Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Special Moments

My soul has a joyful center. Deep inside, there is a part of me that is constantly rejoicing in the wonderful truth of my existence: God made me, loves me, redeems me, and gives me many spectacular gifts. Although that joy is always with me, I am not constantly aware of it. Sometimes I get caught up in the pressures and distractions of daily life and that joy seems far away. It's far too easy to forget how blessed I am. Luckily, when I pay attention to the world around me, I find many special moments that remind me of that joy and bring it back to the forefront of my heart. Here are a few of the special moments I have experienced in the last few days.
  • A group of my college friends got together for a belated gift exchange this past weekend. We were all finally back together after returning from our holiday wanderings. A group of us were sitting around talking about nerdy things and having a good time. One of my friends remarked how nice it was to "have the family back together"—to be able to relax and be our nerdy selves, something we don't always feel like we can do at family holiday gatherings. It was so wonderful just to be there together, enjoying each other's company. In that moment I remembered why friendship is so special, and I was joyful.
  • A couple of nights ago I gave my husband a hug while he was wearing a soft new set of pajamas that his mother gave him for Christmas. It just felt so nice to hug him that I almost couldn't let go. I felt incredibly happy to be so close to someone who makes me feel fuzzy and warm inside and out. In that moment, I remembered that I am drawn to my husband in ways that defy logic or explanation, and I was joyful.
  • Yesterday I stepped outside the building where I work to take a walk across campus, and for the first time in a long time I wasn't met with a seeming Arctic blast. The sun was shining. It was 22 degrees. I didn't feel cold at all. Most of the ice on the sidewalks was gone. I got to actually enjoy the winter landscape as I walked because I wasn't shivering or trying to concentrate on not slipping on a huge sheet of ice. I remembered that God put some beautiful parts in winter too, and I was joyful.
  • Perhaps the best example I can give is a moment I experienced in church on Sunday. The pastor was about to baptize a baby. All of the babies who were baptized in 2009 were being recognized with their families, so there were lots of people standing up in front near the font. Then, just before we sang the baptismal hymn, the children were invited to come forward so they would be able to see the baptism. A seeming flood of beautiful little children poured up the aisle and around the font until the pastor was completely surrounded. He was smiling, and he looked incandescently happy. In that moment I remembered how precious each of those children and all of those babies are in the sight of God, and I remembered how beautiful it was to see God's love on the faces of others. As I looked at the smiling pastor, all those beautiful children, and all those happy families, I was deeply and profoundly joyful.
As I go through this day, I know that one of these special moments could appear at any time. That joy is eagerly waiting to overflow at the slightest incentive. Any number of tiny, seemingly insignificant encounters or sensations could remind me of just how beautiful my life and this creation truly are. God is truly good, and every time I consciously remember that, I am joyful.

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