Finding Joy on Disappointing Days

photo by joanna nix on unsplash

photo by joanna nix on unsplash

In Alaska, snow in April isn’t that uncommon. But it’s never welcome. By the end of our long, cold, dark winter, we’re practically ravenous for dirt and sunshine.

So when I woke up to six inches of snow last Tuesday, I wasn’t exactly celebrating. But, I did my best to make the most of it. My dear husband, Paul, started a wood fire, and I made a pot of coconut milk chai tea. Since it was my day off, I had the luxury of snuggling up on the couch with a mystery novel, and, while the snow fell softly outside, I was transported to another (warmer) world.

My nephews came over later in the afternoon and we played Pictionary together, and then we went outside and went sledding and had a snowball fight. What could have been a day of disappointment turned out to be very idyllic and actually one of my favorite days of the month!

Finding joy and beauty in the midst of less-than-ideal circumstances can be hard. But when we really look, I think we can almost always find something to brighten our day. Sometimes we just need to shift our perspective. One way we can do this is to ask questions such as, What can I enjoy about today? or, How can I make this experience enjoyable? or Where is the beauty in this situation?

The apostle Paul said, “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on…the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly” (Philippians 4:8 MSG). But, often, before we can think on these things, we have to actively search for them. And sometimes the best way to find the lovely things is to slow down and go small. You’ve probably heard the saying, “The little things are the big things.” There’s a lot of truth in that. Small as they are, it’s the little things that, when properly appreciated, hold the power to transforms our everyday mundane into something magical.

Over the last couple weeks’ snow falls, in addition to my snow day with my nephews, I’ve found joy in these little things:

  • The patchwork pattern created on my pathway’s paving stones. The snow inside of the stone melted, leaving a pretty quilt of rectangles.

  • The tiny imprint of a squirrel’s paw in snow.

  •  The peaceful hush that can only come from a snow-muffled world.

  •  The lacework-esque effect of snow sprinkled on spruce branches.

We can find joy in the everyday as we embrace the best of what the day has to offer while having grace for the hard parts.

What have you found today, or what can you create or incorporate into your day, that brings joy? Will you plan a lunch date with a friend? Step outside to savor the fresh, spring air? Indulge in a decadent, chocolatey dessert? Listen to a favorite album while you do some chores? I’d love to hear about it!

With love,

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