facing?

* How can you turn them into opportunities to live life more fully and meaningfully?

Welcome Holy One to all of our “home towns.” When we are in transition on our journey, help us not to be afraid but rather to realize that you are always there for us, even during major life changes. Thank you for loving us in our times of fear or inhospitable moments. May we learn to be more open to life, to show hospitality to all, and to entertain angels without knowing it. Amen.

As of December 1, 2014, my new home town will be Penney Farms, Florida

My New Home

My New Home

Joy Carol

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10 Responses to My New Home Town

  1. Rose Watson says:

    Thank you for these very thoughtful and helpful observations, Joy. And yes, I’m facing change, too, and that change brings uncertainty–I don’t know yet just what the change will be . And it includes a good bit of fear and certainly grief for good things drawn to a close. But I am reminded that I’ve not wanted to make any of the moves that Bill and I have had to make because each one brought good things, in spite of my reluctance. So I must turn this one, too, into a meaningful opportunity, a means of grace, to quote John Wesley. We will continue to be with you in prayer as you close the New York chapter and move into the Penney Farm chapter of The Challenges and Graces of the Life of Joy Carol, Teacher and Servant. With love and admiration, Rose

  2. Dr's Berggren says:

    Joy may packing to move go well and may you be filled with the knowledge of God’s love!

  3. Bill Cauthorn says:


    I hope you have a safe journey and may peace be with you.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you;

    May the Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;

    May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.

    Thank you for all your inspiration you have given all of us.
    I will ge looking forward to hearing more soon.
    Hope you have a very Blessed Holiday.
    Bill C.

  4. Marlys Nelson Ballard says:

    Best wishes for a safe move and a happy landing in Florida, Joy. You are always inspiring.
    Willard love,
    Marlys Ballard

  5. Mary Owens says:

    Dearest Joy,

    many blessings will be found in your new home. God is already there, and has plenty of opportunities for you once you get there! For everything in life that happens, God has a plan to use these events as a blessing, in ways beyond which we can anticipate our imagine!

    Your new home looks so inviting! Like a comfortable sofa that one can just sink into and feel its immediate warmth and embrace….. Enjoy!

  6. Alice Orr says:

    I of course regret to hear that you are leaving New York City because it continues to be “My Home Town.” I have however made moves like this one you’re making. I was apprehensive also because I didn’t know what lay ahead. One thing those experiences allow me to say to you for sure is this. What lies ahead for you is an Adventure. So hold your nose and leap into. My bet is that you are going to enjoy becoming part of your new world immensely. Love and Blessings. Alice Orr

  7. Donice Oden says:

    I am happy you have made the very difficult decision to move to that very inviting arae and home. Divine guidance is already directing you!! May you continue to be blessed in your perparation to depart one chapter in your life to landing in a loving, giving environment. Love to you, Donice

  8. Linelle Kelley says:

    May the Lord bless you, go with you, meet all your needs, and give you His strength as you make this move. My love goes with you. You are a blessing.

  9. Dear Joy,
    You will LOVE Florida, you don’ t have to look any further for the fountain of youth…we don’t get headcolds or sore throats to start with, I hope you are far enough south that you never have to care about the weather as it is always nice.Welcome!!! ! I am on the West Coast mid way between Tampa, Sarasota and St Petersburg. It is called the Nature Coast,and very beautiful, blue waters and white sands. Please keep in touch, I would love to see you.

  10. JOY, Yes, you are a Blessing to all that have come in contact with you. Prayers are with you as you bring your beautiful spirit to Florida and your very welcoming new home. Love and Peace, Erwina Peterson

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