No formula for a perfect day
The title of this post is a bit bold. Naturally, it would be handy to have a formula for a perfect day. Simply add x + y + z, and you'll have an awesome day. This weekend is a prime example. Theoretically, it should have been an awesome weekend because all the "good variables" were there:
- I had three weekend days off in a row
- We went out to eat with friends on Friday evening and had a wonderful time
- I woke up really early on Saturday and visited a fun new-to-me coffee shop with a friend, and then got home early and had a whole day ahead of me for fun activities/household tasks
Good momentum, right? Sounds like a lovely weekend! And in all fairness, up until that point, it was really good. I have all these cute coffee shop photos to prove it. ;) As I got out of my friend's car, I believe I said something to the effect of, "There is no way we can have a bad day after such a good morning!" But that's where I puttered out, right after a nap. I woke up feeling restless, aimless, and hard-pressed to find joy. I picked up my phone, aimlessly scrolled, and watched a good few hours of Friday Night Lights on Netflix, because those things help with a restless heart, right?
Sure enough, the restlessness intensified. I threw myself on the couch rather dramatically, covered myself with a blanket, and told Nicholas, "I just don't know what to do." If you read that in a whiney tone, you'd be spot on. He suggested that I cook or bake, because those are my favorite rest routines and he knows time in the kitchen calms me down. I headed to the kitchen, preheated the oven for cookies, and then started chopping veggies for supper. Within five minutes, I started feeling better. That husband of mine, he knows me.
My question is this: Where did my day go wrong?
The moment I convince myself there's a Perfect Day Formula is when I start believing that the quality of each day of my life is based entirely on external circumstances. If it's a good day, my awareness of my heart attitude diminishes and I begin thinking I'm somehow untouchable by sadness or disappointment, because this is the perfect day!
In this distraction-filled world, joy is hard work, and I forgot that. Only later did I realize that my joy, as someone who belongs to Christ should be untouchable by any circumstances, good or bad. To realign myself, I needed biblical truth.
Verses for Joy
- Philippians 4.4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
- Romans 12.12: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
- Psalm 4.7: You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
- Psalm 94.18-19: When I thought, “My foot slips,” Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
In order to effectively use these truths, I need to know these truths. When I forget to find my joy in Christ, I need an action plan. Namely, I want to memorize these verses, have them handy on notecards at first, and then, have them handy at the forefront of my mind. Join me in memorizing the verses above, if you like! Of course, there are countless other verses about the immense joy we can find in Christ, so let's not miss out.
The closest "formula" for a joyful heart:
Knowing & believing God's promises, & believing in Him who promised these things to us.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.