I struggled to decided whether to publish this post. I wrote it after being inspired by a moving devotional, and while I try to keep TMI of my personal life out of this blog, I've discussed this topic with more than a few people lately who feel the same way and my heart really tugged and tugged to put my thoughts for you to see. So, here's to hoping you enjoy. Back to regular scheduled programming tomorrow.
Life has been so good lately.
Really, so good.
I returned this week back from a sweet trip to Mississippi. Football, friends, and Mama’s cooking really made my month. These sweet simple pleasures really reminded me of something I think I’ve lost track of lately.
So much of my joy comes from the little things.
I’m a big picture person. I often look at goals and what it takes to get there, and am guilty for not always living one hundred percent in this moment. I like plans. I like lists. I like to accomplish, check off, put another notch on my belt, make progress. My big pictures are great and elaborate and rewarding. But my joy, that comes from the little things.
Mama’s southern vegetable lunch she had ready for me Sunday. My friends sweet smiles as I crack another cheesy joke (if you can call them a joke). Waking up and loving the work I get to do at my job that day. Writing a really great sentence (yes, I get excited about this). Walks on the beach with my dog. A great cup of coffee. “Good Job”s. Email chains from friends. “I miss you”s. This list could go on and on.
Every so often I find myself complaining about things: I’m homesick for Mississippi, I miss my friends, I don’t have enough money, I’m single, blah blah blah poor little Ainsley. I've spoken with lots of friends who lead wonderful lives and still are plagued with similar pessimistic thoughts. I’ve realized that when I get a case of the crabbies, it’s because I’m not focusing on my little joys. These little things, they are the ones that prompt me to thank Him for this life I live, this life I love so very much... and something I honestly should do more. A friend emailed me a sermon of sorts where a pastor discussed the “11 Things You Should Know By the Time You’re 25-ish”. After briefly discussing with said friend, we came to a conclusion: our lives are good.
“When you're 25-ish, you're old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don't have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you're 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.” (This quote was followed with the 11 faith-based essential things you should know. If you’re interested in it, let me know and I can send it to you.)
Carried Bradshaw recently asked in a (re-run) episode of Sex in the City why, when things are good, we often concentrate on that one thing we don't have and let it ruin our joy? When we're missing one thing, whether it be a boyfriend, the perfect job, or anything else, why are we joy-ruiners when life really is so good?
I have a family that loves me, friends that adore me, a job I love to wake up for in a place where His beauty is obvious and everywhere, and a mind that is bursting with creativity and inspiration. Sure, I'm single and living very far away from most of my support system, but all the while learning to adjust to that and finding the joy in even those aspects. This is my season in life right now and I have to embrace that. I have simple joys every day that keep me bright-eyed, hopeful, and determined to be and live in a way that is both glorifying for Him and rewarding. That in itself should kick the crabbies in the butt when they overtake me. But it is a conscious effort to stay focused on joy and hope. My heart overflows with joy when I stay focused on my simple joys.
My darling friends, are you focused?
all photos accessed here