Monday, March 21, 2011

Becoming grateful... don't cry over spilt smoothie.

The story of Friday around 2 pm…

Groceries heavy in hand, I walk to the door, opening carefully, cautiously, so as not to drop anything.  After dropping a gallon of milk in my doorstep earlier in the year, my thoughts fill with determination to unload everything without mishap…and also fill with the glorious thought of my treat lunch for the day…. A “Carribbean Passion” smoothie from Jamba Juice.  A practicum interview and errand-running all in one morning inspire this much needed little pleasure.

Most groceries are in.  All that's left: a bag or two more, my purse, and the lovely smoothie.  Only a few savory sips into the deliciousness, I walk quickly back to the apartment threshold... anxious and ready to delight in the rest of my treat.

I near the door, hand reaching out in anticipation... smoothie calling my name. 



There it goes.... the smoothie's downward spiral towards the "welcome" mat seems slow and dramatic until reality sets in...  Lid still in hand, but cup with lovely smoothie goodness mysteriously missing... 

The old familiar feeling began to bubble up, threatening to seep through every pore of my being.

Discontent, I remember you.  You sneak into my heart unawares and blacken my soul.  Joy-stealer, sin-lover.  This old feeling…. It was coming, threatening the joy of living fully.

But wait… what is that?  My thoughts turn to something else…. 

I marvel at the deep pinkish-orange, smooth and cool (and sticky), spread full on my doorstep.

And then, bubbling up and out of my body is something different… a giggle quickly reaching fullness of laughter, ringing clearly for all neighbors to hear.

Joy.  I find it.  Pure, unadulterated joy.

God finds me in this moment of bliss and contentment.  Spilt smoothie, you are beauty to my joy-seeking heart.

No lunch.  No treat.  No Caribbean Passion. But JOY.... hunger pains find fullness in this odd elation served for lunch.

Perhaps this is the meaning of giving thanks in all circumstances… Yes, it was just a spilt smoothie, but to find beauty in something so small and defeat the discontent that could have set the tone of the rest of my day... that is a God miracle.  When the Bible says to give thanks, it's for our own good.  Otherwise we are just hollow shells, empty of the joy we could have.  The joy and fullness that God desires to give us.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)~

My doorknob is sticky with Caribbean Passion smoothie, but it makes me smile… so I may delight in a sticky welcome a few days longer.

And the God-gift count to 1,000 continues (I've reached 108 as of this morning)...

Some of the gifts of the past week…
10. The side-splitting, tear-spilling, stifled-silent laughter with sweet friend Anna while we work next to an elevator and listen as a waiting boy sings a love song WITHOUT earphones in…. (we felt like he was serenading us…. But it was a little awkward.)
17. Pink puppy tongue licking toes lovingly
33. Multi-colored candied chocolate hidden in the depths of chocolate chip cookies…
39. The privilege of walking alongside someone in their life journey
43. God answering prayers
52. Long Thursday phone dates with Lizzy
54. Long voicemails from my best friend
65. The search for the perfect apples
67.  The orange color of a spilled smoothie
73. First trip to the park in 2011
79. Well-loved Teddy Bear, worn in age yet full of comfort, hope, and nostalgia
87. Scotty eyebrows and mussed beards
91.  The most precious text from sweet friend Kelly saying the Lord put me on her heart… so uplifting!
96.  Colorful pages filling with the black of blessing words
102. Rain music on car windows
105.  Knee bend filled with curled Scotty body (during Sunday naptime… which also made the list at 104)

Are you finding joy today?


Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful and uplifting post! I loved it, and needed it after a hard day today. Thank you.

Linen & Verbena

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

"Hollow empty shells of the joy we could have!" I just love it! You made my day today. I laughed with you, believe me, but I'm glad I didn't have to clean it up. I'm learning, too! Just the fact that I'm aware of my CHOICE to give thanks or not --- this is a big advance for me in the right direction.

I think "Pink puppy tongue" is my favorite here. I can't put cream on my feet without Buster thinking he must clean it off!

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

What a wonderful thing to find joy in the smoothie spill! #10... too funny! I love apples. I love the sound of rain on the windows. Beautiful list!

Sherry said...

The sacrifice of praise is always beautiful! He is worthy. Thank you for your prayers.

elizabeth said...

I loved this! Hope your week is blessed...

Kay K said...

I love you joy in all the blessings ....Glad we can come together to share , blessings and Thankfulness to GOD .. he loves us to have joy

Thanks for sharing