Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finding your JOY

Recently, I have begun following a blog.(  This precious lady is mom to one of my little dance students.  Mother and daughter are both such lights.  Becky's posts reminded me of how I enjoy writing and that I rarely take the time to do anything for myself, so today I'm hitting the keyboard and getting back to it.

CHRISTMAS season is among us.  It's a time of great joy for some, but also the source of stress, sadness and loneliness for others.  I can recall Christmases when I was run ragged, trying to get all of my shopping done, gifts wrapped, parties attended, parties hosted, menus planned...the busyness was overwhelming.

CHRISTMAS season is truly about the HOPE that the birth of CHRIST brings to the world.  Even Charlie Brown and Snoopy get that.  Some people miss that part.

Yesterday, as I was sprawled out on the floor wrapping gifts, I spoke to a friend who expressed relief that she didn't have to do any of that--no gifts to buy or wrap, no hassle, no stress.  I looked across the room at the packages in pretty paper, waiting to be adorned with ribbon and bows, and I did not feel overwhelmed or frustrated, rushed or troubled.  I felt GRATEFUL.

Yes, I am grateful that I can marathon gift wrap on the floor for an hour or so and still get up, move my body and teach dance classes.
Which made me feel grateful for Christmas dances where my students proudly show their parents what they have been learning.  I think of the videos and pictures, the smiles and proud parents and all that stress melts away.

I look at the different wrapping paper scraps strewn across the floor. A different paper for each girl, and I am so grateful I have my girls to select, give to and wrap for.

I chuckle as I wrap up little "happies" for my parents.  My gift selections are simple, and I am grateful they are both still with me to celebrate this year.

And I look at the "practical, grocery list kind of gift" I need to wrap for my sweet husband and again, am grateful for his sense of humor and wit.

My JOY is in my family, my loves, and my love for what I do everyday.

Not everyone has a family surrounding them, but if you look hard enough, you will see there are people all around you who love and care for you.  Lovely neighbors who join you on your morning walks, or co-workers sharing the ups of downs of what you do, friends who are busy, but love and care for you even when they can't be there physically.

I find that I encounter wonderful people wherever I go.  Maybe it's the friendly produce man at HEB, or the sweet checker, a kind parent of one of my dance students, the postman checking to see if I saw the package on my front porch.  All you have to do is open your eyes and SMILE.  And there it is, your JOY.