As I ran out to start my daughter’s car yesterday morning, so it could warm up for her to go to school, I noticed something lovely. Then, my flower beds and the neighbor’s lilac tree caught my eye. Birds were singing and talking with one another, not just the one or two I had noticed last week, and there were buds on the lilac tree as well as tulip buds and fronds pushing through the mulch in my flower bed.
Despite my apparent disappointment with our lack of a proper winter here in OH this year, the singing birds and determined buds brought a smile to my face that I couldn’t contain. Thoughts of the freshness and lightening of Spring bubbled up joy in me, and ultimately, that’s what this blog is about…..
I began this intentional search for joy 50 days ago with the purpose of keeping my mind and heart focused on all the good and the stuff of life that brings joy, as well as hoping to inspire someone who would read these posts. We’re halfway in this adventure, and I can testify that it is making a difference in me. I encourage you to join this journey if you haven’t and begin to purposefully look for joy.
Learning more and more to rest and trust in the midst of this transition part of life as we prepare to move, as I’m looking for jobs and houses, as our children are closer to leaving the nest, and as midlife hormones hit harder and harder. Someone told me to find value in the process, to not only look for the end result. Finding joy in the journey is all part of that valuing the day to day process of this time of growth and change. I read this the other day, and it’s so fitting: “One of the tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” (Dale Carnegie)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me when God moves in unexpected ways, but it still does. He is still all about showing me that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. I am amazed and full of joy as I sense being held by my Abba Father and know ever more firmly that He can be trusted.
I had the honor of hosting a Trades of Hope party in my home tonight, along with my teenage daughter. This kept me busy yesterday and all day today, preparing the house and the food and such. My goal was to share the wonderful mission of Trades of Hope with some friends who may have never heard of it before now. My dear friend Amy is the one who works for the company.
The primary mission of this company is to aid women all around the globe in having sustainable businesses and a living wage. Trades of hope also helps with other needs around the world. One of the current promotions is that a fruit tree is donated to a family in Africa for every $75 in product that is sold.
My heart was full of joy when I learned that our little group of women tonight ordered enough to supply 5 fruit trees to families in Africa! I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to share the wonderful mission and products of Trades of Hope with some very special friends tonight!
How do you fight for joy in the midst of the stress of the day-to-dayness of this life ? I am learning more everyday to take life one moment, one breath at a time. When the to-do list seems a mile long and unfinishable, I am realizing the way to joy lies within the perspective of the now that is directly before me, not in the successful completion of the entire list. Accomplishing one little thing at a time adds together to eventually finishing all that needs to be done and all the while allows for time to live, to breathe and find the joy of life in the midst of stress and the crazy demands of living.
I could write about all the details of my last few days, but I’m exhausted. I do want to honor God, though, and say that His peace has been very real to me these last few days and there is nothing greater that could give me joy.
On a day, a weekend, jam packed full of planning for the future, when my head is spinning, a time to just blatantly laugh is such a welcome relief. Thank you NBC’s 90th year celebration for giving me some joy in the form of escaping reality for a little while 😂
I am blessed to have a big, somewhat crazy and chaotic, extended family. Yesterday was one of those days of enjoying them, celebrating new life coming into the family, and embracing one another in our uniqueness. Though there are sometimes sorrows mixed in with our family interactions , being with them always brings me a sense of joy.
For several reasons, I didn’t write last night, and all of these reasons have added up to joy for me today:
1. I did two of our kids’ taxes, except city = VICTORY!
2. I had to sit for my oral evaluation for my coaching class this morning, and I passed! = Relief
3. I’m on my way to my future hometown to house hunt, job search, see family, and go see my middle son; which all indicates life is moving forward. = ExCiTeMeNt!
Also, as an added perk, I just left a surprise for my oldest son in his car at work 😁 and I’m so very thrilled for my daughter’s weekend ahead as she will attend her last Clergy Kids’ retreat as a participant. 💞
Therefore, TODAY my JOY is bubbling up from a very deep place within me…all my fountains are in You, Lord. (Psalm 87:7)