Saturday, November 25, 2017


I went grocery shopping! 

I know . . . Boring, right?

But when you haven't done much except sit on the couch for nearly 3 months, even the mundane tasks of life seem exciting.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately actually--how your perspective can affect so much. We don't realize all the things we take for granted. You've heard the saying "You don't know what you have until it's gone"? Often we think of that statement applying to relationships and reminding us to appreciate the people in our life, but it can pertain anything. 

Like those mundane tasks.

Now that my ankle is in the process of healing and I'm able to get back to a somewhat "normal" routine again, I realize how the simple things can make me happy. I remember the excitement I felt when I walked from the couch to the kitchen. I didn't have to use my crutches! And the thrill of walking down the stairs to do laundry. Sure, it was a long process of putting both feet on each stair instead of going step-over-step, but I didn't have to scoot down on my bottom and crawl back up on my knees like a baby. I remember the day I was able to stand with the strength and ability to sweep and vacuum the house. And don't even get me started on the joy I feel every time now I get to organize an area of our home that was neglected for 3 months while we were in "survival mode."

Who knew that doing chores and simply walking whenever you want to could bring such happiness?

Too often, I think, we let insignificant things annoy us, cloud our judgment. It's easy to let little things  creep up and affect our attitude if we're not careful. I'm guilty of it, too. But, really, what good can come out of that?

A critical and unappreciative attitude robs you of your joy.

I carried a 3-ringed binder to classes with all my assignments in high school. It had a clear plastic cover that I could slide in a page on the front. Though I changed my decorative accents on the page from time to time, I always kept this quote from an 18th century French writer, Nicolas Chamfort: "The most thoroughly wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed." (See, I was looking for Smiles all those years ago, too, ha.) It doesn't mean that you have to tell jokes or watch comedies every day, but it's a reminder to be intentional in keeping a good attitude. Negative circumstances happen all the time, but how you respond to them is what matters. The more negativity you dwell on, the less joy you find in the simple things.

I've always loved my role as a stay-at-home mom. The cooking, the cleaning, the raising of the kids--it has always been a rich, fulfilling life for me. And then we added homeschooling. And more kids. My responsibilities have multiplied. And somewhere along the way I think I lost a little of my love of caring for our home. I've gotten annoyed by the crumbs and bothered by the mess. Oh, it's not an everyday feeling, but now much more often than before it feels like housework. Chores. Responsibility. Work.

I let the busyness distract me from my joy in serving my family.

"You don't know what you have until it's gone." Yes, thankfully, my family is still here, but my ability to serve them was gone for months. It was a discouraging, helpless feeling watching everyone else take care of our home. And suddenly, I couldn't wait to sweep up those crumbs and scrub the toilets.


I'm still struggling with some chores around the house. What the mind says, the body doesn't always do. But as I'm listening to my body and trying to push it to strengthen the ankle (and knee, leg, and hip that also weren't used for months), I'm also trying not to push it to the point of greater injury. It's a difficult balance to find.

Every night I go to bed sore and exhausted. My body and my ankle ache. I have good days and then days when my ankle swells back up and walking is nearly impossible again. But even on those physically challenging days, I have chosen to be happy.

Life is good, for so very many reasons. And now again, I get to serve the people who bring me the greatest joy and blessings and who are part of my "many reasons."

I won't claim that the messes make me happy, but I will be thankful for what they represent. Food. Clothing. Learning. Fun. Life. Blessings.


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