Somewhere in my childhood, I had this brilliant idea that life is better lived when you get excited about the little things. I grew up with an extraordinary girl who believed this and lived this with me. It was never something we decided together, we just lived.
Simple things like a box of Wild Berry Dots and cans of sugar-free Red Bulls with your best friend on the beach turned an ordinary moment into a memorable one. Lighting candles and sitting on the front porch wrapped in down-filled comforters on a cool summer night, designating themes to our whole day, celebrating the little things.
This is where “traditions” started to come in, like taking a walk in the snow at midnight on Christmas Eve, or stopping to get our favorite lemonade energy drink before we spent all day by the pool, always making fresh fruit smoothies before we leave for the beach, or taking Matthew with me through the car wash every spring because that’s what we “always” did. Traditions like celebrating birthdays every month because I love you so much and I’m just that glad that you were born.
The little things look like sitting on a curb by a fountain eating a papaya-half filled with fresh berries, never leaving Whole Foods without trying all of the cheese samples (because you know I love cheese!), or walking through IKEA excitedly dreaming about when you grow up. It’s the spitting-cherry-pits-out-the-car-window late night drive or the “monsters in both hands” that just makes your day that more sentimental and significant.
Its the little things in the “one day at a time” that make all of the gritty, stretching parts of life worth it. I sit on the same curb and for just a moment I forget about anything but the time and space I’m currently in, and it’s there – without the pressures of what has been or what will be – that I find joy.
Slowly, my heart is healing, settling, and I’m finding joy in the little things again. I’m more aware of each moment I have and what a precious gift it is to be able to give and experience joy. As the pressures are dissolved and I’m left only to experience the great freedom of mercy and love in my journey of growth, my heart is opened up in a new way to live – REALLY live – and breathe.
I’m finding joy in the way the sun shines through the kitchen window or the way the spring air feels on my face as I run through trails across bridges and abandoned railroad tracks.
I find joy in the things I don’t understand and the logic I can’t seem to find.
I find joy in the PROMISE of God for my fragile, little heart, and the lovely days ahead that are full of all things new and all things good.
I find joy when I look at the bright colored apron hanging from my kitchen door or the way a bubble bath seems to quiet every part of my heart and body.
I find joy in the songs and sounds that fill my house and promise for new experiences in the night as I dream and learn from Heaven.
I find joy in remembering the faithfulness of God, the answers to my prayers, and the prophecies fulfilled that I see before my very eyes in the situation and season of life I am currently in.
I find joy in the sanctuary – the safe place, the resting place – this house has become for me and the presence of the Lord that dwells here.
I find joy in the colors I see as I look around; the way the light illuminates them making them pleasing to the eye, as if this sight was made for my own heart.
I find joy in the familiar feeling of running shoes and miles of worship songs that spring up the well inside my soul.
I find joy in staying up too late on Skype with a sweet friend, laughing for the first time all day, and remembering what it’s like to see 2 am.
I find joy in surprises in the mail and drinking iced tea on the back porch with a rekindled appreciation for blue skies and sunshine.
One day at a time, I’m celebrating being alive.