Soak It In

Yesterday I wrote about joy catching.  How to cultivate and encourage joyful moments in life.  Today I’m thinking about the reality of joy snatchers…the circumstances or people that try to grab and steal that joy as soon as you think you’ve found some. I don’t want to dwell on that too long, because, well, that’s a real downer, and yes, a joy snatcher!  🙂  Instead I want to focus on ways to regain your inner peace and joy after the attack of the snatchers.

1.  Read God’s Word.  Best medicine and advice and love ever.  Period.

2.  Sit in the sun for a few moments.  Soak in the warmth, close your eyes, and breathe.

3.  Call a good friend or loved one.

4.  Do something physical.  Vacuum the house, run, take a walk, pet your dog.

5.  Create something.  It doesn’t have to be a new Rachmaninoff or anything, just have fun drawing, coloring, writing, doodling, singing, playing an instrument.

6.  Put on your favorite music and dance in the kitchen.  Or in the living room.  Or outside in the driveway if you’re really daring.

Here’s a great toe-tapping song to help in that regard.  Performed by the High Kings, who by the way just performed for the White House St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.  They’re awesome and so talented.  Check out their website at

Slainte, Lisa

The Seven Rules of Joy Catching

My post today will verge on the edge of being a little “suzy sunshine,” but this new sport of mine has really been helping me, so bear with me.  I am a dreamer, yes, but I also live in a real world, with real problems.  And reality isn’t always easy to look at, and can start to get you down if you’re not careful.  God has been letting me know in many ways that I need to find His joy, the kind of joy that doesn’t change with things that are going on around me, a joy that is more constant and will put a smile on my inside.

Here are my seven rules of “joy catching.”  Attempt this sport at your own risk.  Potential side effects:  smiling for no apparent reason, laughing out loud in your car, and passersby maybe thinking you’re a little off.

1.  Look for little things in your day that are cool, beautiful, or funny.  This might be something funny your child says, like my five year old last night.  “Mommy, I hate to tell you this, but I’ve decided not to go to college.  I’m going to live with you and Daddy forever.  Because we love each othee.”  Or the baby goat I saw this morning on the way into town.  A tiny little goat, with only his rear end protruding, sticking his entire head and torso into a giant hay mound, eating or hiding, I’m not sure which.

2.  Give away smiles.  This is a free activity, and it will pick you up, I promise.  Your face might get sore and tired from all the unaccustomed smiling muscle usage, but you will get used to it.  I’ve looked around at people, and the grounchy faces scare me, and the smiling people make me happy.  I want to be one of those happy ones.  I am therefore practicing smiling more.  Just making myself put a smile on, even if I don’t feel like it.

3.  Being a good listener.  This goes hand in hand with number 2.  Because sometimes people are really hurting, and you with a big smile on your face will make things worse.  So I’m trying to talk less (!!!) and listen more, and be sensitive to the situation.  This is a HARD step, so this one will take me a long time to wrap my brain and actions around.

4.  See people as characters in a play or movie.  Now this might not sound very sensitive as I mentionned in step 3, but it really helps you not to get so irritated with irritating people.  Because let’s face it, we’re all so different, and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves.  But if I try to see them as, “wow, that person would be really interesting to act out on stage…they have some very cool character quirks,” it somehow makes it more fun.  It helps me step back and make it less of a personal attack on me kind of thing.  As my middle daughter always says, “Everybody’s different.”

5.  You gotta laugh.  My very dear mother, who is also one of my best friends, says this alot to me.  When things get really crazy in life, you gotta laugh about it sometimes, just so we don’t lose it.  Now I admit, sometimes my laughing comes out somewhat edgy, but hey, it’s a start!  And it really does relieve tension.  Funny movies and books help alot in this regard.  “Waking Ned Devine” is a good start to your laughing therapy if you’re looking for a funny Irish movie.

6.  The Carpe Diem Principle.  Yes, I am dragging out the old “Seize the day” motto, but it is so true.  This really is the only day I will have exactly like this one, so I better get on with it, and make it the best I can.

7. Love each othee.  The most important one, and yes, I did type “othee” instead of “other.”  My daughter says that all the time, and I think it’s infinitely more cute than other, so it stays.  Love covers a multitude of sins, and makes me smile inside, and makes me feel good.   And the closer I am to God, the more He helps me to be the kind of person who can love, because sometimes it doesn’t come naturally to me.  Hmmm..

So, that’s joy catching…try it if you dare.

Slainte, Lisa

Shhh….It’s a Secret!

What is it about secrets and secret hideaways and secret treasures that makes us want to know more?  Most of us have an intense desire to know what’s in the box, what’s in that unreachable garden, what that whispering person said, what lies after this life.  The odd thing is though, finding out the answers is not always as satisfying as we imagine.  There is something thrilling and exciting about not knowing, about waiting and imagining.  Sometimes the expectation of the secret itself is the treasure.

The older I get, the more I am learning to enjoy the unknowable, the mystery, the secret.  My children can tell you of many times when they ask me an unanswerable question, I shrug my shoulders, smile, and say, “It’s a mystery.”  And that’s half the fun; life would be utterly too predictable and boring and overwhelming if we knew it all.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God.”  – Deuteronomy 29:29a

Treasure the mysteries and secrets.  Trust God to work out the ending.

Slainte, Lisa

The Bovine Ladies of Portmagee

These cows are the cows of a certain Portmagee, Ireland farmer.  These cows are unafraid and unwaveringly trusting of that farmer.  In the three weeks that we stayed next door, we watched these cows walk up and down the roads, going from one field to another, never checking for oncoming cars, just assuming that they will stop.  And the cars always did, sometimes for 10 minutes at a time.

This post is really part two of my prior “Leap of Faith” posting.  These wonderful mooing bovines had so much faith in their “shepherd.”  (Yes, I realize they’re not sheep, but you get what I’m getting at…)  Their leader said move out of this field, and they do.  He knows that there is better and newer grass over yonder; the cows don’t know that, but they trust him and go.  Now, the interesting part….we are smarter than these sweet cows, right?  Yet, God will try to lead me and I resist.   I pull against the change and plant my feet wide in protest.  May God be patient with me, and help me to trust and not fear.

Slainte, Lisa