36. su alegría se desborda (her joy overflows)

(#36 in a series of people who changed the course of my life)

If I could sum up what joy is, I would say it’s like a pure kind of sunshine that comes from a place deep within–the God-space–that, despite hardships and trials, can’t help but break forth like a song, like a smile, like a hug that wraps you up and makes the world somehow brighter, like a spirit that infiltrates your being causing you to cheer along, join the chorus, dance along. Joy is like a beautiful dance:

And if I could designate the posterchild of joy, it would be Isabel Marquez.

Spend some time with Isabel and you will understand what I'm talking about!

Spend some time with Isabel and you will understand what I’m talking about!

Isabel–oh how she inspires me! Even when she speaks in Spanish–despite my limited understanding of Spanish–I know exactly the spirit of what she’s saying. For when she speaks, she does it with so much vigor and positivity; I find myself immediately engaged and ready to join her cause or celebrate with her.

And having heard parts of her story, I have observed that what’s so special about her brand of joy: it’s very definitely a gift she has been given and also a choice she makes. Life is not always easy–she will tell you that; but she doesn’t let that stop her in the least. Pulling from that fount within her, she exudes passion, hope, enthusiasm…joy.

I wonder sometimes where she gets it. The energy, the zeal–I just can’t keep up! I suspect it’s from a combination of things. She gives so freely to others. She claims the good things God blesses her with. She loves her family, church, and community so deeply. She practices gratitude. She lives with purpose.

All things I attempt to follow in my own life. I am so grateful to you Isabel for just such a gift that I will always carry with me.

(Thanks to Elias Cantu for allowing me to use the video of the dance!)

38. & 37. generosity is their trademark

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