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Category Archives: Joy of Life
“Hi, how are you tonight?” I looked up behind the counter at Braums (ice cream and small grocery store) to see a big smile on the face of a woman with graying hair and glasses.
I pulled my groceries closer down the conveyor belt. She continued to be joyful as we chatted about the weather and other small talk.
“…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
Daily, we have the opportunity to make choices. God invites us to choose life and the things that bring us life, joy and blessings.
What brings us life? Fear of the Lord in the sense of reverence for God and His ways bring us life. “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 (NIV) We often think of reverence as something stuffy, formal and certainly not fun. However, reverence for God means respecting the way He made us and He made us to have fun! Recreation means to “re” create. He meant for us to take time to refresh, renew and “re” create ourselves.
I enjoy the contrast in my guest (substitute) teaching work. Yesterday I had challenging seventh-grade boys and today I had 4-year-olds at pre-K.
The little ones are a challenge to keep in a line to get down the hall but they are so cute and loving!
One of the things that fascinates me is they have not yet lost their creativity and imagination. They build with blocks and tear down their creations repeatedly to start over.
I participated in one little girl’s play acting today. When I questioned on her on a couple of points she looked up at me and commanded, “Pretend!” Her tone came across like “get with it!”
“I can’t believe it!” I heard a young woman exclaim as she grabbed the glass Christmas tree sitting on the shelf. “This is exactly like the one I broke that belonged to Grandma!” She beamed.
I stood in the aisle at our local Goodwill store on New Year’s Day. I watched her reach down to pick up the glass Christmas tree. She turned to her young son and showed him the tree. Then she picked it up and cradled it in her arms like it was a long-lost treasure.
“Mrs. Gibson, are you a substitute for our class?”
“No, I am sorry. Not today.” Her lips turned into a pout.
“I sure wish you’d come to our class.” Another boy told me as we stood in the cafeteria of the intermediate school.
When I reached my 5th grade classroom assignment, a girl ran up to hug me. She looked up at me with a big smile, “You’re going to be our sub today!” A couple of others reached out to give me hugs.
Yesterday when I shopped in our local grocery store, right when I needed something. a sales clerk rounded the corner and asked, “Are you finding everything?”
I smiled, “You appeared at the right time because I’m actually looking for. . .” and I told her what I needed.
She immediately said, “Well this is over here. I’ll take you there,” Then she told me where the other item was. After I finished with the first one and walked into the main aisle, she came out to make sure I got to the right place for the second item.
Today, I had a lot to do. I walked by my watercolors. My heart longed to stop and enjoy them. Most of the time I walk on because it takes time to get everything out and then put it away. Because of other demands with my work, those creative urges get repressed and leave an an unfulfilled longing.
However, today I decided to apply the 15 minute principle. I pulled out my little travel case of watercolors and sat down and began to play with them. I have taken drawing and watercolor classes before but set those on the shelf for years. Recently, I started going to a watercolor class again.
Birds chirping. Wind gently stirring in the trees. Rich green everywhere I look. This is the nature walk I frequently enjoy along a creek that runs by our house. When I walk far enough down the road into a secluded section, the path becomes more wooded with trees lining both sides of the road.
When I used to walk, I’d often take my ipod with me to listen to books while I walk. This made my walk for exercise pass more quickly. I felt more productive since I could absorb wisdom and knowledge from the books at the same time on my walk.
“These are farm eggs. See how big they are. Daisy came by with eggs today and handed them to me to give to my friend Rebecca. “No one wants them because they’re yellow in the middle. People are used to the pale yokes. Those pale ones have chemicals added to the feed they give to the chickens. These are from chickens that eat grass and whole grain and corn. That’s it.”
My sister and I sat in the lovely outdoor setting of the Carlsbad Inn in California gazing at the flowers and enjoying lively music from the sixties.
Suddenly, a woman with grey hair who looked to be about 75 rounded the corner. Her bright pink shirt covered her protruding tummy as she swayed from side to side to the music. She walked/danced in rhythm with the beat as she made her way to her family gathered on the lawn under the umbrella. The look of joy on her face captivated me and drew me to her charm.