I like lists. I make “to do” lists. I make grocery lists. I make school lists. Today I decided to make a list of the things that give joy to my life. I had a rough night- pain, insomnia, more pain- so I need a little reminder this morning of the good things in life.
1. Sunrises. The sunrise always makes me smile and starts my day with joy. It is always beautiful, yet always different. I took a photo last week. This morning’s was a little more subtle and less photographic, but still a reminder that God is in control and has given me a new day to enjoy. I spent the night in pain, but I’m here again and I’m walking. A miracle to appreciate.
2. Friends. I have been thinking about my friends more and more lately because several of them have been going through medical tests and tough family situations. I pray for them and they pray for me. We are all in this together! How can you not feel joy when other people take the time and spend the energy to concern themselves with your life?
3. Brothers. I have a dysfunctional family. My brothers and I are not terribly close. We’ve had some challenges over the years. We’ve set our lives along different paths. But they are still mine, and I love them. I pray that they make better choices as they get older and that they find joy and peace. Their children and grandchildren have brought joy to my life beyond measure!
4. Family. My little family brings me joy each day! Even though I am far from my children and grandchildren physically, I feel like we are close emotionally. I love them dearly and I thank God for them each day.
5. Gary. My husband is loving, supportive, understanding, and generous. His confidence in me gives me the courage to try new things and make it through tough times. He gives joy to my life in the daily things he does- reading my blog, pouring my coffee, asking about my day.
6. Gardening. I picked some cucumbers and tomatoes last night. I mowed a portion of the lawn. I trimmed some dead flowers. I pulled some weeds. I was exhausted when I finished, but as I looked around I realized that being outside and tending to my little corner of the world brings me joy. I love being outside and God has placed me in a home where I can be outside as often as I wish.
7. Neighbors. My closest neighbors came to swim in the pond last night. They honked and waved as they went through the gate. My neighbor from the other side of the road stopped me in the post office the other day and showed me a beautiful wildflower calendar he has made. It has given me such peace and joy to live next to these wonderful people! I no longer fear violence and pain from my neighbors, as I did for years. I no longer dread the shouting and anger or the arrival of police cars. Peace in the neighborhood is a gift from God!
8. Critters. As I write this I hear the braying of my neighbor’s mules (donkeys?). “Peace” in the neighborhood refers to a peaceful heart, not the peace of silence! Lol We often hear the sounds of mules, coyotes, birds, cows, dogs, and horses. Last night I heard the angry growling of two raccoons. I rushed to the kitchen, grabbed a bagel, and threw it out the back door to distract one of them. Yes, I’m crazy! Tonight I will remember to put dog food out in two, or even three places, to prevent such disagreements. Yesterday I watched a rabbit nibbling on something in the garden. There is plenty to share, so I just enjoyed watching him. A bird has built a nest in the corner of the patio so I check on her babies each day. Animals bring joy to my heart because they make me realize how carefully God planned the world.
9. Work. Yes, I said it. Work brings me joy! It doesn’t matter if I’m working on a community project or working in my yard or working at school. I am thankful to be physically able to work. I am thankful to have a career that makes me happy. It gives me joy to have a purpose in life.
10. Words. Reading and writing words brings me joy. I’ve only read half a dozen books this summer, but I’ve enjoyed each one. I love communicating with other people through email, blogs, and Facebook. I love television and movies. Words are the window to the soul. Words are the wings of inspiration. Words are the first step toward peace.
I hope you find joy today! I already feel better. I’m off to the garden to enjoy my white cleome. I’ve never had one before and I plan to save the seeds.