The return of Simple Joys

It's August.
I've been taking a break from recording my Simple Joys that I started in January.  
Not that there hasn't been joy in my life to record.....exactly the opposite - so much joy and so much good that I haven't taken the time to sit and blog about it - ironic, isn't it?  So....I'm back.  If you want to see the first months of my Simple Joys, you'll have to read back in my blog.  If you want to see pictures of what my summer has been like so far....come for coffee and I'll show you my Project Life album that's a 2011 work-in-progress.

 I chose JOY as my word for this year.  It was certainly a goal of mine - to look for, find and experience the Joy in things around me...not just the big, obvious things, but sometimes the small, insignificant things that bring me little moments of joy just to remind me that I have a Father-God who's greatest joy is to show me himself.   BUT, by now, 1/2-way through the year, I'm in a different place.  Finding joy has become the norm for me.  I see it all around me in the good, the bad, the funny, the sad.....I see how God is moving and working and I'm finding that I see it more quickly and more often.  I think now, in this season of my life I would more likely choose a word like Expectancy instead of Joy.  I no longer wonder IF I'll find Joy today.....I wake up each morning wondering WHEN God will surprise me or WHERE I'll see my first glimpse of Him that day.  

So, with expectancy.....I will continue on in my daily search for Joy.  Here are some of the most recent things that have made me smile :

Simple Joy 213/365:  New steel spatulas from a local flea market.  More than the spatulas, the joy came from 
a.) the kids were ALL off at camp for the week; 
b.) I had the house to myself; 
c.) I had good friends to spend the morning with, and.....
d.) the feeling of contentment. 
There were a lot of very cute antiques and jewelry and furniture at this flea market - it was SO much fun to walk through, but...I'm in purge-mode, not fill-up-the-house mode and it felt great to be disciplined and content.

 Simple Joy 214/365:  Painting the trim on Mom & Dad's house.  Yes, that's me up on the ladder.  Not my favourite place to be but it wasn't too bad.  It was smoking hot this day so we didn't finish it all....but we got a good portion done. 

Simple Joy 215/365:  At the beach with friends.  I spent about 10 hours this day out at St. Malo with some friends who camp there for a week each year.  It was SO fun.  It rained for the first part of the day and we sat under this awning and read magazines and then burnt later in the day at the beach :)  My craving to do some camping like this with my kids was only heightened by this day's activities and I think it's time to do something about it.....we'll see how my camper-scouts do with the limited budget I've given them....I really think this would be great family time for the kids & I.

Simple Joy 216/365:  Mica took this photo of a flower in Grandma & Grandpa's garden last weekend.  I've included it here because the photo itself is amazing.....she's got a great eye!  And just screams best-summer-ever to me.  This whole yummy hot summer is a huge source of Joy in my life :)

Simple Joy 217/365:  Winkler Bible Camp.  There are a lot more pictures than these but for now - a quick collage of the kids as I picked them up at camp on Friday night.  All 3 had more stories to tell than we could fit into a 1 1/2-hour ride home.  Apparently it was an AWESOME week.  They're tired and dirty and can't stop talking about everything they did.  In fact, as I'm sitting in bed typing this blog entry, one of my kids is sleeping down the hall, but still talking (in his sleep).  I'm sure if I went to listen more carefully it would be more camp stories.  So, the joy this day goes to 2 things.  Winkler Bible camp and it's place in my kids' summer and life experiences AND having everyone home, sleeping under my roof again!

And to sleep.  The next 2 days are Football-full.  That's a good thing.  The 6am start might not be.