Monday, January 7, 2008

Red shoes, snowmen, and roses

One of the things I am doing for myself this year is re-reading a daily devotional book called Simpe Abundance. I discovered it in 1996, a year after it was published, have read it several times since then and am enjoying it again this year. I recommend finding a daily devotional that works for you. There are shelves full of them in the library and bookstores. This one blends well with the things I believe in. Today's entry asks an important question: What is it that makes you happy? What brings a smile to your face and a feeling of contentment? In 1926 a young Englishwoman decided to keep a journal and write down things that triggered a feeling of delight in her daily life. I think we must learn to savor small moments that bring on this feeling of happiness. We need to enjoy the life we are living through the simple pleasures. But there is a deeper source as well, a connection with God that gives us confidence in His creation and our part in it.

I once bought a pair of shoes that were red and covered with sparkles, like Dorothy's ruby slippers. Purchased on a whim, they languished in the back of my closet. Then I decided to wear them and they brought me delight all that day. I change the decorations around the house monthly. January is a snowman theme. A local artist created a series of snowmen figurines that I collected. This month they are arranged in a whimsical scene complete with frozen lake, picket fence, trees, snow and a patch where one snowman is growing carrots for noses. It makes me feel happy every time I look at it. From one window I can see the rose garden we started in our new home last spring. I have always planted roses wherever we lived and this promises to be the best garden ever, complete with a bench with an arch for climbing roses. It is dormant at the moment but I smile when I think about how it will look in a few months. I recently made a sour dough starter and bake sour dough bread once a week. Just smelling it warm from the oven makes me happy.

Simple things really, costing very little. But behind them is my love of beauty, color, order, giving to others. Seeing these things in my life is an affirmation that I am reflecting divine Love right here on earth. It reminds me that I am the recipient of divine Love's providing. I have the full support and blessing of divine Love in doing those things.

This week's Bible lesson, Sacrament, repeats the phrase 'a new song'. We are to sing a new song to God every day, make a joyful noise. What does sacrament mean to you? In classical Latin the sacrament designated the money deposited as a pledge by each party in a lawsuit; in military language it meant a soldier's oath. It has the sense of a solemn obligation. Theological usage includes the signs appointed by God that He may fully show us the promises of the Gospel. Christ Jesus appointed two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper. We have some inspiring stories in this lesson and I look forward to sharing what I learn from them as the week goes on.

For today, think about those things that make you happy. Appreciate all the good that is happening in your life. Look around you and be aware. Smile.

Be at peace.

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