Thursday, February 24, 2011

There is Joy in my Kitchen

Who's up for a little soul baring this morning?....

On Monday night I recounted all the lovely tidbits that added up to a beautiful long weekend with my family; all the little things that made me happy. 
(Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments by the way! I'm so glad it blessed you, I know writing it blessed me too!)

Tuesday morning came and, struggling with some hurt feelings from the day before, a messy house still in weekend mode, cranky kids sick with nasty colds and a husband running late for work, it was pretty tempting to hide under the covers and let the unhappy steal all the happy away.

Isn't that the thing about happiness? It's ephemeral nature, it's fleetingness; isn't that what makes us so crazy to chase it, pursue it and trade so many things just for the promise of it?

I think that post was a reminder to myself to focus on the little sunny spots that touch every day in all the details we may overlook too often. To pay attention is often to recognize happiness, where it was perhaps previously taken for granted.

I think I needed that reminder in particular. The past few months have felt rough. There's been happiness, but it's been under layers that have to be peeled away. It's been paired with quite a bit of swallowing disappointment,  wiping away small tears and "having a stiff upper lip".

 In the process of watching ALOT of the beloved ladies in my life swell up like ripe pregnant melons, there's a sense of loneliness and conflicting emotions, having lost my baby at 9 weeks only 7 weeks ago. I know I should be over it and move on to being okay, and really I am, okay. But sometimes okay is just okay.  There is certainly a lot of peace in my heart, but sometimes I want the exuberance back, the happiness...the joy.

Now, joy is a little more complicated than happiness I think...

The word "Joy" comes from the Greek word chara and means "rejoicing--to celebrate"
Joy and happiness are of course interlinked but still two separate things
Joy is spirtual, Happiness is emotional 
Ans as a follower of Jesus, I believe joy to be the fruit of a personal relationship with my God.

Joy is  often a matter of attitude.
And that attitude is a matter of choice.

Do I make that choice? Not often
Will I have more days of forgetting or downright neglecting that choice... you bet.
But I'm glad I made it on Tuesday morning.
So Tuesday morning is worth writing about.

Joy is what got me out of bed, dressed and with my game face on.

Alas, my resolve began to wear thin after wiping more boogers than I care to recount, and I found myself in my kitchen at 8:30 a.m. deciding the whole house needed some joy and the zucchini needed to be eaten.

So naturally, I made zucchini bread.

( if anyone wants the recipe, let me know. It's truly the best I've ever had!)

I moved slowly and purposefully, choosing to work without a mixer, blending all the ingredients with my favorite wooden spoon; all worn smooth and just the perfect weight in my hands.

I played with the recipe.

I talked to the Lord, poured my troubles out and let His peace pour in. I stirred some of that into the rest of the ingredients in my favorite stoneware bowl, the one I was given for my wedding that seems to match every kitchen I've had so far.

I grated the zucchini, thinking about warmer days and patches of my someday garden and  all things fresh and delicious

I let the cranky baby find some joy too, in a big bin of flour I forgot to put away. I chose to laugh and take pictures rather than scold and sweep up the mess.

We laughed, the two of us, and got covered in floury kisses.

And when the bread was finally pulled from the oven, hot and fragrant, we ate it with real butter
and celebrated this simple thing together.

I rejoiced for those moments over the small but significant things I have.
I counted my blessings rather than my woes.
The happiness was back; my joy was complete.

 I believe joy can often be found in one's kitchen can it not?

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