Who Doesn’t Want More Joy and Energy?
In a flurry of pastel crepe paper, the pinata shattered and candy rained down on the four children. From the sidelines, we watched as they eagerly reached in to pick up glittering wrapped chocolates. New to pinatas, my four year old happily snatched an M&M’s packet and then came to me to open it.
“Hey, you can pick up more candy, if you want,” I suggested, handing him a plastic baggie. Intent on his mini bag of M&M’s though, he was satisfied, and simply wanted to eat them. I gathered some candy pieces for him to enjoy later with his siblings, but his actions had captured my attention.
|Credit to Nature Mapping Foundation.org|
On the walk home from our friend’s house, I pushed his green stroller through wet streets, and pointed out bird calls to him. “That’s a red-winged blackbird,” I said, as I squatted down to point out the bird in the branches above. Vivid crimson and yellow flashed on the wings of a black bird.
|Credit to Mother-Daughter Press|
A screeching blue jay swooped overhead. “That’s a blue jay. They warn other birds that people are near,” I taught Daniel. We followed the jay’s flight with our eyes, and I described the white tummy, blue head and jacket, and black painted eyes of the vibrant Midwest blue jay. Pausing under a tree, we craned our heads up to see the bird that swayed in the crisp breeze on branches high.
It takes time to see these birds, and to train our eyes to watch for them. I am a novice at bird-watching but six or seven birds catch my attention, and I listen for their calls, or stop to watch their splashes of color in our trees.
Walking home from the pinata party this afternoon, I thought I was the one training Daniel’s eyes to stop, see, and savor. As he quietly munched M&M’s, hunched over in the green stroller, though, I realized that he was teaching me. Grabbing a bag of M&M’s, he turned away from the pile of candy, and was satisfied, stopping to savor what he had.
I’m training my eyes. It’s been a year and a half journey to stop, see, and savor God’s gifts. These joy lists, these gratitude journals, this process of counting His gifts, bring joy and perspective. Statistics show that counting gifts, one by one, brings greater happiness, greater energy and attentiveness, greater joy, greater emotional health, closer relationships and happiness in life, and who doesn’t need that?! They rekindle in me a love for my God, and a love for my husband and family.
(Thanks to Ann Voskamp at a Holy Experience for her statistics above. Check out her post here on “15 Happy Ways to Teach Kids to be Grateful.”)
-preschool hugs and bird watching
-seeing beauty and new variety in the hues of brown along the highway
-the joy of meeting new women at Moms-Next this morning, in my session on Talking to Our Kids and Teens about Sex and Sexuality, and the joy of sharing together.
-being able to speak with women, and it feeling like worship between me and my God
-pinata lessons from my four year old
Have you seen these older posts?
–Conspiring Teens Plot Joy (Want their Secret?)
–Five Seconds Away from Joy, Better Health and Peace of Mind
Pick up pen or keyboard, friend, and join me. Who doesn’t need more joy and energy?