Balanced talks a lot about putting joy into your day, or being joyful in everything you do, no matter how mundane. It might sound bizarre to be joyful while hanging up laundry or shopping for groceries, but it definitely beats dwelling over all the other things on my to-do list that are still waiting for my attention. Having a joyful heart can really out a positive spin on the outcome of every day, and I'm trying to remember to insert some joy into every day.
Today, Tricia suggests three ways in which we can add more joy into our lives: Be thankful, play, and give. Here are some ways in which I try to add these things into my life:
- Be Thankful. I've tried keeping thankfulness journals and other written methods of recording my thankfulness and none of them have been entirely successful. Instead, Simon and I make an effort to pray over our evening meals and, out of habit, we always list two things we're thankful for (often things that are on our plates!) We also always start our evening prayers listing those things we're thankful for.
- Play! While we might not have little ones to play with yet, we do enjoy playing games together. Simon has been amassing a rather large board game collection over the last few years, and we try to play a game together at least once a week--sometimes a quick, smaller game like Carcassonne or Lost Cities, or a longer game that takes all evening, like Ora et Labora or Tales of the Arabian Nights. We've also played video games together, including LA Noire on the computer (not technically a two-player game, but we work through it together) and Little Big Planet and NHL14 on the PS3 (much to my surprise, I'm actually pretty good at virtual hockey. Racing games are an entirely different story, sadly). We have fun researching games and figuring out which ones we'll enjoy playing together.
- Give. We periodically donate clothes, books, films, CDs, ornaments and miscellaneous items that we're no longer using to charity--or to people we think will benefit from them. Since my brother is about the same height as Simon (but skinnier), he often gets Simon's old clothes, and we've made up bags of duplicate kitchen items for both of our brothers over the years (Simon's brother is just finishing university and mine is just about to start). A few months ago we found a collection of unused folders that had previously stored my work from high school and the first two years of university, and we managed to find students in our current church who could use them. Not only does it feel great to make space for the things we need (particularly with a baby coming soon!) but it's encouraging to know that items that are sitting unused in our house will be appreciated in their new homes.
Not only are these items beneficial to me, but having an attitude of thankfulness, playfulness and generosity will hopefully set a great example to my kids someday.
This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!