I was to take Lent and figure out why I wasn't happy. I had a beautiful life and I wasn't happy in it. The answer that came out of it was joy. I started to do the Five Favorites link-up to help in this, but I think I can do more. I still had a major freak out the other day, and a talk with a good friend helped me to once again come to the word joy. She mentioned the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I started reading it. In it she learns that to have joy she must learn to recognize it and to live it. To be thankful, she stems it from the word Eucharist. Which being a Catholic I automatically think: Jesus. But it helped me to see another thread, the connection that in the Eucharist we give thanks, thanks for Jesus himself. So thanks to God ultimately right?
A while back I was told to bring to the Eucharist:Jesus one joy and one sorrow. I could always think of the sorrow, and while there is definitely something to say in redemptive suffering. I had and have a hard time with thinking of the joys, but I know they are there. I made sure I always thought of one, and maybe this is what kept me going through the struggles the past 18 months. But I know there is more joy. Joy in the little things. I went from an exciting crazy life of accomplishing so much with getting me doctorate to being a SAHM. I wonder now if this is a bit of the reason I had such a hard time with the transition. Why the worries came, there was no big thing to go after anymore. Life had shifted, and I struggled with that shift.
However, this life isn't any less valuable, just different. And maybe better. Because I have to rely more on God and less on myself to get through it. I need to see God more in the little things, the little joys instead of doing "great" things. And joy there is. In a toddler's smile, in a playing with bubbles on the front steps, in there joy when a little one figures out a new skill, or in chasing a bird or squirrel, or digging up a broken sidewalk.
The issue I have is that in the hard times, in the suffering and struggles I forget the joys. They are still there but I forget them. So I want to make a list of them. Like Ann did, of the gifts her thanksgiving to God. Because recognizing the joy is thanking God, and seeing him and having relationship with him that isn't so one sided always pleading rarely thanking.
So I ask you to challenge me to carry this out. I want to share some with you too, so at least once a week I will share 5 things that are gifts.
Here are those 5 today:
1. A boy's joy at seeing me return home from an errand
2. Bulbs pushing through the soil soon to become flowers.
3. Walks that have a different outcome than planned
4. A little boy asking for a hug.
5. A flock of little birds tweeting aloud in a nearby yard.