Not long ago circumstances were such that I felt a terrific stress lifted off of my shoulders. I felt myself sort of looking around, and wondering why my heart was quiet all of a sudden. The reasons for the peace were numerous, among them was the ability to pay off some debts. It’s hard to describe the hope that seemed to steal into my heart. I think, in a way, you could say that I’ve begun to carve out some space for me…pursuing things that are deeply important to me, and not waiting for a better year.
The other night friends and I had dinner at M’s in the Old Market. I had a lovely Sangiovese from a Willamette Valley vineyard, and they fearlessly dove into brews new and old. She had a Flat Tire and he did not offer to fix it. A leisurely four hours together found us wandering down the paths of old memories, and reliving them together. We laughed until we cried. I came away feeling so rich and full, and in my heart I was reminded of that same peace and bubbly joy. Where was it coming from?
If you do not know me you wouldn’t appreciate the intensity with which I charge at life. It’s great guns ahead with this girl. Analytical until it hurts. The numbers call the shots, not the feelings. In fact, feelings are so confusing that I find myself blogging on joy, in an effort to understand.
That’s it! It’s joy!
This is what joy feels like! Joy. It’s a mish-mosh of believing you’re loved and worthy of love; of being rested and at peace enough to stop and feel; and then moving beyond “doing the right thing” all the time. It’s a combination of living loved and giving it away. Joy is about loving myself, and respecting myself enough to say ‘no’ to some things, and ‘yes’ to others. Scripture says that if you try to save your life you will lose it, and if you willingly lose your life you will find it. God’s economy is always upside down to our thinking. Yet I think sometimes we try to find ourselves by giving more of ourselves than we really had to give…sort of like overdrawing on a bank account. In doing so, the portrait of who we are begins to crumble at its edges. Yet, if we take love all of the time, and never give it away, it will slip through our fingers and we will continue with that vacant gnawing in our soul.
I can’t help but think of the old song that Amy Grant made popular in the 90’s, House of Love.
Sometimes life is funny
You think you’re in your darkest hour
When the lights are comin’ up in the house of love.
Wishing you the surprises of joy and love as this glorious Summer inches it’s way into Fall.