Finding Joy

Sleep doesn’t always claim me, yet when it does and I awake after a restful night’s sleep with a definite thought in my head, I take note….

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”  I heard it.  I’ve known it.  I’ve quoted it near daily, but more like this….This is the day the Lord has made.  HELP ME GOD to rejoice and be glad in it!”  It’s more like a plea bargain I’m looking for.  My God is so very patient with me.

So as I pondered that scripture (Ps.118:24 for those of you who want to go there and read it for yourselves) that early morning – before I actually went to my Bible to read it, I visualized that whomever wrote it surely had his eyes closed, fist clenched – along with his teeth – and was hunched over a table with one palm pressed hard into his forehead while the other fist pounded the table in front of him…..declaring with all his might that he would rejoice, when perhaps all he wanted to do was scream, or punch someone in the face.  Could it be, I wondered before reading, that he was fighting discouragement, discontent, or frustration?  Was he perhaps digging as deep as he could within himself to state the obvious…that God made the day, He controlled the circumstances of it, and knowing He should receive praise – even when this psalmist didn’t feel like praising – he was declaring to himself and anyone else around that he was determined to rejoice through his circumstances?

And so I read….and discovered…the psalmist had been “chastened severely, but not given over to death”; he found it “better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”; he was “pushed violently that I might fall, but the Lord helped me”.  And then his declaration, “You have answered me, and have become my salvation…..This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Suddenly I see the psalmist unclinch his fist, lower his head to his outstretched arm, and weep.  This huge hunk of a man (in my mind’s eye) has fought the good fight of faith….and has decided it better to trust in the Lord than in man – man who always disappoints and frustrates, and he gives up his will and decides to put his confidence in the Lord, who has saved him from his enemies.  And so he decides to rejoice….through tears that come only after the fight….within himself.  He decides.

Okay.  I’ve taken a lot of liberty with this scripture, but God has shown me so clearly that rejoicing and being glad in what He gives me within any given day is my choice.  My choice.  To rejoice, or to be discontent.

Rejoicing, celebrating, finding joy in the journey….how does one do this….daily?

IMG_3798Find something that makes you smile, then widen those lips and show those pearly whites!

I don’t know who Billy and Pearl are, but in my browsing through a local antique shop, I found this picture, and yes, I paid $2 for a faded photograph of people I don’t know.  Why?  They made me smile….

Note that they are standing about 2 feet from one another…farm boy moments prior was chasing this cute little girl around that gigantic porch (brother and sister?) when the voice yells loud, “Stop!  I want to take your picture!”  Obliging, they stand as far apart as allowed for the snapshot, and then…whoosh… they go running again.  What do you see when you look at this?

IMG_3799This one I like even more….woman on the right, the one shading her face from the sun, declares, “Emma, do you really believe those men of ours can get that field plowed today?”  I love the stances….two with arms folded tight against their chest, and two with hands on hips.  I’ve been both….have you?  I laughed as I thought through all the possibilities of conversation these women might be having, standing against the array of flowers dancing at their feet. I think – had I been in that photo – I might have had my arms up in the air as I spun around wildly through the field of flowers….oblivious to the conversations going on around me.  You?

These photos are in my booth space because they make me laugh…every time I see them.  Admittedly, I find humor in the oddest things sometimes….

IMG_3810I painted this sign, originally, thinking of marriages….but then it hit me that this is just life.  Not always easy, but worth living.

Burlap & Lace offers some things this month that are “bulk”, because of my collecting of things that I love…mostly for our son’s wedding this past May.  You will notice on Facebook soon the posting of those bulk sale items….be sure to check out that page post!

IMG_3804And while you are busy complaining (yes, we all will from time to time) about the lack of service you’ve received or the unkind people you’ve encountered today, remind yourself to “be the Aloha you wish to see in the world”.

IMG_3803Garden delights still grace the doors of Burlap & Lace this month…IMG_3802IMG_3815If you’ve seen the movie Braveheart, you recognize this saying….this sign hung in our son’s room all throughout high school as a reminder to him from his dad….God has a plan for your life; stay the course.  Keep running the race set before you….and you won’t miss the mark.

Just a few more photos from the booth this month before I leave you…IMG_3814This tea cart is three pieces.  The attached tray removes to become a bed tray and there is a separate serving tray (propped at the bottom) as well.  Add wheels if you want a rolling cart! IMG_3792


One final thought….”Be content with such things as you have.”  That’s a lot to think about, and a lot to find joy in.   Make the choice….I have.