504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Finding Joy!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finding Joy!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks at my house...
that is nothing new, but some are crazier than others.
The the start of school, the loss of a friend,
the pressure of a book deadline looming,
and the {constant} lack of sleep have take their toll.
I have thrown away my car keys {like in the big 'ole trash bin...ICK! Yes, I had to go dumpster diving, and yes this has happened before and will happen again}, lost my house keys {again and again, blah, blah, blah...}, and somewhere in this house is a can of whip cream...and a cup of coffee...and a sippy cup.
On top of the aforementioned wacky stuff,
my jobs as wife, mommy, part-time writer,
and overall Queen of my Universe have been pushing my buttons.

Just when it feels like I want to go back to bed and hide under the covers...
or get lost on the Internet...or run off to Hawaii,
there is always something that reminds me to keep it all in perspective...

Yesterday, I went into the office and on the wall is a picture that was taken about 6 years ago, when we were still living in Los Angeles. I L-O-V-E this photo so much, that it has even found its way back to the bulletin board after we moved. It is well-loved - a pre-digital camera era beauty...and I have no clue where the negative is - but it adds to its charm...just two little {and, might I add, adorable} boys enjoying a cookie and a giggle without a care in the world.
When I look at it all I feel is simply, purely JOY!
I will be the first to admit, that sometimes I get caught up in "creating" JOY - pulling out the craft bins, looking up instructions online, buying kits at the craft store. Heck, I get caught up in life...busy, busy, busy body, always in motion. I am really good {I mean, really good} at creating busyness, but I see things passing me by. I see my boy turning 9 - how did that happen! I asked my baby girl how she got so big and she just told me "I grew and grew, momma!" I do not want life to pass me by. I do not want to miss out on the memories and experiences and JOY that is all around me.
Each and every day I try...
and sometimes I even succeed...
to slow down, simplify, and enjoy my life -
my kids, my husband, my parents, and my friends.
So, this sweet photo of the two little boys got me thinking about the things in my life that easily and effortlessly bring me JOY.
So, in no particular order, here's my short list...
a good friend...a hug...dancing to the iCarly theme song with the kids {I never thought I would say that!}...a phone call {not an email!}...blowing bubbles...coloring with crayons...play dough...finger paints...tracing my baby's hands...swinging...finding the best rock on the walk home from school...playing with sticks...taking a walk on he beach...searching for sea glass...a nap {a girl can dream!}...flowers - even weeds with flowers...strawberries...pumpkins...the sunshine on my face...a snuggle from my puppy...a "nuggle" from my girl...my boy blowing me a kiss or sending me a hug...visits from my parents...a perfect hot mocha...a perfect iced mocha...a quiet moment with the hubby...giggles and baby belly laughs, Rice Krispie treats...a fire in the fireplace...a bonfire at the beach...a lazy weekend morning...sidewalk chalk...the site of my home after a long trip.
I am trying to see and embrace the simple JOY in life -
the JOY my kids see in the simplest things...
a butterfly, a shiny quarter, a rock, a bug, a gumball -
even a broken crayon is JOYful to them.
When do we lose this simple JOY?
Why do we lose it? Maybe is it just misplaced?
I vote for misplaced. I know it is there.
I can feel it.
The proof is the smile that comes across my face
when the kids are playing in the yard,
when my son tells the teacher his favorite game is
"playing chase with his sister,"
when my daughter breaks out into our version of
"You Are My Sunshine."

My JOY is not gone, and I will not let it stay in hiding.
Have you figured out how to bring more JOY into your life?
Is your JOY hiding?
What brings you JOY?
I would love to hear the answers.
“This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.


  1. You know, I sometimes lose my Joy as well. I think it gets lost under the pile of bills or the sink full of dishes, or the pile of laundry...all things that return again and again no matter how many times you cross them off the "to do" list. And sometimes, I have to be reminded to just take a day...just take a moment, a minute..whatever it takes to just appreciate all the things in my life that bring me Joy. Thank you for your great post that gave me that moment of reflection. Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation for my kids, and I think I will postpone the closest cleaning and just snuggle up on the couch and watch their favorite movies!! Thank you so much!

