Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

During my years of struggling with addiction, I lived from one major life event to the next.  Drama.  Good or bad, I didn't care.  Life wasn't much of anything to me unless something huge was happening.  Move cities.  Move states.  Decide haphazardly that I want to be a nurse. Run head first into a job I was not cut out for. If something wasn't happening, I would make it happen--I was good at that. I was searching for the "perfect formula" for life to work for me.  The right job, a nice home, a perfect marriage, 2.5 kids, and let's not leave out the dog and white picket fence to just encompass all of the American dream.
And guess what?  I never found that formula. I don't have those things. 
That is definitely not the reality I find myself in today.
I have been learning what it means to find joy in the ordinary.  I don't have to wait for the next major event for life to be exciting, because the most signicant and life-altering event in all of history has happened. And because I trust in that, there is an even greater event coming: the day I will see the face of Jesus. And since Jesus has sought me out, my search for that "perfect formula" is over.  I can be content in the moment in which I find myself.       
  Because Jesus has endured the biggest event the world will ever know, the dreadful and glorious cross, I can find meaning, purpose, and joy in the smallest things:
Playing in an ice cold creek and hiking in a cave with my niece and nephews
Getting out of that ice cold creek and eating the sweetest watermelon on the planet
Hearing someone you have so badly wronged say "you are forgiven"
Making fresh salsa on a summer afternoon
Being on a first name basis with the vendors at the local Farmer's Market
Learning to love the things that other people love
Watering my flowers every morning before work
Learning to cook foods that God provides fresh from my dad's garden
Cool breezes on a July evening
The passion in someone's eyes when they talk about something they love
Cooking for other people "just because"
Fresh eggs from my grandparent's farm
Walking around the backyard of my dearest friend, as she teaches me about herbs and flowers
Clearing my mind on a three mile run after work
Discovering a new love for cooking, fresh flowers, Farmer's Markets, and all things shabby chic
...learning to look to and love the giver more than the gift...
Life's daily joys are necessary for me because they remind me that I am okay. That everything is good.  Jesus is still on his throne and life is still worth living. And he enjoys giving good gifts to his children.  Finding joy in the ordinary reminds me that the moment has been redeemed. 
Don't get me wrong, I do still love "big events", but I don't live for them anymore.  I am the epitome of a work in progress.  But God is shaping my mind and my eyes to view all events, both big and small- as given to me from the same hand-- the hands of my good Father that filters everything.  

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