I am fortunate to have my mom right around the corner from me. She was out for a walk yesterday and stopped by. I had the mom that had 7 kids and made lunch for them everyday until I graduated from high school. I had the mom who stayed up late sewing a new school bag for me even though she had a newborn. I had the mom that took a my kids when we had to rush to the hospital with one of them. I have a loving, giving, kind, mother who is always there for me and brings me such Joy.
I do 'share' my Mom with 6 other siblings, their spouses, and all the grandkids. How much Joy she brings our posterity!!
Make sure you tell your Mom how much Joy she brings you--Share Joy!
What ways can you give back to your community, your family, your school, your church? I have found that no matter where I give back it always makes me feel so happy and brings such Joy to more than myself. We've been blessed with a little extra here and there and BYU has always been so kind to us, so every once and awhile we try to give back. We went to a luncheon today were we met people who excelled because of the generous help of others who have given back. How I love our BYU community. I feel so at home there and enjoy every time I am there. Outside my window I have the perfect view of the 'Y'. It is one of my favorite places to think and appreciate all that school has given me. My husband, a stronger testimony of my convictions, friends, and even a degree! Oh what Joy my life is because of the giving of others!!
Today was a grand adventure! We hit two more states to add to our collection. We are up to 49 and just have one left. If you continue with this blog, you will see which one, but for today we headed to Arkansas and Tennessee. What an adventure. My husband thought it would be a good idea to hit both those states in one day. We are flying in, getting pictures, and flying out. What a whirlwind!! We are enjoying a few days off from school, and he wanted to make sure we were home for some of it.
I love hearing about others adventures and comparing notes on places we should have visited or food we shouldn't have eaten. Whether it is on facebook, instagram, or just stories we can share, it is always a grand Adventure!
All my children are in youth group at our church and tonight is their night to be gone. This leaves Dave and I home alone. You would think we would do something together, but we really enjoy our alone time and don't get it too often. So I will be in my office, alone, doing one of my favorite hobbies, taking a card class online. I love making certain crafty things--LOVE IT!! But working with paper and stamps is really high up there. Joy, for me, is enjoying time doing what I love.
Since I'm making cards I can easily send those to people and share my hobby. That brings me great Joy!
I could probably post this one everyday because let's be honest, I love treats. But there are those rare treats you get that are seasonal, or homemade (and you don't have the recipe). Whatever they are I got one last night. We were at another band competition (because we live at those right now) but it happened to be at BYU. One of my happiest places on earth--right next to Disneyland and the Temple!! Anyway we were at the stadium and one of our incentives for going was to be able to buy a cougar tail. What is a cougar tail you ask? Only a foot (at least) long maple bar, one of my all-time favorite donuts. And since I'm actually a pretty healthy eater, I don't get donuts very much, so when I do I better make the most of it!!
Of course I did share with one of my children. Let's be honest, the rest of them wanted their own. It was so delicious and both of us felt the pure joy, or maybe the sugar rush, of those yummy, hard to find treats!!
Especially when you are inside and protected from the elements. Rain brings me pure Joy. I am an Oregonian at heart and rain reminds me of green grass, jumping in puddles, and running through it laughing. We could always tell a true Oregonian because during a rainy day they went without an umbrella.
How in the world do I share rain? Well I now live in a state that is constantly in drought mode, so in our end of the US rain is a symbol of life. It represents that we will have crops grow, enough water to drink, and lakes to play in over the summer. All of that is shared by our state both for the people who live here and those who come visit.
Yesterday I went to a meeting with my husband. One of our General Authorities spoke (a leader in our church). It was great, but what struck me was how inspiring these people can be when they speak. It reminds me to continually strive to do better. Not just do better, but keep doing better. This particular General Authority talked about the sacrifices people make in order to accomplish something they deem very important. His wife discussed the wonderful opportunities we have.
So my two inspiring thoughts were, what opportunities do I have everyday because of where I live, because of my family, or because of my circumstances. I have many.
My next thought was what are some things I think are so important that I would sacrifice a lot for them, and am I making those sacrifices? Sometimes yes, but sometimes I'm selfish and just plain don't want too. That is when I go to a meeting and get inspired!!
