We have a little family joke that started with my grandmother. She would ooohhh and aaah at every gift that was opened at Christmas and any and all special occasions. It was delightful behavior to be around as a child.
Pure joy. Pure excitement. Unrestrained rejoicing.
She, my Gama, was a child of the Great Depression. One of thirteen children, she was appreciative of everything. So when the bows and the wrapping were thoughtlessly tossed aside, she would gather up the bows and salvage any of the wrapping she could. She’d gather and save.
And as each gift was revealed she would say, with her beautiful big smile and her beautiful big eyes, oooh and then aaaah. She just simply delighted in the gift and the moment. Large. Small. Modest. Simple.
The gift didn’t matter. It was just the moment and the exchange, ever so small between family.
So we adopted this custom. Truthfully we poke mild fun at her dramatic response as we have family fun ooohing and aahhing over the unwrapping of gifts. We remember her. Her joy.
But truly, isn’t life more fun when we celebrate the small unwrappings. Delighting in the small things that border on just mundane. When we celebrate small milestones, or small joys. When we take a moment to rest in a moment of beauty.
Breaking out a smile, broad and wide, all toothy and glistening over a kind remark from a devoted friend, a text of encouragement or endearment from a woman who walks out life with you, an email that says simply. ” I am missing you terribly.”
Aren’t these moments worth busting out cheerfulness and joyfulness.
I delivered news this morning to a friend which I felt would disappoint and maybe cause her to feel that I had let her down. Her response was one of affirmation. You are choosing rightly, you are doing as you should, go and enjoy and have fun. This is important, she says to me.
We have been deep cleaning and spring cleaning my house. I look on the fruits of the shared labor, and smell the clean, and see some progress toward de-cluttering. I smile and say this is good. This is better. I am encouraged.
Such small things often delight the heart. And they are worth taking a moment to say, “This is good.” To give it a simple label of “nice” or “good” or “beautiful” or “kind”. To release an ooh or an aahh over a favorite meal when fellowshipping with family or friends. This is good. This is yummy.
Finding the moments that are gifts of life, ever so small and allowing them to be named as good. To savor for more than a second.
This morning for me it was the smell of cut grass. They say that the sense of smell is the memory which we hold on to the longest. I don’t know if that is true, but a wave of memories poured into my bedroom and delighted my soul as I thought of times that were good as fragrant cut grass stimulated my memories, all tucked away and resting.
Words were said. There was a disagreement. I would not have won any mother of the year awards for my part, for my responses to the situation. But in a moment of reconciliation my child told me how very much he loves me.
I was humbled. I am deeply touched by a love that forgives and works through and doesn’t stay stuck. This is good. This is healing. I stop and say this is unexpected grace.
I am looking for things to celebrate this weekend. We are cheerfully and happily celebrating a graduation of a precious young woman in our life. We love her so and we rejoice at this milestone.
But I am looking to rejoice in the small things too. The little oooh’s and the little aaah’s. The shell on the beach, the giggle around the table, the crisp spring air with birds singing overtime, a clean fresh start for some places in my home, a comment in love, a comment in friendship, a word of encouragement. A gesture toward forgiveness. A gesture toward healing. A word of praise. A word of thanksgiving.
I am seeking to rejoice in all that He gives. And while I don’t have my Gama’s eyes which saw the world so differently than I, I can seek to see what the Lord has placed before me as blessing and gift.
The tide comes in, the tide goes out. The bumps and bruises and dust ups in life will come and go. But I choose today to look for joy.
Will you join me. Won’t you join me. It’s more fun doing life together.
Wonderful Weekend Full Of Grace, to you all.
And may you ooooh and aahh all weekend long at all the joy that comes your way.