100 Beautiful Days – Day Four

Day 4 –

Guys!  Sometimes joy jumps up and grabs us at the oddest of times!

I was just running out to empty the trash, dashing through the cold rain and shivering all the way, when my eye caught a glimpse of this little garden rock.  It sits right by where I park my car, where I pass in and out of my courtyard gate, where I have to see it in all my comings and goings.

I strategically placed it there to remind me to be joyful.  Not just when I leave and have dealings with others but when I come home as well.  It reminds me that I should spread joy to a world hurting and in need and that I should fill my home with that same joy!

I painted the rock a few years ago when painted rocks placed around town were all the rage.  The girls and I painted quite a few and I managed to drop some off throughout the community, but this little guy never left my car.  I kept meaning to find the perfect location, maybe near the hospital or a doctor’s office, but somehow it just never made it there.  Maybe selfishly I wanted to hang on to it.  When I would look at it I was reminded of that special day painting rocks with my girls who have grown up too fast, and I was reminded to find joy in every part of their journey.

Just now, as I dashed past the rock and then backed up to snap a picture, I couldn’t help but notice how the rock is surrounded by brown leaves and dead vines buried in the cold of the winter season.  And yet, the joy rock still holds its color and shines through right in the middle of the dark, drab surroundings.  The children’s book author in me likes to imagine that little rock is cheering on the earth around it saying “Hang on everybody!!  Better days are ahead!!  Spring is coming!!”

Here’s the thing…life is messy and so very tough and beautiful and wonderful.  Some seasons joy just bubbles up naturally from within us and sometimes we have to dig very deep to find the joy in the hard stuff. Sometimes we need people around us to point us to God – the source of true joy – and encourage us to hang on.   Sometimes we need to be the ones yelling “Hold on friend, God’s got this and its gonna be ok.”

So today, in the middle of a cold, dreary day,  that little rock was a gentle reminder to look for joy.

What reminds you to look for joy in all things – simple and challenging?  Who do you surround yourself with that points you to the brighter side of life?

Maybe, just maybe if you really, really want to you could paint yourself a joy rock and put it where you can see it!  While you’re at it – grab yourself some fuzzy slippers that you can wear outside to empty the trash!  They are guaranteed to make you smile!

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