I've been searching through my lens
finding signs of joy
reaching out and taking the blessings given to me
not one bit greedy, just accepting my gifts
in whatever form they come
let me share them with you....
I'm blessed enough to have a flower shop right in my back yard - you can buy various sizes of dandelions and blades of grass, or if you prefer, white "puffs" that after blown...all of your wishes come true. The best part of all...
They only cost 2 cents.
The shop owners are friendly and enjoy their customers immensely - often they will give you a flower free of charge. They treat you like you're their number one priority, and when you take off with your lovely goods they call out "have a nice day...and thank you!"
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Another one of my gifts is watching my littles be part of a team every Saturday. I have the incredible joy of watching a knobby knee little peanut squinting into the sun, bravely sticking her hands out to block soccer balls that are being hurled toward her body. Inspiration at it's best.
I love the way there are 4 sets of little hands all around me each day. I love their need for me. I love their shapes and plumpness, their long growing fingers and their short stubby ones. I love their softness and their dirty nails and their purple nails and their soft pink nails. I love their little hands.
I'm blessed with a son that after a bit of grooming - can look quite dapper. I love his effort in trying to get a good picture even though it's uncomfortable for him. I love that Finn needs to show the camera his toys that are in his hand - I love the two munchkins on the right and their need to be close and to hug and show love all of the time - in photos, at rest time, at the dinner table. Peas in a pod.
Preparing meals can be taxing. The planning, the cost, the time, the clean up. I'm thankful for the texture of food. I'm thankful that we are blessed enough to be able to nourish our littles with good quality nuts and beans and veggies and fruit. I'm thankful for the view of a birch tree from my kitchen window - watching the leaves blow makes washing dishes "not so bad." I'm thankful that my oldest son eats with "gusto." I'm thankful for the colors of food and it's complexity. Yah - I'm thankful for food and the simple joy it can bring...if it's loved and not despised. I'm thankful for meal times and having the privilege of teaching my kids good manners, of hearing about their day, listening to their giggles. Whoever said that children must be seen and not heard must have missed out on a heap load of joy. I'll take his portion if it's up for grabs!
I'm blessed with a yard big enough to not only hold ONE Easter egg hunt - but three. Our kids had such fun searching for their little plastic eggs that we re-hid them several times. I'm blessed with simple pleasures, games and laughter, running bare feet and wicker baskets. I was blessed at Easter and it has now become my favorite holiday. The newness of spring, the fresh tastes of berries and lemons and cilantro, the Sunday service and the joy in the church and the joy felt out of the church. Waking up and knowing that I'm free to be exactly who I was created to be - me...because of His great Love. That he has beautiful thoughts about me...that He doesn't criticize and command and take advantage, that He doesn't scowl and condemn - that He smiles and Loves and stands with Open Arms for ME. That He knew me before I was created - and He loved what He saw and wanted it. I was baptized this Easter and being up their in the warm water, being submerged and coming back up knowing that I am washed, that I can fly because of Him, that I am His forever was the biggest gift I have ever been given. I know exactly who I am now - and that is a joy in itself. To be able to smile and wipe the water away from my face and feel washed and new. It was an amazing experience - it was joy in it's fullest form.
Bunny cake - that's a blessing in itself.
Gluten free vanilla cake with a layer of lemon curd, then iced with thick cream cheese frosting. Don't mind if I do - like I said..."Love, don't despise." Gooey vanilla, lemony , creamy joy.
I'm blessed with vision, with creativity. See those two lone trees in our yard? I wanted something special to go right there... so I asked my BIGGEST joy if he might build it. He smiled and said yes. Oh yah, let's not forget the absolute ecstasy of looking into a handsome man's eyes and knowing that he adores you. Finding simple ways to please him because of love - joy that can be taken on a daily basis if you will. Finding ways to encourage him ... a daily joy if you will take the chance and love him first above all. Finding ways to step back so he can step forward, like a dance...given freely because of joy. Him taking care of you, saying "yes" when you say "please" because of YOUR respect for him as a person and as a protector, his hard work and his care for you. Your smile that you still keep just for him - a daily beautiful gift...marriage.
You don't need acres and acres to have something special in your yard. The building process is taking a bit but my kids are learning how to build a bit, my man is making himself even awesomer then before, and in the end...
I'm going to have a great place to find more joy. I'm going to go up to this little tree house in the mornings with my cup of coffee and meditate, listen to God, journal, read my novels, watch the birds, study the clouds...soak in my babies and experience them floating in a pirate ship, living in a castle and making a fairy fortress, and i'm going to find more and more to be thankful for.
Is there joy all around you? Can you see it?