Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Waking up to Joy in Happy September

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I wake up to joy in a fresh way during September. Cooler breezes and sunny blue skies bring me a feeling of exuberance.   Gifts from nature’s bounty abound in our local market: ripe tomatoes, grapes, figs, and the last peaches of summer. I love returning to regular family routines when school starts. It feels like all is right with the world. It’s like I just got new glasses and can see God’s blessings more clearly now.

“Enjoy God and the life He’s giving you” is a personal catchphrase I repeat to myself. It encourages me in the face of monotonous daily tasks like going to work, making school lunches, and doing laundry.

We tend to view daily labor as a list of chores and responsibilities we have to get through, so that then we can relax and have fun doing things we like. What if we decided to enjoy what we’re doing right now? What if we decided to look for things to be grateful for while working? What would happen if we chose to be happy with whatever is happening NOW.

Joy Comes From God

One of my favorite Bible verses says, “You will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Psalm 16:11) This reminds me that no matter what I’m doing, God can renew my joy if I choose to focus on His goodness and love for me. Closing my eyes for a moment, breathing deep, and remembering God’s presence with me brings me some small measure of joy even while I’m toiling in the kitchen.

Joy Comes From God’s gifts.

God gives us many daily blessings and gifts to enjoy, but we often miss them.  We’re looking for the big stuff, like the pay raise or the vacation we’re saving for. We forget about small daily joys like the smell of a new bar of Dove soap in the shower or fresh green cucumbers on a blue plate at lunch. We’re rushing through to the next task, so that we don’t even see the gifts around us, much less give thanks for them.

Slow Down and Pay Attention

Recently I read Ann Voskamp’s excellent post, 10 Ways to Be a Happier Person.  Number one on her list was:Life is not an emergency. Life’s a gift. Just. Slow. Down.”

What a great reminder to slow down and savor the moments. Slowing down means that you make the choice to linger a few minutes with your family eating watermelon in the backyard after dinner rather than jumping up to get the dishes done. You make time for conversation with your husband or coffee with a friend. When you slow down, you start noticing more of God’s gifts.

What things do you enjoy about your daily life?

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

7 thoughts on “Waking up to Joy in Happy September

  1. Very timely word at the beginning of the school year! Right now, I’m loving sitting in the library working on my book, while my son is at his community college class. My French toast was pretty good, too! 🙂

  2. Very good reminder!! Thanks Betsy!!

  3. Betsy, just reading your blog brought joy! The coolness of fall is something we all so enjoy…what a relief after the sweaty days in Cyprus, but then İ have no cause to complain as İ have a pool to dip into for quick relief! We were driving to Ankara from Fethiye and were like kids on an adventure stopping to buy fresh strawberries (not your usual fall treat) and enjoying the fresh cool air. Keep writing, my friend, we are all refreshed by it.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Devri. Yes, we’re really enjoying the coolness of fall too. And I saw strawberries in my market, but didn’t buy them. 🙂

  5. :gasp: those tomatoes are GORGEOUS!!! (i will not covet…)
    today i’m noticing with gratitude the golden sweetness of a pineapple from a friend, the infectious laughter of our children being silly together, and a cold glass of water after morning exercise…all joy!

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