Life's Simple Pleasures are the Best
I posted in response to Susan's post about how we seek joy, and I thought I would post here what I posted:
You posted after I had gone to bed on Friday with a "full cup of joy." So, I was going to have a similar question like "What fills your cup?"
Actually, it was a "joy full" week in general. As I look at my At a Glance Day Planner (By the way, this is my new one, and I LOVE it - July to July with tabs for the months and a month and weekly calendar and lots of "Quick Note" space for taking notes - but I digress . . .constantly) I see the theme for joy is:
People . . . While people can bring great pain, they also bring great joy; and I am learning to be very selective with the people.
(Positive people are especially nice . . .this is a sub-theme for me because positivity in people is really good too. NOT that we can't have struggles and pain, but I do not find joy in being around people that are negative about other people and put them down all the time.)
Presence . . .Actually, I have a whole talk on the difference between joy and happiness. Joy to me is Jesus Over You. This sense of God's presence in the good, but also in the bad and the ugly. That "God with us" Emmanuel kind of thing.
Peace . . . It goes along with joy. I am most at joy when I am at peace with God and men. So, being in regular touch with God is so precious to me and brings me peace.
Prayer . . .Keeps me filled with joy to be communicating with Him.
Pampering . . .I think I really find much pleasure in pampering myself now and then; and if I can do that with people, I am blessed twofold. I am also including pampering myself by making myself sweat and eating right. Joining that club was a way to pamper myself, and it has brought immense joy to be free of pain and my gut!
So, I look at this joy full week, and I see all of those things coming together.
Joy this week was:
Church (Peace and People) - Peace-filled church, peace-filled people, peace-filled pastor and leadership. AWWWWWWW.......JOY INEXPRESSIBLE in this department. You never know how sick you've been until you are well.
Pride and Prejudice Party (Pampering, People, Peace) - What felicity to spend five hours in a home theatre (Movie screen on the wall of their family room!) with safe Sharon on my right and safe Rebekah on my left and four lovely new friends on the floor. Baked brie and honey, scones, organic pasta, peanut butter M&M's and Colin Firth. Can you say JOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!
Lunch with Amy (People, Pampering, Peace) - Yummy Chinese with safe Amy who came south one hour to see me!
Tea with Terri (P,P,P!) - Spending three hours sitting outside on a gorgeous 75 degree day and talking about life with someone who knows me well but I haven't talked to in years. Leaving a church makes those people who love you come out of the woodwork to tell you how much you mean to them. JOY.
Biking with Mary Beth (P,P,P!) - She teaches a class, and it brings me such joy to see one of my friends who at one time was so unhappy find her niche as an exercise instructor in a cycling class. So, joy comes in seeing other people be at joy. It also brings me joy to work up a sweat!
Homeschool with fabulous boys (P,P,P) - This self-proclaimed Pollyanna (another P!) finds joy in homeschooling these guys. It is a privilege and pleasure for me that I have yet to get tired of. How is that for sick? How great is it to assign some homeschool tasks while I sneak away for one hour to ride the bike with Mary Beth and come back to boys who have done all their work independently and are ready to cuddle on the couch and read The Epic of Gilgamesh and lean more about prehistoric times? These kids bring me joy.
Music Lessons with Suz(All P) - I love this woman who teaches my kids banjo and piano. She is so positive (sub-theme). I spent some of the time watching my kids and some of the time going for a run and praying on campus as I ran through International Student housing and stopped to visit my old basketball coach!
Walking with Paul (another favorite Person!) - What a kid. Still love doing this while dad and Michael go swimming together.
Manicure with Sherri - It is pampering, but Sherry also just became a believer in Jesus last Sunday and couldn't wait to tell me all about it. So, it was so exciting to hear about what is going on in her life. The angels in heaven and I were rejoicing with great joy over that one!
Tea with Nourieh - My sweet B'Hai neighbor. Love this woman. She pampered me, and I love drinking Jasmine tea the Persian way (Sugar cube between the teeth until it dissolves)!
Telephone with Kim - A new friend named Kim! She is an evangelist, and we are soul-mates already! So exciting to talk about all the things God is doing in our midst among internationals.
Dancing with the Stars! - Pamper, pamper. Guilty pleasure.
Make up with Mary Beth - Arbonne personal party trying new make-up colors. Pampering at its finest with one of my favorite people. Mary Beth says that I am branching out like she has never seen me! This brings me great joy.
Swimming with Mary Beth and Elissa's kids - Three hours of sun, fun, pizza, and polite kids that play together without a single conflict. Mary Beth's kids and my kids have known each other since the womb, and Elissa is a new friend. It was so peaceful and joyful and Elissa's dry sense of humor made me laugh all afternoon!
Ephesians study with amazing people - I sat in silence as I listened to these wonderful ladies share from their hearts about what God is teaching them, awed and JOYFUL!
Deep Tissue Massage with Anna - Already commented on this one in another post. Great JOY with a little pain and NO MONEY OUTLAY!
Bible Teaching with Beth - Watching Beth fly in her gifting and speak in front of women brings me such joy.
Friday - The most joyful day
Workout with Annie - Love my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of pampering my body by a good strength and cardio workout! Overjoyed at the results.
Visit at Lisa's - Deep sharing and tea while kids frolicked in the sunshine with remote controlled planes. No words for the joy.
Scandanavian Dance with the H's - My kids didn't want to go, but there was deep joy in being able to not coerce but to persuade them of the benefits (using my Dale Carnegie principles of persuasian!) and seeing them rise to the challenge of being enthusiastic, reaching out to a family in crisis, and learning dances because their mom is Scandanavian and they are too! They ENJOYED themselves, and I was able to listen to this mom in crisis pour out her heart like never before with 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted time while the instructor occupied the kids!
Malay food with Masons - Asian food and fantastic fellowship.
Prayer and Lunch with Ginny and Lorraine - My mentors give me great joy as they listen and impart their 164 years of combined wisdom and life experiences. Joy in their persence. Joy in seeing a lightbulb go off as Lorraine read an article about true forgiveness from World Magazine. I love it how things come together. That brings me joy.
Genesis with Nourieh - Studying the Bible with my Bhai friend brought great joy
Church with new church body - Already gushed above, but there were friends from our old church there and it was so joyful to visit. Also, the message on confession was totally well timed. God was there last night. That brings me JOY to see him cause all things come together in my mind. I have been praying all week that God would give me a "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the true knowledge of Him" and that the "eyes of my heart would be enlightened," and I do believe this was an answer to prayer. Presence there and I know joy deep down.
Movie with dh - Pampering by watching Monarch of the Glen with my favorite person.
Survivor by myself -
Slug with family - I am still in my P.J.'s at 3:45 p.m. Pampering myself by some internet time, talking with dh and children, eating good food.
Great time in prayer and the Word brought great joy as I meditated all week on the prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 and prayed it for myself and other people, read Desiring God (Piper is always delicious and joyful because he says, "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enJOYing Him forever"!), and read through some of the Psalms of David while Absalom was being a pill. The forgiveness, confession thing just came together this week. I can freely forgive and that gives me great joy.
And now I am done with these silly details of my life. Some of you might roll your eyes at this (I am just a detailed process person!) but it is good to reflect on the things this week that brought me joy. I am thinking that when we reflect with gratitude, it can bring us great joy, can't it?