I expected the last few days to go like most others, but we started with a few small hiccups. A trek to the doctor with all three children for a couple of acute checkups. My oldest was ordered not to return to school for 48 hours in order for a skin irritation to clear up. So we headed home and I added one more child to our “lunch count” for the day.
I live in mounds of laundry, toys and child-like messes that I try to keep at bay. It’s often a goal just to keep my head above water and tread lightly. Setting high goals, knowing that I’ll probably accomplish less than half and I’m learning to be okay with that. :) These were the normal things on my mind and agenda for the day.
For a few moments after returning home, my little girl curled up on my lap. She asked for “wunch” (lunch) and then for a trip to the park. It was a gorgeous November day. The breeze was light, the sun was shining and it was a rare perfect temperature for a short walk to the park. How could I say no?! The chores will have to wait. My girl wants to play.
Swinging, slides, conquered rock walls, monkey bars and a spin on the merry-go-round and we were nearing the end of our park play.
I had been a tad frustrated as we were making our way around our beautiful park only to stumble across those that have left their trash to blow in the wind. I heard a small voice: “forget it, choose joy.” So we each took what we could see and took care of the place we love to play.
Then as we were choosing our last activity before heading home, a car decided to spin out in the newly laid rock, rolling dirt and dust right in our direction. It appeared to be done with intention. “Seriously?” I said to myself. I may or may not have yelled a big sarcastic “Thanks” to the driver for being so thoughtful and considerate.
Then I heard it again… a still, small voice. “Don’t let it steal your joy.” Joy had been all around me that day. Starting with the opportunity to be with all three of my children, who were in good spirits and basically healthy. We’d been given the gift of perfect weather and a short walking distance to our local park. Conversations during play, giggles, squeals of thrill, chubby clapping hands and mommy and me time that was irreplaceable.
I’ve often prayed for the kind of joy that my grandma envelopes. God given, peaceful joy that permeates through your skin and glows to those on the outside. The kind of joy that affects everyone around you. I truly believe that’s the kind of joy that we’re meant to have and share with others. The only way to get there… is to start finding JOY right where you are.