  2. I have misplaced my joy recently. I need to working on finding it :) This is a great post! Thank you!

  3. Anonymous4:28 AM

    Holly, I enjoyed this post so much. I know that I should also think more about what brings me job... sometimes it doesn't seem like there's even time to schedule a time to think about it (haha). If only we were able to put our minds and attitudes in a place where joy could be found in what we are required to do daily. We would then have joy with us all the time. This is a wonderful topic to ponder and I'm glad you wrote about it. I, too, love the picture of the little gigglers -- it's what caught my eye.

  4. Children are always a part of the recipe of joy. As are so many other things. And the best part, the thing I'm most impressed with Holly, is that you see and find joy in the simplest of things that most people would overlook. That's pure joy!

    You have a winner here.

  5. I know I misplace my joy. I have a tendency to get really wrapped up in things (eh hem, blogging) and not give the more important parts of my life the level of attention they deserve, such as my family.

    It's tough though, because at the same time, blogging has filled a void that was definitely there from being a SAHM and not having that adult interaction that I really do need. I'm so much happier now because of it.

    It's a balancing act that I'm still learning to work out. This was a great post today Holly. You have beautiful children!

  6. So very true Holly....the picture caught my eye as well. I have a picture of my oldest son who is now 13 with his BF on the couch laughing when they where just 3 years old...it still is my fav picture too:) Funny how that is. Thanks for sharing and reminding us all today. I am full of JOY and sadness as today was my boys first day back at school. As much as they drove me crazy and ran me ragged....I miss them already!

  7. Anonymous7:16 AM

    Thank you for a beautiful post that reminds me to enjoy and not worry about taking pictures, checking my phone, the constant worrying.

  8. It's amazing how caught up in life we can get by creating our own "busyness".
    And it's so hard to draw the line and say NO - I will not start another project until I finish the other 10!!

    The simple things in life do bring the most joy. It's a beautiful post Holly.

  9. So inspired by this post!

    I'm trying to simplify my life right now.

    Started by unloading two 40 gallon trash bags of clothes I don't wear anymore...next up, ditching my computer.

    Just kidding. :-)

    But thank you for inspiring me to keep focusing on a more simple existence!


  10. This is such a sweet post, Holly. My kids give me the greatest joy and I try to find time to spend with them everyday where the focus is on being together.
    I know about life getting a little too overwhelming with all that needs to be done. There are times when I want to just jump in my car and disappear for a few days. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

  11. That is a joyful picture! What's better than good friends and good cookies! (well maybe a back rub and a cocktail these days)!
    Great heartfelt post!

  12. First, I had to laugh...I too have had to go dumpster diving for my keys! So glad that I am not alone. One thing that brings me joy right now is snapping pics of my kids when they aren't looking! Playing on the beach or in the pool. Nothing beats that:)
    Have a great day!

  13. We're good at creating business. If it's enjoyable I look at it as creating life.

  14. I really enjoy your take on joy! Just beautiful : )
    And that picture of your two boys laughing is precious. Those are very special moments!

  15. I am so glad you took a minute out of your day to share some joy with us. This is wonderful!

  16. We all need to stop and that a breath, if we don't our children will be grown and we will not know where the time has gone. Yesterday we went to a memorial service for our neighbor, she passed too quickly from this life. Our rector said that she loved her family first, her church second and tennis third and that was so true. She made everything for her family and she was the glue that held them together. Let us as mothers, be the glue that holds our family together.

  17. I lose my joy every so often but when I start to think about all of the blessings in my life, I can usually find it again.

    What a beautiful post you wrote today.

  18. Thanks for the JOY reminder. It's something we all know deep inside but need to be reminded of once in a while and I just wanted to say THANKS!

  19. Anonymous2:01 PM

    It is so good to know that in your hectic life you can stop, appreciate and be joyful.
    I was at a point where I had let the joy seep out, and now I am at a point where I am determined to climb back to the top of that joyful hill (heap?)
    Posts like this do help.

