Monday, February 17, 2014

My Favorite Things

Someone I'm close to can get out of sorts when she reads my blog,
because she thinks I am effortlessly cheerful and full of joy.
Um, nope.
The winter has been long.
My days have sometimes been lonely.
The baby sleeps in our bed, and he gets me up at least twice every night.
The errands and chores and quiet times
that slowly became achievable as the kids grew,
have now become difficult again.

I don't always see the gifts in ordinary days.       

Today we are in the midst of another winter storm.
Since this is the Year of the Broken Snow-Blowers,
(yes, we have two, and they are both broken)
I'm going to get to shovel about six inches of snow.
I'm finding it difficult to feel happy about this.    

Here are a few gifts I've been given this week. 
I have learned to seek out and reach for all the things within my grasp that increase joy.
No one else can do this for me.
I think of joy as a cistern that is always full,
but I have to grab the dipper and ladle out what I need.
This requires a spirit that is calm enough to receive,        
and eyes wide open to see the beauty each day brings.  
This week, I noticed:  

 ~ Sunlight pouring into our living room.   
(Oh, and a toddler playing with a vintage toy makes the room even more fetching).

~ Hearty breakfasts can make me pretty happy.
(I usually make Oatmeal Crepes for Malachi, but lately I've been eating eggs over-easy on oatmeal toast.
So yummy that I often have seconds. I also squeeze a grapefruit and a clementine, and share that with the baby. Sometimes he gulps it all down and I don't get any).  
 ~ My church is a wonderful place to be.
Yep, it's always good to have a favorite day of the week (Mine is Sunday). That way you have something to look forward to every single week.

 ~ Old hymns are a continual comfort and delight.
Which one is my favorite? I don't know, but "Come Thou Fount" is near the top of the list.

If I picked worship songs, the list would include one newish song and five hymns. 
Since both radio and church leave me thirsty for more hymns, I have faves at home and in the car.     

~ I can give a present for no reason at all.

So if no one is showing up at your doorstep with a lovely surprise, be the one to give the gift.   
It can be so small, just a card or a single flower.
It's crazy how giving a gift makes you feel even better than getting one.
~ It lifts my heart to hear an old friend on the radio.
Michele's encouraging voice, reminding me of God's promises, fills my heart with hope. The words (often straight from Scripture) are perfect for my day and my situation. If you live in or near the Twin Cities, she's on Praise FM 95.3.

It's easy to forget that our days are laced with joys unspeakable and full of glory. (....and for those who know that song, you're now humming it, yay!)          

What is one thing you do that makes your joy increase?
I'd love to know.


  1. I like hymns, too, and Fernando Ortega on Pandora. I like sunshine and blue skies, but when it is dreary and cold, I like to plug in my little space heater that looks [a bit] like a wood stove and curl up with a book near the cheesy fake flames. I love to go for walks, and I just found a nearby mega church with an indoor playground that has a walking path around it... an added benefit is that my Bible study meets in that church, and there is usually somebody from Bible study who is also staying to walk. I love hot chocolate, and I've found that any hot chocolate mix (my homemade, or store-bought in a pinch) tastes fantastic if you add a couple of tablespoons of real unwhipped whipping cream. I love if I ever get a long, chatty email from someone. I love talking to my sister on the phone, and I have learned so much from the wise woman she has become. I've benefited so much when she calms me down and gently talks me out of a selfish mindset. I love when Jesus surprises me with an unusual beauty in His creation; that is one of the very best things of all.

    1. These are all beautiful ideas, Ruthie. Your last post was wonderful. Your descriptions of the ice storm made me wish I lived in a cold climate. Wait, I do, and we're getting a major storm today. Hehe

      I can't wait till I have time to read again. It took months to finish Phantastes. You might like it. Keep in mind while reading it that MacDonald's famous definition of hell is, "I am my own." Knowing this, the book was more deep and meaningful. On the surface it's just a fairy story.