I had a mini reunion today with some of my college roommates. I haven't seen them in awhile and it was so good to get together. Even if it was only for an afternoon. It brings me such Joy to relieve those memories and see that they are doing really well.
I put my Christmas lights up early this week. Want to know why? Because they are my favorite colors--blue & white!! I felt justified since BYU is still playing in their first football season under a new head coach. We've been to several games already, but last night's game (which went into the wee hours) came down to double overtime!! We pulled out a win, but it was the ONLY time we led throughout the whole game.
Joy is when all your hard work results in a win, even if it comes down to the wire. It's up to you to decide what constitutes a win, but last night the number on the scoreboard made that decision easy. That Joy was shared all over Cougar Nation last night and I was glad to be a part of it.
One of my favorite things is to see the priceless look of Joy on my kids faces when they open up that gift that they have been wanting FOREVER!! I also love surprising people with something they weren't expecting like showing up with a treat for someone who has had a bad day, or a half gallon of ice cream for someone to tell then good job. Whatever the reason buying gifts for others is one of my favorite things to do.
Today my husband and I were doing just that. Tonight I have bridal shower to attend and I bought a gift I'm especially excited to give. What a treat and treasure to share a little bit of the Joy I feel when thinking of others.
I try to go to the temple often, and when I do I am reminded of my priorities. When we remember what's really important and understand that the day to day stresses and life's little anxious moments are only temporary, sometimes it's a little bit easier to get through them. Oh what Joy that brings to my heart and soul! I love to see the temple and what it represents. A while ago there was a conference talk about putting a picture of the temple in each child's room to remind them of that goal--to always be worthy to go to the temple.
That's how I spread that Joy. Putting little reminders of temples all over, just to remember.
Look to the Temple--Spread Joy!
Who doesn't love the sound of a good beat, or the uplifting lyrics of a favorite song. Tonight we are headed up to a band competition to see our high school band compete. I have 2 kids in this competition and they have worked really hard on their show. I hope they do well, but what really brings me Joy is how well they can play their instruments. Good music has always brought me Joy and I'm so grateful for the many ways we get to hear it. We only live a few miles from the school, so one of the ways this band shares their Joy of music is on a clear cold night when they are out practicing you can hear them. It really is an amazing sound!! Share the Joy, Share good music!!
Monday is laundry day, and with six people in our family, that's about all I do on Monday. But when everything is folded nicely in their baskets, and the kids are wearing clothes that smell good and look presentable, that brings me Joy. Oh how I love when we look clean!
And we share it by smelling decent around our friends. What a relief!!
This morning I woke up early and mixed up some homemade bread. The smell alone makes me smile. We try to have homemade bread, apples, and cheese every Sunday evening for our dinner. It's a simple meal, but so delicious, especially when it is straight from the oven.
Sharing homemade bread to bring people Joy is easy. You just take a loaf over to someone. But today I got up extra early to make it because I wanted it to be done in time for church. My 14-year-old son had asked me to make some for the sacrament bread two weeks ago. What a pleasure to be able to share my bread with the ward. (although they may not all think so ;))
This morning I chose to have Joy pretty early on. I get to sleep in on Saturdays so my Joy stemmed from my alarm sounding at 5 (instead of 4:30) and instead of getting up on this gloomy, cold morning, I appreciated being under my warm covers for a little bit longer. I chose the Joy of being in my nice warm bed, especially with the brisk weather outside. Doesn't that warm feeling of being safe and protected away from the elements make you so happy!!
And how exactly would I share that? Simple, I cranked up the heat in our house so everyone else could feel that warmth!!! Of course then my husband asked if it was 1000 degrees in here, but whatever, I shared JOY!
I've been studying about JOY. How it's a choice and the only person that can take it away from you is you. So what if I did 365 things a year, or one thing a day to bring me joy. What if I made a conscious effort to focus on one thing that creates an overwhelming sense of pleasure, a pure feeling of happiness, a wonderful consciousness of JOY. It's an interesting concept. Can I find something different every day that will bring me joy?
Another interesting thought is once I have found joy how do I share it? I do like to please people, but more than that, when I have joy I want others to share in that with me. I want them to feel that Joy. So how do I do that? I guess first thing is first, I will try to post weekly things I find Joy in, then I will figure out how to share that Joy. The sharing part may not happen all the time, but it is something I will try hard to do.