Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Change Of Scenery

I'm in a flipping great mood today. I can't pinpoint exactly why, though I can name off a few or ten things that might be contributing to it. Thing is though, they're not exactly anything new, and so I'm left wondering what it is within that has changed. No doubt about it though, something has, and I'm in a much better mood and perspective for it.

It's a gorgeous fall day, the sun is shining, the sky is clear and the air is crisp. I have a brand new pair of Minnetonka Moccasins in a rich jewel shade of purple to wear, and the suede is soft as butter (PLUS, they were on sale, for only $23.90 at Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale - who doesn't love sale shoes, right?). I taught hospitality class this morning, and the lesson I wrote was a keeper - deep in the rich theology of opening our hearts, lives and homes to those in need, and showing Christ's love to a world around us. Plus we made a delicious Winter Squash dip that had just the right hint of roasted garlic, olive oil and chipotle peppers. I'm snacking on the leftovers as we speak. I got to spend a few minutes this morning kissing on the kids I love, and rocking little babies as they slept. And later, I get to take a Costco trip with Michelle - which I don't just love for the samples, and the $1.50 hot dogs, but for the time I get to spend with her, just warehousing store browsing. Yesterday I started my new job, and I like it, and see great potential in it, for growth, being challenged and feeling productive. Oh, and there's a paycheck in there somewhere too, that's not half bad.

All of these things are great, and good in themselves, and shallow as it may sound, sometimes these things make me happy (yes, shoes make me happy!). But my mood today goes far beyond just happiness, into a soul-blessedness that is permeating my very mood and causing me to hum songs to myself. This is a feeling I haven't experienced in weeks, nay almost months, and I'm so grateful for it I could just squeal.

I know I said I don't know from whence it comes, but I do at least know how to identify it. I am blessed. And as I learned this week, blessedness is a joy of spirit that comes not from the things in life that make us happy, but from the work of God moving both in and through us. Joy is something we can't get or make for ourselves, it is the result of this blessedness, and blessedness itself is a gift from God. I'm learning that though there are things I can do to make myself happy, shoes, babies, books, naps, beautiful fall days and remembering the smiles on faces of friends I love, blessedness comes only from God. And it is a result, a consequence even, of living in His mercies, His characteristics of mercy, grace, humility, peace and love. I can ask Him for these things, and seek and pursue them in my life, but unlike finding a pair of shoes on sale and snatching them up, being blessed is a character of our spirit, not something physical that we can own or lay claim to or even stumble upon. It is a choice, just as we must make the choice to mourn with those who mourn, be pure in heart, seek peace and pursue and hunger and thirst after righteousness. And unlike the things I do in life to make myself happy, it is eternal in value, and is something I can share with the world around me. Or at least I hope that my joyful little spirit today is contagious, and rubs off on those I see.

Today is a good day. It's a day wherein nothing has really changed. Yes, a few life circumstances are different - finally having a job for instance. But overall, my life is the same in content as it was yesterday, and the day before, and the week before that. What's different is my heart, and my realization that to embrace true joy, I must be willing to make the decision to live in a mindset of hungering for blessedness today. I've asked my God for it, I've tried to open up my life to being a conduit for it, and today, I'm actually feeling it. It. Is. Such. A. Good. Feeling!!!

Now, there is a $1.50 hot dog with my name on it somewhere up in Maple Grove, so I better get to it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

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