The Joy Machine

It’s been five weeks since Jackson was born.

It’s hard to remember what our family was like without him.

The fun part about Jackson, to us, is how much of an unexpected miracle he is to our family. With both Megan and Paul we carefully planned their arrival. I remember sitting down with Kristen and doing the math with the calendar about a year before she was born– “If Megan is born on May 12th, that will be the day after my last final. That will give us the best opportunity to spend the most time with her before classes begin.” With Jackson, the element of surprise changed everything. Even today we laugh thinking about having a 3rd baby. He wasn’t in the plan. He just showed up!

One thing I’ve noticed with Jackson that I didn’t notice with the other two is that a new baby isn’t just a joy for its parents and immediate family, he brings joy to every corner of our community. You see it on the faces of people everywhere we go with him! His arrival literally makes people smile.

Infectious Joy

  • Our extended family loves seeing him.
  • Our neighbors love seeing him.
  • People in our neighborhood who saw Kristen walking while she was pregnant stop her now to see him and smile.
  • People at church love seeing him.
  • People at both of our jobs love seeing him.
  • Long time friends from all over the world love seeing his pictures on Facebook.
  • The kids classmates and other random people at the kids school love seeing him.
  • The guy at our favorite smoothie shop loves seeing him.
  • Random people whom we barely know, stop us in public, because they love seeing him.
  • People we’ve never met but are our Facebook friends and Twitter followers love seeing him.

He is a joy machine!

One little baby has brought joy, spontaneous joy, to any entire group of people. I’m thankful to God for allowing me to observe it this time.

You are a joy machine, too

I’ve started to think about this observation in light of other people in my life. At one point you brought Jackson-like joy to your community. People oogled over you at the grocery store. Your parents neighbors counted down the days until you were born. People your parents barely knew smiled when they pushed a stroller around your block.

The same is likely true of you today. Even if you don’t see it– you bring joy to your community. People look forward to seeing you. Your impact isn’t just in your work or in the people you think it is, it’s so much deeper and wider than you can imagine. The guy at the smoothie shop (or coffee shop) you go to regularly looks forward to seeing you every day.

Don’t forget that. You are a joy machine.





4 responses to “The Joy Machine”

  1. Debi Avatar

    I love this post! What a great reminder for us all 🙂

  2. humubuh Avatar

    so fitting, adam, as I spent several minutes scrolling through Jackson’s photos on Facebook, showing my husband, and we sat there giggling at all his silly faces. really interesting to reflect on how we were always intended to be a blessing to our community, not just in infancy.

  3. Drew Avatar

    Wow! What a great illustration! My wife and I are expecting baby #3 any day now. After he’s born, I am so stealing this and sharing in an upcoming youth bible study – we call ours TORCH. Our church has made a point of emphasis to become *buzzword alert* missional. Being a joy to our community – intentionally -is a great missional mindset to have.

    Congrats on the new baby and thanks for the idea! I will give you the credit, I promise!

    1. adam mclane Avatar

      Feel free to borrow the illustration. Might want to wait until after #3 comes!

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