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Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:4-6 (NIV)
My birthday is in the beginning of October, and the joy that this brings me is a little over-the-top. To have a birthday in this season so saturated with beauty and promise feels like the first gift I ever received.
Also, I detest being too warm. Where I live in Minnesota, October weather is generally crisp and cool – right up my alley.
After waking up in the morning, the anticipation of a free pumpkin spice latte from my favorite coffee shop fuels me right out of bed. I’ve passed along my adoration of holidays and celebrations to my children, so they’re almost as excited as Christmas morning when they join me in the kitchen. I open their cards and gifts, then jump into the rush of our regular morning routine.
After school drop-offs, I swing by that coffee shop. I go to work. I make sure to take a walk at some point during the day because to me, outdoors is the best place for my heart to connect with His. On a perfect day, the sky is a brilliant blue, and the air holds a hint of a chill in its undercurrent. Of course, I prefer the chill, but year to year the weather varies, and I’ve worn both tank tops and sweaters on my birthday. We usually have my favorite meal for dinner – fondue! – and family joins us as they’re able. When I finally climb into bed at the end of that October day, my heart is full to overflowing with love, filled to the brim with joy.
Did the kids fight or disobey or ask a million questions or interrupt or complain during that day? Um, yes. Did my husband and I probably have a little spat at some point? Most likely. Did we leave the laundry in the washing machine too long and have to re-run it . . . twice? You betcha. Did I have to run out for diapers and milk and apples? Uh-huh. Were my floors covered in dog hair? For sure. Was it totally full of joy anyway? Oh yeah!
Joy isn’t limited to perfection.
If that were the case, we’d all be miserable. Instead, joy can be found in limitless quantities and places. Rejoicing can come every morning – as long as we’re open to finding it. I think God wants joy to be as accessible and available as possible. It’s why small and seemingly normal things can make our hearts so happy.
It doesn’t have to be your birthday to have a day full of joy found in simple, everyday glories. It’s autumn! The air is crisp and cool, full of promise, new beginnings, and fresh starts.
On a crisp autumn morning, when joy is ripe for the finding, grab ahold. Look for it around every corner and smile. Seek it in the familiar and the unexpected. And thank the One who created joy, planting it in our hearts and lives.
A prayer for today:
God, Thank you for joy! In the big and in the small, in the normal and the extraordinary and all the spaces in between. Thank you for bringing joy each morning, arriving with the dew. Whether the day is crisp and bright, rainy and grey, or somewhere in the middle, help me seek joy. Amen.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB