One of my earliest memories is of sitting on a freshly shoveled mountain of snow eating a Nestle’s chocolate bar. My father and two older brothers did the work while I played in the snow, followed by the reward of chocolate afterward. What’s your earliest memory? Is it one that brings you joy?
This third week of Advent is all about joy. Normally, I delight in eating sweet things. I LOVE sugar. Like a lot, a lot! Yesterday, standing in front of the refrigerator, a piece of chocolate failed to relieve my stress. I was shocked. Normally I get an immediate rush from a piece of candy. It dawned on me that I crave something I can’t eat.
I need solitude, a slower pace, and room in my schedule to breathe.
I choose a matching cup and plate, chocolate hazelnut tea, and three chocolate peppermint truffles. I sat at my kitchen table and took a real break. My husband, the artist, painted our table my favorite shade of yellow. My homemade truffles and tea reminded me of a women’s getaway I co-led before the lockdowns, losses, and chaos.
I wrote a poem.
I read a chapter of Kathy Khang’s book, Raise Your Voice.
I found the joy I craved.
It’s important to know what we need and when we need it. We have to have times when we can breathe deeply of God’s grace, exhale the day’s stress, and just be in the moment.
I pray that your shoulders relax, the knot in your stomach dissolves, and time stands still for just a fraction of your day. I pray that you would rejoice with exceeding great joy this week as you experience His presence, cling to hope, and rest in His peace.
Let’s Reflect: Think about what brings you joy. Write about the memory of the last time you experienced joy. Find a moment in your day to relive that experience or create a new one.
Let’s Pray: Father, You are the source of true joy. May we experience the joy that comes from knowing and loving You. May You infuse our hearts and homes with hope, peace, and joy this week as we count the days until we celebrate Your birth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.