Ordinary Moments of Joy

I had zero holiday spirit. None. I did everything I could to conjure the warm feelings the Christmas season usually brings. I went to Christmas parties. I decorated the house. I participated in gift exchanges. I read and meditated on scriptures about the birth of Christ. I even bought an ugly sweater (really, a hoodie). Nothing worked.

I was deep in a hole of exhaustion, confusion, stress, grief, and it was far too taxing to exact from myself anything other than that strange mix of feelings.

Until last night. As I was scrolling through Instagram posts, I ran across a one by Brene’ Brown in which she talks about spending Christmas in her mom’s hospital room. She begins that post:

The purest form of joy comes to us in ordinary moments, and those moments can happen any place where gratitude is alive. —Brené Brown

“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments.”

It’s amazing how a single statement can prompt a shift.

I paused and asked God to help me to recognize and seize moments of joy, despite those contrary but legitimate emotions.

So today I opened my heart and with gratitude welcomed joy in all the ordinary moments and in all the ways in which it presented itself–watching my guys open gifts; chatting with my mom; preparing a dish for the family dinner while watching funny YouTube videos with the guys; texting Christmas greetings to friends and loved ones; enjoying Christmas dinner with my aunts, cousin, and her kids; listening to my aunt’s hearty laughter, knowing this first Christmas without my uncle is so difficult for her; eating way too many sweets; spending this moment with my blog before grabbing my fuzzy blanket and cuddling up with the guys to watch more Christmas movies.

Ordinary moments imbued with gratitude. Pure joy.

May you walk with gratitude and joy during the holiday season and through the coming year.

Merry Christmas!

22 thoughts on “Ordinary Moments of Joy

  1. Daedalus Lex says:

    Inspiring story. I heard something similar the other day. Someone on the radio was talking about how they were before their attitude change: “It was like I had been given this beautiful, one-of-a-kind life and I was determined every day not to enjoy it.” Needless to say, she came around 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Natasha says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Berne Brown’s quote.
    I’ve seen that if we open our eyes and our hearts, there is so much to be grateful for around us. Sometimes we just get caught in the rigmaroles of life and its stressors and get into that mode of overthinking stuff and sometimes even wallowing in self pity.

    Life is indeed blessed. We just need to breathe, pause and watch the magic unfold.

    Happy Yule and happy holidays. xoxo

    May 2020 be stellar!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Akilah says:

    Gratitude really does make all the difference, doesn’t it? I’m also glad you recognized your contrary emotions as legitimate. That’s something I am also working on because I always want to minimize or brush away the way I’m feeling.

    You’ve had a hard year. Lots of love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chandra Lynn says:

      I feel like EVERYONE has had a hard year, but we grow and we learn and get through it–unscathed, hopefully. And yes, gratitude makes the difference. And please, don’t brush away all those other feelings. They become hard-to-manage, too-big feelings if we don’t deal with them. Hugs…

      Liked by 1 person

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