There’s always a reason to be joyful. Really. But sometimes we get so busy with life or overwhelmed with what’s right in front of us that we fail to take the time to smell the tulips (I know it’s supposed to be roses, but my wife doesn’t like roses and tulips are her favorite flower…so let’s go with tulips).
So as you make your way through the day today, here are 10 good reasons for you to be joyful:
- That new song you discovered that you can’t take off of repeat. For me it’s “Wide Open Arms,” by Marc Scibilia. Go ahead. Give it a listen.
- Unsolicited encouragement from a friend. I recently emailed my friend, Tanner, and told him the first draft of my book was finished and I’m now in the editing process. He wrote me back with these words: “You’re really doing it, Pastor E! Love it! Praying for you.” Just those few words were enough to make me joyful for the next hour or so.
- A well-written turn of phrase. One of the most honest writers I know is Allison Fallon. Recently she wrote about an earth-shaking turn in her life and used this phrase: “It has leveled me in the best and worst ways.” It’s not necessarily a joyful phrase, but it’s so well-crafted that it makes me joyful.
- A handwritten note. Not too long ago I used social media to encourage others to send a handwritten note to someone with whom they hadn’t had contact in quite some time. Little did I know that as a result I would be receiving one myself. A friend of mine from college sent a note that started with these words: “Thanks for all that you share on Facebook. Your creativity stimulates mine…” What a joyful interjection into my day.
- An unexpected blessing. This month we received notification from our mortgage company that, due to lower escrow expectations, they would be lowering our monthly payment more than forty dollars. Forty dollars isn’t that much money, but it’s enough to bring some joy into my life.
- Learning something new. I want to share with you creative encouragement, so I signed up for a MailChimp account and have been teaching myself to use it. Each time I learn something new about it I have a real sense of joy.
- Seasonal M&M’s. Target knows just what to do. Whenever a holiday is coming up they are sure to put the seasonally decorated M&M’s right out within my reach. In fact, the M&M’s jump right into my cart. The other day I bought two bags of the pink, red, and white ones for Valentine’s Day. I guess I’ll be buying the green ones next for St. Patrick’s Day.
- Time together with friends. We have a wonderful front porch on our house. Every so often we call together some friends and have what we call an evening “porch gathering.” There aren’t many more joyful times in life than that.
- A good meal. For the past few months we’ve had three meals delivered to our door every Wednesday by Blue Apron. We get all the ingredients and recipes to create delicious meals for the price of a regular grocery store run. The meals are colorful, flavorful, and healthy. Cooking a good meal that looks and tastes great makes me pretty joyful.
- The love of family. At the end of the day, literally, as I fall asleep, I pray a prayer of thanks for a family that loves me. There is no better way to joyfully go to sleep.
What makes you joyful?