The daily joy
I've felt a bit like I'm floaty lately, unmoored. This happens periodically, typically when I fill up my days—for weeks on end—with busyness and distraction. Too much media and not enough things that fill me up in a lasting way. I've hear it said that relationships are like houses in that they need love and maintenance, or you end up with a rotten foundation and a leaky roof. I feel the same way about my heart: untended, it gets a bit messy. I find myself more impatient, less content, more focused on what I don't have or why the timing of _____ (x, y, z, etc.) isn't exactly how I thought it would be. My heart bears toward hardness if I'm not giving it the proper upkeep it requires.
So, when this happens, I try to return to things that make me feel anchored, things that help my heart re-soften, as part of regular maintenance. First, I try to notice the little things around me that help me to daily find joy:
honest journaling about what I'm feeling/thinking, which thoughts aren't true, which are true and wanting more of those // Aeropress coffee, on mellow mornings and in the afternoon for fika // the words of Charles Spurgeon // new book beginnings // getting out of a rut on a knitting project // time reading God's word // healthy suppers, made slowly // freshly cut hair // the sky on a breezy night in the middle of Austin // verde tacos for lunch // a new non-stick pan // a twill jacket that I want to wear every day // the shiny, crackly top on homemade dark chocolate chip blondies + Nicholas insisting we call them "cookie bars" // amber-scented soy candles // our nightly routine of watching a few episodes of The Office together
And then, apart from the little things, I'm mulling the bigger things. Prayerfully approaching the question:
"Am I actually listening to you, Lord, or am I just hoping you'll give me the answer I want?"
If I strive to hear my words more than the Lord's, my heart will harden ever faster. Even if I try to convince myself otherwise, I want to want what He wants more than I want what I want. I'm praying for my desires to align with His desires, and my will to align with His will for my life.
And that's a source of true joy, the best kind of heart maintenance.
P.S.— On another note, there are a few related posts that I've written in the last few years that I still reference whenever I need some healthy reminders:
- On rest and balance
- What is my song?, about how praise of Him outshines the gloom.
- This is the day, about finding our home in Christ's joy, even when life looks a little ugly
- And a post about The weight of emotions, and why processing them is vital to avoiding a hard heart
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew (Slow Cooker recipe)
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
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.
In the kitchen, July 2022
As a home cook, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen everyday, and lately, I've been finding so much joy in trying lots of new things in the kitchen with items from our garden, ingredients purchased locally, or new recipes made with my sourdough starter.