Quiet and calm
After all has been seen
Little bits of love
In carefully wrapped
All is calm
The longest day
Now behind them.
The lights still
But nostalgically now
As if they know
They’re now a part
Of memory keeping
And not anticipation.
The music plays
Fading as the evening
Draws to a close.
And when the light
We will welcome
I’ve been thinking about finding joy in this holiday this week, mostly because a sweet friend of mine taught a wonderful lesson in church on Sunday about finding joy in our lives. It got me thinking all about when I feel joyful (not nearly often enough), why I feel joyful when I do, and how I can feel it more often.
My conclusion? I am the stifler of my own joyful experiences.
Of course, I think all of us will admit to being more stressed than we should be, too distracted from the “important” things, and generally living the crazy life: kids, jobs, bills, keeping things afloat. And while certainly the execution of daily events can make or break a joyful experience, that’s not what I’m talking about. When I say I stifle my own joy, this is what I mean.
When I find a solution to a problem that seemed completely insurmountable only hours before, but I don’t allow myself to feel the all-encompassing relief and divine gratitude for my answer because I’m afraid I’ve misunderstood and something will still go wrong.
When I refuse to smile and laugh with my toddlers and their silliness because minutes before they were being stubborn and disobedient and I’m still angry about it.
When I get ready in the morning and ignore makeup or earrings (which I love) because I don’t like that my jeans are a little on the snug side.
When someone surprises me with something thoughtful and I refrain from reacting enthusiastically in order to avoid looking silly.
When I pout for hours (or days!) about an assumed slight, which of course I later find I completely blew out of proportion.
I could go on, and on, and on–and I don’t think I’m the only one.
You don’t have to raise your hands, or confess anything here, but think about it. Are you having a Merry Christmas? Are there things about your attitude that could change the way your world looks right now? Because even though my shopping isn’t done (or even started!), my Christmas tree is a bit lopsided, and I have yet to make goodies or dance with the kiddos to a rousing rendition of Jingle Bell Rock, I happen to know that my Merry Christmas starts right here with me. My head. My willingness to be joyful. To feel joy.
No one is going to make my life joyful, my Christmas Merry. Except for me.
I appreciate the reminder.
I thought that would get your attention.
In honor of my huge Grand Opening this past weekend, of course there needs to be a HUGE giveaway! Four (yes, FOUR) lucky winners will be randomly chosen to receive ONE of the following prizes:
Bliss Fat Quarter Stack
Fandango Layer Cake
Life’s A Hoot Stack Pack (10″ squares)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Charm Pack
Do you want to win? Of course you do! And it’s really, really, easy.
Just visit my shop and come back and tell me which of the patterns there is your favorite. Then, tell me what kind of quilt you would love to see a pattern for. Do you wish there were more Queen sized patterns? More throws? More patterns that are super girly? More “small” home decor projects? Tell me, tell me!
Giveaway ends Monday, October 11th at 10pm, MST. Winner will be announced Tuesday morning.
I hope you win!
Sunday nights are my favorites. I’ve spent the last several hours adding to my epic final project for a drawing class I’m taking, while listening to pleasant banter between my husband and little brother. They’re playing Battleship, but get this–it’s talking to them. Complete with “DELTA! RADAR! ECHO!” being yelled by the computer commander. I guess, since our Monopoly game lets us swipe a debit card to pay our rent, that Battleship should come with sound effects…they are sinking major naval equipment, after all.
What I love about Sunday night is that it’s the one night when I never have plans. I never feel obligated to clean until my eyes shut, or do some grocery shopping, or catch up on work. I love that it’s a completely set aside evening for being at home. With family. Doing something quiet and slow and relaxing. Since the kiddos go to bed at 7, that’s at least 3 hours of stress-free dreaming and scheming. Lately, those hours have been taken up by my drawing pad and some great pencils, while I refine skills and take as much time as I need to get it perfect. It’s such a different way of approaching a class. Very different than how I learned (or not) in college the first time around. I never really put 100% into my classes as a teenage/early 20s college-goer. I had too much going on, not enough maturity to focus on each thing as I was doing it. So when I graduated with my Linguistics degree, it didn’t feel deserved or earned. It was a cynical and sarcastic exclamation point at the end of several years of run-on sentences.
Now, I’m a mom, and a designer, and I’m taking this class because I want to. Because I want to soak up as much learning as this class can possibly offer me. And if it turns out that I get a degree out of it someday, then I’ll clap for myself and have an ice cream cone. And if not, that’s fine too. I’ve learned what I showed up to class to learn, and I’ve put all my effort into not only this final, but each and every assignment. That feels great to me. In fact, I can’t think of very many things that feel better.
The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
I love learning, and I wonder sometimes if I’m in the minority. There are so many people who want to have their hands held, want the easy way, want someone to give x, y, and z to them with no effort on their part. Who would rather pay someone else to do something than lift their own finger. I wonder why. And I wonder, if they’ve ever felt the pride and confidence that comes from learning something thoroughly and applying it to a specific problem or need, and finding that they are more than enough to solve it. I hope someday that my own children will be able to feel this, to understand this. To be better because of it.
Why is learning so negative to so many people these days? How can children and youth be taught differently?