Take Notice, Find Joy
When you look around, what do you see? What do you NOTICE?
Do you see:
… the trees blowing in the breeze?
… the smile of a really happy child?
…the content sigh from a spouse?
Do you only see:
… laundry that needs to be finished?
…dishes that have to be washed?
…carpet that needs vacuumed?
What exactly do you notice?
Things I Notice
I’m a wife and a mom. I have four lively children. We have a household of six people, 1 dog, 1 cat, and a hamster. You could guess what I notice: endless laundry, endless dishes, crumbs on the carpet, something sticky on the kitchen floor, an argument between siblings that needs intervention, and a dog that needs to go out. It’s loud. It’s busy. It’s my life.
I love it.
You think I’m crazy. But I truly love all of it.
I have bad days. We all do!
But in all the chaos and busyness, I choose to notice small things that bring me JOY.
I notice the laundry and I’m thankful for the abundance of clothing that my children have been blessed with.
I notice the dishes and I’m grateful that we had meals that day, which requires me to cook and clean.
I notice the crumbs on the carpet that was caused by one of my kids spilling a bowl of snacks, and I’m grateful for those snacks.
I notice the sticky floor, because one of my kids decided to attempt getting their own juice or milk, which shows me how independent they are becoming.
I notice the sibling arguments, and I’m grateful they have each other, even in the tough times of not liking each other sometimes.
I’m Not Perfect
It isn’t that I ignore the bad side of circumstances. But, I choose to see the good in it. I’m optimistic by nature. (Which means that’s how God made me.)
I have days where I struggle to see the good in the mix. When my Wrestler just won’t keep his hands (or whole body) to himself, I get agitated. When one or more of my kids decides to change clothes mid-day, causing more laundry for me, I get annoyed. When my Early Riser gets up well before a respectable time in the morning and asks for milk, I just want to close my eyes and sleep.
But there IS good in it. There’s good in ALL of it. Some days I just have to look a little harder and a little deeper. I have to stop, breathe, and look –take notice.
Back to the Bible
David wrote Psalm 108 and started it like this: “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations. I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
My favorite part of this is the very beginning where he says, “My heart is steadfast.” Steadfast by definition means “firm and unwavering in purpose, loyalty, or resolve.”
David was a man of God. He had his share of setbacks, failures, and bad days. Still, he wrote “my heart is steadfast, unwavering, loyal, and resolved (to praise God and sing).”
How To Notice and Find Joy
Have a heart that is steadfast, no matter the circumstances, to praise God. There is blessing in so many small moments. I don’t always see the blessing and joy in the moment, but there is blessing. Sometimes I can look back on the days gone by and see it more clearly.
The trick is learning how to see it in the middle of it happening. That’s where the JOY is in those moments. When my 2 year old is licking the front storm door in the cool winter morning, just to feel her tongue on the icy window pane. I can think of how I’ll have to clean that later. Or I can just relax and let her explore the world for a moment in her own way. I even smile as I watch her eyes in wonder.
I’m not saying to ignore those other daily duties: laundry, dishes, vacuuming. I truly believe in blessing your home and your family by keeping your home nice.
I’m saying that we fail when we let those duties take over and make us MISS the greater blessings in life. When I am overwhelmed and all I see is the stuff that needs to be done, rather than the blessing of it, then I am failing to have joy in my life.
Joy in folding laundry.
Joy in cleaning cereal off the floor.
Joy in making beds, cleaning bathrooms, mopping floors, etc.
Taking notice of the small things for which I can be thankful and grateful.
So, today, dear friend, take notice of small things. Be grateful in the seemingly unimportant. In doing so, you will ultimately find joy in the smallest details of life. You will find JOY when you choose to notice.
An example of me choosing to see the good in a certain situation: Here.
Note: Many thanks to Kate Motaung at katemotaung.com for the inspiration for this post. She gave the word “Notice” for Five Minute Friday several weeks ago. Her word inspired this post.
Another Thanks to Ann Voskamp at aholyexperience.com for the words in her book “One Thousand Gifts.” It is a great book that has been teaching me how to find JOY in the everyday moments.