Oh, joy. Deeper than happiness, more full and more rich and more life-giving. Simple on one hand, but incredibly deep and rejuvenating on the other. There are so many gifts, so many blessings, so much to appreciate and celebrate.
These are a few of my favorite joy-giving things:
1. Snail mail.
There is nothing quite like opening up the mailbox to find a handwritten letter among all the junk and bills and flyers. Since my love languages (yes, I have two tied for my #1 spot!) are words of affirmation and gifts, letters are undoubtedly one of my favorite things. I absolutely love getting to hold on to this piece of love, getting to read it over and over, getting to keep it forever. Plus, it's so fun to have pen-pals and send cute mail to friends to brighten their days too. If anybody wants a snail mail buddy, I'm your girl! The joy of letters comes in the gift of the words that can be held and heard in the writer's voice as a reminder that we are not alone and that we are loved.
I absolutely love when I can catch a good sunset and just sit and stare at the beauty of the sky. I'm reminded just how big my God is, just how much of an Artist he is, and just how much he loves this earth and his people. I wish I could watch the sun light up the sky every single evening without any distractions! The joy of sunsets comes in the artistry of our Creator, of knowing even ends can be beautiful.
3. A good book and a cozy blanket.
Ahhhh, just the idea brings me joy and makes me feel more relaxed! Any introverts feel me?! he joy of books comes when we lose ourselves in story or in knowledge, when we know we are growing as we absorb these words.
4. Long walks with crunchy leaves in the fall.
I just adore autumn and love when I can just take a long walk around my neighborhood and step on all the crunchy leaves and listen either to podcasts or just the birds chirping around me... there's something about the fresh, crisp fall air and the beauty of all the trees and the movement of being on walk that just make my soul feel more alive. The joy of walks in autumn comes in the slowing down, the noticing, the signs of change and letting go.
5. A killer vegan/gluten-free meal.
I get SO excited when I either cook or order a fantastic meal that is allergen-free. I have this silly little happy dance that always happens when I'm eating something delicious, but trust me, if you had such crazy food restrictions, you would do the same! The joy of good food comes in the nourishment, the sustenance, the shared company.