I’ve missed posting the last five days. Life has been full and fun. John and I went to Indianapolis for the B1G Ten Championship this weekend (I’ll write about that in my next post), and we’re spending time soaking up the Christmas season. To make up for the five days I missed, I will write about five experiences that have brought joy.
1. Celebrating Sinter Klaas Day with my extended family – My great grandma came to America from Holland. Because of her and her heritage, we celebrate Sinter Klaas Day on December 5. We put out our shoes, and if we’ve been good, Sinter Klass fills them with little presents. Our extended Morgan family in the DC area usually always have a dinner to celebrate this day and sometimes “Sinter Klaas” makes an appearance 😉 This year was no different. We enjoyed yummy food and a special visitor!
2. Seeing how happy John was to be at the B1G Ten Championship – John loves Iowa football and seeing them play in the B1G Ten Championship was such a treat. I loved seeing how happy he was to be there. Even though the ending was really sad!
3. Driving past houses decorated for Christmas – I love seeing Christmas lights on people’s homes. Seeing Christmas lights has brought joy and happiness to my heart.
4. Wrapping Christmas presents in front of the Christmas Tree – Last night I dimmed the lights in the apartment and let the lights of the Christmas tree glow as I wrapped presents. I am trying to do something Christmasy each day.
5. Feeling peace and happiness while attending a Spanish speaking congregation – John and I attended a different church congregation than normal since we were out of town this weekend. We didn’t realize until we got to church that we would be attending a Spanish speaking congregation. Even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying for the most part, the spirit I felt as they shared their belief in Christ filled my soul with peace.
The last two days have been normal, average days (a fact that I appreciate). Two days ago I felt joy FaceTiming with John. The technology that can keep families and friends connected is incredible. I am grateful for technology.
Yesterday evening I attended a Christmas event at my church for the women in my church congregation. Fellowshipping with the other women and listening to the beautiful message and music brought the joy of the Christmas season to my heart.
On Monday, John and I watched this short video that reminded me of the need to seek Christ and follow him every day. Merry Christmas!
Today I received my wedding pictures. When I first got the pictures, I was a little disappointed. I analyzed and analyzed them, and I wasn’t really a fan. My coworker (and friend!) caught me looking at them. She then wanted to see them. So, we went through them together. She helped me see the good in the pictures, and now I am in love with them.
It’s so easy to be hypercritical of ourselves and the way we look and/or the way we want things to be. It’s important to have friends who help us see the best in ourselves and the best in what we have. Those are the friends who bring true joy 🙂
Yesterday, joy came in the form of a confirmation email from Pizza Hut forwarded by husband. John knew I had been craving take-out pizza (don’t judge!), and he knew that Monday night was going to be a busy night. So he ordered pizza for dinner. It wasn’t the email itself that brought joy, but knowing John was thinking about me. His act of kindness made me want to be better about performing acts of service for him and for others.
My mom made the above muffins to celebrate Iowa’s win yesterday. Seeing the muffins not only made me smile, but made me grateful for my mom and her ability to make others feel special. She brings so much joy to my life and is an example to me of the kind of service-oriented and thoughtful woman I want to be.
The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the first official day of the Christmas season, my favorite time of the year, and it’s Black Friday. My mom, sister, and I have the tradition of going to the outlets near my parents home at 8 p.m. to shop for Christmas gifts. By 8 p.m. most of the shopping crowds have died down, the stores are calm, and the good deals are still available.
The day after Thanksgiving this year was especially fun as it was Iowa’s final football game of the season. The game was at 3:30 p.m. We headed to my parents’ house and watched the game with them. The Hawkeyes won! Making for an undefeated season.
Before the game, John and I pulled out Christmas decorations from the storage closet. By the time we left for my parents’ house, our living room looked like a Christmas store exploded. Friday was a day of joy filled with family, fun traditions, and memories.
On Saturday, John and I went to the Temple in the morning. I love the Temple, and I am so grateful how close we live to an LDS Temple. I felt joy being in the Temple and refocusing on what is most important in life, God and our families.
The afternoon was spent cleaning, running errands, and preparing dinner for the missionaries who serve in our church congregation. My favorite part of the day was relaxing in the evening in front of the Christmas tree. I love turning off all the lights except for the Christmas lights. I haven’t taken a picture of the tree yet, but will do so before the season is over.
After Thanksgiving dinner last night, we played Telestrations, a very fun game that’s bound to make you laugh. I laughed and laughed during the game, and it felt so good. Laughter seems to have a healing power that just makes you feel good. It was a joyful evening full of family, friends, food, and laughter.
In other news, I held a dog last night. This is a big deal because I’m kind of scared of dogs. I had to document this occasion. Hence the picture below 🙂 Meet Watson.
Today I had joy as I listened to Christmas music while working. One song in particular really touched my heart. It was an arrangement of “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” by BYU’s Vocal Point. The words of this song are so powerful. Take a listen…
p.s. This song came on the Pentatonix Christmas Pandora Station. I highly recommend it!
Today marks one month from the day John and I got married. To celebrate I smashed his toe with a chair. Okay…it wasn’t to celebrate…it was an accident. Oh life!
Today had been a really great day. I had a good day at work. I fit in some exercise time in the evening. Iowa was ranked number four in college football. We had grand plans to deliver goodies to a few friends whom we are grateful for. And then as we sat down for dinner, I scooted my chair closer to the table and smashed his toe. Oh boy. He’s been sitting with ice on it for about the last hour and a half.
I am grateful for life and the joy it brings, smashed toes and all 🙂
I have not done the best job with my “100 Moments of Joy” project this past week. While I haven’t been good at recording moments of joy, I have definitely recognized joy more in my life. I am grateful for the prompting I had to record moments of joy for 100 days, because while I am not perfect at it, I have felt an internal shift in my outlook on life.
One experience of joy has remained with me for a few days. It was a simple experience, but filled my heart with joy. John went out of town for one day this week. I took him to the airport on my way to work in the morning, and I picked him up that night. His flight was delayed coming home, which gave me more time to myself. I decided to take that time and read in the scriptures. As I read, my heart was filled with joy and a great appreciation for the blessings in my life.
It’s so easy for me to get frustrated by the little things that go wrong in the week (e.g. a miscommunication with the company who was supposed to repair the crack in our car windshield or a mix-up with a prescription at the local pharmacy that took an hour to resolve.) Not only do I get frustrated by these things, but then I get frustrated with myself for getting frustrated because I logically realize these are not “big deal” issues.
I am grateful for the joy that filled my heart while I was reading the scriptures on a quiet night this past week. My perspective shifted as I read and joy filled my soul and impressed upon me the need to cultivate a more grateful heart.