I didn’t really want to go meet her, but it seemed important to my new family-to-be that I meet their neighbors, so I dutifully crossed the street following my new fiance and his sister. We were headed to visit Mrs. Jewette Grogan, a long-time neighbor and family friend. Her small brick house was attractive, neat, and well-kept. She matched her house.
We were warmly welcomed in although she didn’t receive any advance warning of our visit and invited to take a seat. She was lively and seemed interested in hearing all of their latest news. As they introduced us, she leaned forward and said, “How delightful!” It wasn’t a word I had heard actually used in a very long time. She seemed to mean it…I mean, really mean it. We spent less than an hour there and when we go up to leave, Mrs. Jewette said–again–how “delighted” she was to see them and meet me. Delight. It was a word I would often associate with this little lady over the coming years. That simple conversation has stayed with me and has often helped me choose my attitude when faced with unexpected “interruptions” in my schedule.
Fast forward the many years between then and now and I have noticed that my attitude has become a bit more jaded of late. Perhaps it is all of the gloom and rain of this winter weather (I seriously notice the lack of sunshine during the winter months!), the recent health challenges in our household, the news about challenges some of our loved ones are facing, the accident awhile back–or, maybe a combination of it all, but I’ve noticed a level of “blah” that I’m just not accustomed to feeling. It has affected my effectiveness at even simple tasks in addition to my mood.
I am not a fan of the “blahs” in life. Those nebulous yucky feelings are often as stressful as having a specific trial to overcome! I am, also, not alone. I know this because I’ve received emails and texts from several friends who are lately battling similar issues. Just yesterday one of them sent me a meme about the following words: “I’m so stressed that relaxing makes me more stressed because I’m not working on what’s making me stressed.” (LOL–and yes! I totally understood!)
I responded, “Trying to catch up on homework, taxes, apps, spending time with Mike…and have a good attitude. Made myself pull out the homework this afternoon…and in the top of DAY TWO (eye roll emoji here!) there it was. Pray and tell God “what is on your heart and what you need to know to understand.” I just broke down and said, “God, I want to be delighted in your Word, in the computer work, in learning the new software for photos and apps, for doing the tax work, for creating, for everything! I just want to be delighted.” I barely got it out before I heard in my spirit, “Choose to be delighted. Choose that no matter what you’re doing.” Girl! I closed my book, got out some new watercolors and made this (photo below) to put over my computer.”
Oh, I’m not kidding myself. I know it isn’t “fine art” by any stretch of the imagination, but as I brushed the colors across the paper, I thought about all of the tasks ahead for this week that will overlap, the choices made in one area that will make a difference in another one, and how the overarching theme about how they will ALL be done depends on me and the attitude I choose as I do them. Today, I am deliberately choosing to BE delighted. I am determined to go beyond the simple (or not-so-simple!) task of getting things done. I am choosing to delight as I do them. I think it is a God-honoring choice and another way to draw closer to Him as I deliberately choose to celebrate the ABILITY to do the tasks in front of me and celebrate the wonder that is all around us whether or not we stop to acknowledge it.
I realize this simple choice won’t cure those in the throes of deep depression, but maybe it will make a difference in just the tiniest part of your week so that it gives us all a place to draw a breath and keep going forward with a little bit lighter step? Who knows?! Maybe it will spread across our whole calendars and creep into our homes and the way we deal with those we love…and even, with those we struggle to love? I chose the verse at the top of the painting to remind me as I go forward that even those things that take a more concerted effort to choose delight in are STILL POSSIBLE with God’s help. I’m expecting to need His help to get my to-do list done, but I am supremely confident that He is up to the task and because of that, I am, too.
How very grateful I am for a God who keeps me on a short leash about my attitude!!! It is a CHOICE for me to make–and for you, as well! Let’s choose to be delighted today! It just might make Monday FUN!!
Grace and Peace!–and DELIGHT!!!