I hope that all of you have found lots of joy in your life this past month. In my quest to find more joy in my life during this pandemic I had planned to write in my gratitude journal every evening in March, since gratitude is the first important element of joy. Unfortunately, I am sorry to admit that I failed in that regard.
But I have been especially attentive to thank others for what they bring to my life, both with verbal thanks, notes of thanks, and gifts of thanks. The reaction from those I thank always sparks a bit of joy in my heart.
Moments of gratitude can come in the midst of our most ordinary moments. For instance, when I walked into the auto repair department to ask how I could re-adjust the blue tooth in my car, the kind young woman behind the counter came out to my car and did it for me. (Do you think she could tell that I am completely not techie?) No charge! She appreciated the ‘thank you” note and book I brought to her the next day, and I, in turn, appreciated the delightful email she sent me afterward even more. A spark of joy!
Many people seem shocked at my expression of gratitude to them. It makes me wonder if we, as a society, have begun to take service and kindness of others for granted. We expect a clean public restroom, yet since it is expected, we might forget that someone had to do the cleaning. An otherwise thankless job becomes easier if that person occasionally hears praise or thanks for what they do.
We are quick to complain if our food service is slow or substandard and we mark our displeasure by the tip we leave. Yet, a word of thanks for good service is often appreciated as much as the tip. A waiter’s surprised smile is always a bit of joy to see.
When our friends struggle, we often bring meals to encourage and support them, letting them know we care. I did this for a friend recently and discovered my joy in bringing it to her was as rewarding as her appreciation. Giving is not only more blessed than receiving, but the joy of giving is such an immediate, warm, surge of joy.
Two weeks after getting both Covid vaccines, David and I once again attended our church service instead of listening to the sermon on the radio. My heart filled with joy at worshipping with our church family again. And I know that next Sunday, Easter morning, when I sing out, “He is risen, indeed.” joy will fill my heart so full it will be overflowing in tears.
In April, I shall practice Simplicity, the second component to Joy. I will make simple meals, dress with simplicity, keep my hairdo simple and wear basic makeup, while I continue on my journey of filling my heart with joy every day.
What steps are you taking to find joy in your life? I’d love to hear from you!
Enjoy the Spring, my friends. May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And may nothing but happiness walk through your door.