Simple Joy

What brings you a simple Joy?  During a season of heartache, seemingly unending stress, or an illness, what is it that causes you to stop, breathe deep, and smile? While it can be overwhelming to get big tasks completed, take a moment to think of your simple joys.

When was the last time you went for a walk outside? While my preference would be hiking in the hill country, that’s not possible living in Dallas when I need to quickly unwind.  However, a walk through my neighborhood can still bring me joy. I feel the wind gently blowing my hair. I hear what sounds to be seagulls  flying above and it reminds me of my days at the beach. I smile, even while missing those memories, the reflection brings me joy.  I hear children’s voices at the school playground. Their desire to let go and play is beautiful. My heart smiles how precious they are and what a gift they are from God. I notice a huge old fashion rose-bush heavy with blooms. I have to go up to it and smell the blooms. To my hearts surprise, it is gloriously fragrant! I pick one to sniff as I walk.  There’s a beetle pushing a dirt ball backwards with his back legs and he’s doing a great job for such a little guy, but it’s funny. I smile. I am amazed at his tenacity and strength to drive forward or in his case backwards.  He’s doing what he has to do, ingeniously.

Sometimes we don’t have that beetles strength when we are broken.  We are exhausted physically, emotionally, even spiritually.  Sleeping seems to be the only thing that feels comforting.  You may even lump in other “comforts” that might not be healthy.  You may not care.  You may feel like rebelling against any old rules because YOU. DON’T. CARE! If you are in this mode and most of us have been, then sleep when you are exhausted on your favorite scented soft sheets.  Catch up on reading books you’ve purchased and never finished or even opened, when insomnia hits. If it’s comfort food you crave, find a new recipe and enjoy your time in the kitchen creating. Play your favorite tunes or a sermon on your IPad. I  found a fabulous lemon bar recipe on Pinterest, listened to Nat King Cole and made this simply divine dessert.  Make mundane things a joy for you during this time. If you find yourself drowning yourself in alcohol (possibly dangerous and very unhealthy), read up on the drink you prefer. If it is red wine, study how to start a vineyard. Find out how many acres it takes and how many vines needed. Look up what a wine expert, a sommelier makes for a salary. If you like the hard stuff, what makes each brand taste differently? What companies are in your state and how did they get started? Use your brain to dream big.  Take this quiet time to increase your knowledge.  Don’t let this potentially life changing or deadly comfort rule and ruin your life.

Be inspired through your heartache, seemingly unending stress, or illness. Often when our world is going smooth, we do not change our situation and we don’t change the world for the better.  We are that little hamster running the wheel, not recognizing the stuff in life we have been blessed with to feel, love, notice, and enjoy.  What if in your season, you rested. You grieved. You discovered simple joys you had quit noticing. What if you found a new adventure, a new career, a new hobby, a new friend, a stronger faith, increased knowledge and a refined taste? What if you became that little beetle pushing that big dirt ball backwards with your back legs, using muscles never used before and being a success?!

So, pay attention to the small things that make you gut laugh, bring a soft smile and bring deep breaths. For it may be in this specific season, you are resting physically, mentally and spiritually to make strong changes for yourself, your family, your current career, your future career, an industry, or the world and it was noticing the small joys that launched you to your next season!

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