You are in for a treat today. Lorilee Lippincott of Loving Simple Living is here to spread a few ripples of Joy. Her blog, devoted to simpler living is an inspiration and her gentle and committed voice will speak right to your heart. I am thankful she found Bliss Habits and wanted to share with us today. I think you will be too!
When I think of the word ‘joy’ I can’t help thinking of a little kid. A little kid playing in puddles after a rain storm when everything is wet, but the sun is shining warm and bright. ‘Joy’ is a kind of word that brings happiness – a special kind of happiness, one that relaxes my shoulders, pulls me into the present, and gives me hope. It has such a great sound and ring to it.
So, on that word picture I wanted to make a list of what builds ‘Joy’, but think of it more as puddles to jump through. The more puddles, the more fun – and the more ‘Joy’!
The first puddle is ‘thankfulness’. When I am thankful for what I have and understand that I am blessed beyond what I deserve, I can be thankful. Nothing in life is for sure. There is no way to guarantee success, health, or even life. Everyday, every breath, all that I have is a gift. The idea of counting blessings and ‘thanks’ has been around for a while, but Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is really beautiful and reminded me so much about the blessing of thankfulness when I read it last December. Write out ‘thanks’, pray ‘thanks’, speak ‘thanks’ to those close to you – whatever works the best for helping you remember.
The second puddle, connected in the corner to ‘thankfulness’, is contentment. It is big, deep, and inviting. I wrote a last year on my blog about how contentment is the best gift I can give myself. It is a gift, and it is completely in my head and under my control. Contentment is when I am ‘thankful’ for the amount I am given. The amount of material possessions, the amount of time, the amount of health, or the amount of friends and family. Personally it might be the amount of knowledge or beauty I have. (The list can go on and on.) Not only am I ‘thankful’, I am happy with how much I have and I don’t need to keep seeking. Not that I can’t seek to grow in the future, but at this point, the here and now of life, I am happy with it.
Jump into the present. I wanted to share a quote that really stuck this in my head a few weeks ago.
“No one has to master living in the now. It’s impossible to live anywhere else. Just as you can never leave now, no one will ever take away your past or withhold your future. Effortlessly, your past accumulates. Instantly, your future arrives. What matters is that you notice your life while you can still call it ‘alive’. That’s now.” by Karen Maezen Miller on page 106 of her book Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life
Living in the present has almost become a buzz word lately. Isn’t it crazy that our lives and society have become so fast that we need to make a conscious effort to come back to the present?
Puddle jumping is a perfect picture of living in the present. Making the most of the current situation and finding the fun in it.
I have been learning this over the last year that our family has been embracing minimalism. This is a puddle to jump into – that probably is best described as something to jump out of. Jump out of crazy. Crazy materially is stuff. Crazy time is full schedules. Crazy can creep into the life easily in our society and we need to step back, step out, and make sure our life ‘simply’ has what we need and want – not everything else.
Simple living is often seen as cutting back on material things. I think this is an important step, one that has made a big difference in my life. But simple, minimalistic thinking can go much deeper to expectations, past hurts, and future fears. Cut out everything that isn’t needed or wanted, get rid of the baggage.
All this serious talk about something as fun as ‘joy’ needs some chocolate! Chocolate not your thing? Go for a fancy coffee or a fresh donut. Something that tastes completely good and is only nutritious for the soul. Savor it, and fully enjoy it.
I wish you all a joyful day!
I am a child of the King, wife to an incredible man, mother to two energetic kids, minimalist, wanna be vegan, thinker, reader, and wanderer. Blogging at Loving Simple Living.com and enjoying a vibrant, loving, present life. I would love to meet you and chat some more.
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