  20. I have tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. The picture of the boys with the cookies is so sweet, as well as all of the others with the kids! I feel like I am reminded of all of the things in life that bring me joy when I hear of a loss of life. A friend lost her husband in June and I am constantly thinking, what is she doing now? How is she feeling? Is she crying? How can she go on? I am all too often reminded to hold onto and cherish all of the small things in my life. I hope I will never lose my joy and never forget that small things can be so big!

  21. Lovely post!

    Everyday things bring me joy. The sound of my kids heavy breath while they sleep, the smell of fresh flowers in my foyer, meeting a friend for lunch. It's the little things that make me feel great!

  22. Great post. My joy is always there but sometimes, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I forget to look in my own backyard.

  23. The things that bring me joy are: The way I can just talk with my daughter(the oldest) we are like best friends. I know in about 2 years that will be a distant memory for a few years, so I try and savor each moment. With my Little Middle it's the way we can just look at each other and crack up. And walking my son to school and talking to him about bugs and lizards and cactus.

  24. Being unemployed for the last year has really taken a toll on our ability to do many of the things we used to do. Having to scale back, and scale down seriously teaches you to appreciate the simple things in life. I never in a million years would have said that staying at home would satisfy me. However, I have found such joy and happiness just being Mom. Being there for my boys. Watching my baby make all of her new sounds, finding her feet, learning to squeal. All of those things bring me joy!

    BTW - Share a Spoon is up and I linked to you. I hope it brings you a little joy! ;) S'more Pie!

  25. What a great post!
    It's so easy for me to get caught up in the day-to-day and not look around and be thankful. And quiet for a minute. I appreciate the reminder to focus on the JOY!
    I love the pictures you posted too. So sweet.

  26. I get lots of joy from a big bowl of strawberries! Hang in there. I hope things get better for you as you settle in to the school year. Remember - fall is right around the corner with lots of new crafts and recipes to make! Have a great weekend :)

  27. AMEN, sister! Every night I crawl in bed and go through a mental inventory - did I do my best today, did I hug everyone, was I encouraging to someone OR was I just busy? Then the next day I give it another whirl. :)

  28. What a great post. We do need to take the time to find the joy that is so apparent in our day-to-day lives. I try to model this for my kids. They seem to latch onto the little things that upset them far more than I do.

  29. Hi...came by to link up but will come back later. :)

  30. I think this is one of my favorite posts ever! I think we can all relate... I have been thinking alot about the friend of your that passed away. After you wrote that post I went to her blog and got caught up. Before I knew it there were tears streaming down my face. I get caught up in the "busy-ness" of creating joy too... got to keep it in perspective. xoxo

  31. Girl I don't know how you do it, but your writing is so amazing! You couldn't have said it better.

    I really try to live in the moment with my little girl throughout the day. I know that it's impossible to do ALL of the time.... but I make it a point to do it as much as I can. Like today, we sat in my bed and sang songs while she clapped along. As she was singing, I noticed all her adorable features on her face. The size of her mini little hands, and so much more! Those are the things I want to remember.

    It's SO easy to get caught up in life, and saddens me when I find myself going too fast, and staying too busy. Something about just "letting it be" and staying simple, is pure BLISS.

  32. Oh Holly, I see your joy! It is in those precious faces! What a profound post, dear friend. You are right. We get so tied up in life and so busy that we buzz right past it.
    We need to breath it in, rub it on, fill our minds and hearts and souls with it!
    I needed to hear this.
    Joy to you!

  33. I sheepishly admit that I hustle bustle and keep busy with the unimportant tasks in life. Another summer passing by, an age milestone and both children off to school has me pausing more often. One day it's all going to be gone, and no one's going to care about the stack of papers on my kitchen island that I don't know what to do with.
    My heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your friend. That's a hard knock.
    Maybe joy is just realizing to look...really look at those every day moments with my girls, with my friends. To really look them straight in the eye, breathe a breath of enjoyment and capture a picture in my head of those times that will be gone too quickly.


Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!

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