Monday, January 28, 2013

Joys Jots: The Gift of a Day

Saturday morning I woke feeling horrible. I had the kind of headache that no amount of Tylenol seemed to budge
 
I was achy all over and went back and forth from feeling chilled to burning up. I had only enough energy to pull myself out of bed, walk into the living room and collapse on the couch just so that I could have a change of scenery as I dozed in and out of conscientiousness throughout the day.
During one of the rare moments when I was fully awake I thought of the list of chores I had written for the day. It was practically the same list I had every Saturday: Laundry, Cleaning, Groceries, Purchase a Card for a Friend, Bake Cookies. 
Nothing on the list was eventful; most items were boring and mundane and yet at that moment I realized that even the boring and mundane parts of life were precious. Cleaning and groceries were one way of giving my love to my family, buying a card would encourage a friend, baking cookies for another friend showed my support for her and her family. 
   If we are in tune life has a way of teaching us how tender and precious it is. Unfortunately those lessons often come through illness, injury, or death. Perhaps it is because in those unfortunate moments we are finally forced to stop and realize the simple yet significant events that we take for granted every day. 
   Today I am feeling much better. I have added a few more chores to my list and I am happy to be able to do those seemingly boring and mundane tasks. Today I have a deeper appreciation of how those tasks touch the lives of those around me and of how fortunate I am to have the health and strength to do them. Today I am very grateful for the gift of a day.
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sprinkling in a Little Spring

When the weather outside is full of  
white and gray 
it can get a bit depressing.
Just look at all the snow 
on my make-shift spray paint table---
that's enough to make any DIYer a bit sad. 
To help lift my mood I've sprinkled in 
a little bit of Spring green 
 in with my winter decorations. 
 Green accessories and plants 
(faux and real)
 
 give me hope that  
Spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Mantles

January's mantles at my house are 
a reflection of the weather. 
 Although I am honestly a bit tired of 
the snow outside
 there is such beauty to be seen after 
a winter snowfall;
the bright blue skies contrasted with the 
sparkling white snow.
  I suppose I wouldn't mind another snow storm
 or two before spring,
   as long as I can stay warm and cozy 
 inside with my family. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Joys Jots: A Life Well Lived

When I began this blog I wanted to remain anonymous. I am a very private person by nature. This blog was only meant to be a place to share my creative projects, not my life. But since this blog began I have had my fair share of "adventures" that have opened my life and made it more public. This has caused me to reexamine my goals. I believe life gives us experiences, both good and bad, to teach us. We can choose to learn the lessons and share with others or we can mope, complain, and grouch to others (and occasionally we can do both). I hope you don't mind if I begin to share some life lessons that come my way in the form of "Joy's Jots."  My goal is that in the sharing we might both to have more JOY in our home and in our life.
  
Just days before Christmas my husband's co-workers came to our home on two separate occasions to surprise us with multiple boxes of gifts. I was humbled, delighted, and beyond grateful for their kindness and charity. My sweet companion passed away nearly nine months earlier and yet his co-workers still loved him and missed him so much that they wanted to give to his family. They had already been incredibly generous to us after his death. What is most amazing is these are not people with whom he had worked with for years and years. After losing his own business my husband had taken this job just over a year and a half previous to his death. He was one of the oldest employees and many of the others were the age of our oldest children. They barely knew my husband and had only met the rest of our family at his funeral and yet they came bearing several gifts, months later, to bless our family. We laughed and cried as they told stories of the fun times and memories they had working alongside their beloved co-worker.

On Christmas morning I sat contemplating and staring at one large pile of presents. My thoughts were of gratitude. I was grateful for the givers and thankful for the life my husband lived. These gifts were given to our family because my husband had lived a good life. He was a man with no enemies. He never burned a bridge. He formed friendships easily, even with people he had only talked with on the phone. He always tried to see the positive. He would fill the room with his large personality and infectious enthusiasm. He worked hard, loved life, and enjoyed people. He made it a point to let others know of his love for them. The way he lived was a gift to all who knew him. Now, even in his death, his life was still bringing his family bounteous gifts. 
It was sobering for me to realize just how much living a good life can affect others long after we are gone from this earthly existence. It caused me to make a resolve to live better, to give more of myself to those I love, and to be more useful to my fellowman. 

We rarely get the opportunity to truly witness how our actions affect those we love but those stacks of boxes were a very tangible evidence of the gift of a life well lived. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas 2012 in Review

Although Christmas has been over for a few weeks, and my decorations are put away, I neglected to blog much about this past Christmas.
Honestly I was in "Let's get through this with a good attitude" mode through most of December
This was our first Christmas without my sweet husband, the father of my children, and I was determined to make it a good one despite having such a great loss.
I am happy to report that we did have a wonderful Christmas, thanks to the help of loving family and friends
Many expressed their love and concern and many more kept us in their prayers. I know that the power of those prayers kept me going and I am very grateful!
We made new memories. Some memories were hard, but still special, like visiting the cemetery on a cold, snowy Christmas eve.  
Other memories, like having a girls craft night with my daughter and daughter-in-law were fun. 
There were tears but thankfully a lot of laughter too. I am blessed to be the mother of witty, wise-crackin', laughter-loving children who keep me smiling everyday despite the trials of life. 
They are why I feel joy in my home. 
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