Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lesson 350: Finding Joy

Jump for joy, Readers!
It's the weekend
and the luck o' the Irish is upon us.

Erieites are finally pulling our heads up out of the snow,

just in time to welcome the notorious March ice.
Oh, joy!

Eloise can find some joy in ice,
as it sure is pretty to photograph.

Ice makes for great sledding conditions, too.
Here was my workout team,
making our last sledding run of the year.

I really needed my pack to survive this winter.

They gave me something to look forward to,

and much needed sun exposure.

It's been a slow melt this year.
Eloise has documented the decline all week.

Sam has opted for the soccer ball over the igloo.

The biggest challenge at the Lamp Post 
has been busting up the eight inches of driveway ice buildup.

It's getting there.

As soon as Sam noticed the bare patches,
he hollered, "Let's play football!"

These are fun to scroll through quickly.

He beat me, but I am calling the commissioner.
Sam Brady had a slight advantage.

Although the mercury only reached 40 most of the week,
my townsfolk were out in droves.
Climbing snow piles is great exercise.

Ellen begged to pitch and catch.
Softball brings Ellen great joy.

She is sporting these new leggings.

They are part of the new Calia collection by Carrie Underwood.
The line was just released and is available exclusively at Dick's.

It's similar to Athleta clothing--fitness and comfortable, casual wear.
It's a little less expensive than Athleta, 
deemed "moderately priced" by retailers,
which is about the same as Nike and Under Armour.

What I like about Carrie aside from her singing,
 is her fitness routine is one I support.
Carrie's an Oklahoma country girl and grew up on a farm,
but her tour schedule left her traveling most of the year.
She uses parks and playgrounds in tour stop cities,

and turns steps and curbs into workout equipment.

Here she is getting out of her tour bus ready for a workout.

Here is Ellen standing in my kitchen wearing her sweater.

The melting snow seems reason enough to jump for joy.

However, with melting snow and a ground frozen come problems.

Our septic system is frozen solid and the tank is filling
because it can't pump out.

Our roof had an ice jam and a steady stream of water
ran into the Lamp Post living room most of the day last Sunday.

Yes, those are shovel marks and footprints on the roof until we chickened out.
We opted for water damage over broken bones.

We had to call in the Chieftain,
and even he said we just had to wait it out.

As of this writing, we have about six inches to go.

Eloise will find joy in every puddle

and with every splash.

Natalie is digging deep to find joy.
She loves music and our favorites got kicked off of Idol this week.

3 of my top 4 I so assuredly picked a week ago didn't make it through.

I pride myself on having an eye for talent.

If I happened to mention to you that your child was brilliant this week,
you may want to hold on that early admittance application for an Ivy League School.

Now that I've become a Scandal fan, I don't trust the voting system.
I smell a Defiance, Ohio, don't you?

So how do I still manage to stay positive
despite water damage,
poop build up,
and a lack luster American Idol season?

I try to find joy in all things.

Finding joy is a skill, 
and when skills are practiced enough,
they become ingrained habits.

I owe a large thank you to this woman--Jennifer Greenwood Taylor.

She is the Wellness Coach who motivated me to finish out my December fitness challenge,
and promised me a wellness package of epic proportions if I did.

I did.

And she did, too.

In the package were some books by my new favorite author,
Ann Voskamp.

I highly recommend her book One Thousand Gifts for a good, Lenten read.

She also writes a blog titled A Holy Experience.

(it's not like angels are going to sing or anything,
it's just the link to the blog!)

On the blog you can find regular postings that are very uplifting.

There is also a collection of goodies on a free tools library.

She has made some beautiful printables for pinning or framing.
Because the World Can Get Dark & We Really Need You: 5 Ways to Keep Being Brave | A Holy Experience
My favorite find is the Joy Dare.
It was a challenge Ann Voskamp put out to her readers in 2014.
It could easily apply to any year and the materials are still available.

This is the challenge for March.
On each day of the month you look for 3 things that bring you joy.
Do that for the entire year and you have yourself 1000 gifts to be thankful for.

It's like a treasure hunt every day!
Eloise LOVES treasure hunts!

Today, on March 13th, I had to find 3 Gifts Round,
and here is what I found.

A black, rubber tire swing against the white, pure snow.

A wreath with birds returned for the fifth straight year.

And evidence of a resourceful tenant.
Although we have not met yet,
I've named her Eloise.

As a result of reading this book, 
and receiving all my other wonderful wellness materials,
I did something I said I'd never do:
I started a secret group on facebook!

Eloise does not like groups or clubs or anything that exclude others.
I'm an inclusive kind of girl,
not an exclusive one.

But, I was so excited to share with Jennifer how I was using the materials she sent,
I set us up on our own, private, locked facebook page.
I titled it Finding Joy.
There is much joy to be found when on the constant lookout for God's gifts.

For the last six weeks or so,
the two of us,
learner and mentor,
have been sharing and exchanging posts and photos about what brings us joy,
anything from flowers,
to our dogs,
to our fake boyfriends
(I like Handsome and she likes Hugh Jackman).
Tim is a million times better, though.

Daily, I write my joys down in the purple journal she sent me

and I take photos of many others and post them on the page.

My intention was to open up the facebook page when I reached 1000 joys.
With 89 listed in my journal,
and another 44 on my facebook page,
I decided although I was FINDING joy, 
I was also HOARDING joy.

As I contemplated changing the group's title,
the thought occurred to me to simply open up the page to others,
and allow the joys to pour in.

So, I'm calling out My People.
Please join our Finding Joy group on facebook.

Jen and I will love to see what you see as God's gifts.
Here were some of mine this week:

Finding joy in miles of smiles.

Finding joy in the work of Kristin Ryan Claypool.

Finding joy in a blessed birdhouse.

Finding joy in surprise gifts,

and kind words.

 Finding joy in a gifted book that Sam loves.

I know it is the right day to open the Finding Joy facebook page up,
because look what Sam read to us tonight out of his new favorite book!
(Well, second to Captain Underpants, but we can rectify that with Jesus later).

Let no one steal your joy, Readers.
Joy can be found everywhere,
even in the deepest
and darkest
of places.

Like sidewalk cracks.

Have a joy filled weekend,
and please join our page.


1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Joy is the remembrance of precious people that God has placed in the tapestry of my life AND reconnecting years later.... discovering ALL that He has done in all of our lives. I am full of Joy enjoying the work He has done in all of us. By the way, Eloise, you have a beautiful mind and LOTS of talent. Thank you for sharing it.