Bubble Wands and Sidewalk Chalk
I was sitting at the kitchen table one afternoon trying to catch up on writing for my blog. My youngest was napping and my daughter was downstairs watching a movie. I have very limited time frames to myself so I have to make them count. I was a little frazzled and overwhelmed with everything going on in my brain, not to mention my never ending list of things to do. It was one of those days. I felt lost in the chaos that was threatening to overtake my sanity. I had a million things on my to-do list and was busily trying to write out something from all the stuff in my head!
My daughter’s movie ended and I heard her trudging up the stairs. She leaned into my arm and informed me that she was bored and wanted to do something with me. My son then began crying to get out of his crib. I sighed, made a decision to be present, and I switched everything off. I got my son and informed my daughter that we were heading outside to blow bubbles, play with chalk, and jump on the trampoline. Her entire face lit up as she squealed with delight.
It wasn’t until I was spinning around in circles with a yellow bubble wand and two giggling kids, with the sun bathing us in warmth, that I realized this is exactly what I needed to be doing today. My daughter stopped, taking an exaggerated breath from twirling and said, “Mom, I love it when you play with us.” My outlook was changed. Instead of seeing the moment as a duty, responsibility, or a distraction, it soon became something of paramount importance and significance. Dancing around with bubbles, doing tricks on the trampoline, and coloring flowers on the cement with chalk. It was such a simple thing, but I needed that reminder. I needed that moment of innocence, that moment of joy. I needed to look at life through the lens of my beautiful, energetic, 5 year old daughter.
My journey into writing/blogging began a little over 4 years ago. It was right at the end of 2016, when the United States Presidential Election was going on. I felt like I was drowning in everyone’s anger, hate, and divisiveness. It was stifling and I couldn’t at the time imagine things getting worse. But they have, increasingly over time, become even more unbearable in many ways. Finding hope and peace in this seemingly divided world can sometimes feel impossible. That’s when I realized I wanted to do something about it, however small it was. I wanted to put out something positive in the world around me.
I don’t like dwelling on the negative. I would much rather search out the sunshine. So it became my mission to seek out joy amid life’s storms. We all go through struggles and hardships, no one is immune to them. But I have learned that it is possible to look for the good. It is not my intention to discredit and naively ignore challenges, quite the opposite. However, I do believe it is good to look for things that are going well, or incline us to see the beautiful moments around us.
This perspective has allowed me to accept and recognize trials, struggles, and hard things for what they are. They are stepping stones that help lead to a better version of ourselves, if we allow them to. That’s not to diminish what anyone is going through, but rather to see those struggles with a little perspective. Sometimes that's much easier said than done. And sometimes we need a little help from others to see it.
One way I have found that allows me to see the good is acknowledging the small and simple things as profound and wonderful. Like a beautiful sunshiny day, playing with a child, reading a good book, gardening and appreciating the beauty of the Earth around you, being outside and enjoying nature, eating food you love and enjoy, recognizing God's hand in our lives or others, witnessing random acts of kindness, the goodness in relationships and people around you. This list could go on and on. These are things and moments that inspire me. My children, especially, inspire these moments, and my daughter in particular is the embodiment of what I am emphasizing today.
If I could have one wish it would be that everyone could find joy in life and people, like my 5 year old daughter. She can often be found singing and dancing to any song she made up, or the latest Disney Princess movie she is obsessed with. She is full of sunshine and tears, and a little bit of drama for good measure. Regardless, she can always find something to smile about. She also genuinely loves everyone she meets. It is extremely common for her to tell everyone they are her favorite. She wants to invite everyone into her inner circle and have them be a part of her life. I love that. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all had some of that childlike love and innocence?
I know we all have those people and circumstances that remind us to stop and blow bubbles and play with sidewalk chalk. This life we go through is hard, and the to-do lists are always going to be there. However, there’s also moments of joy and happiness if we are willing to stop, put aside our troubles and lists, and let them heal the worn out parts of our souls from time to time. It will help you to notice the good you already do, the good that is all around you. Then you will in turn be more attuned to spreading that positivity around to others who cross your path.
Hello, I’m Lacy. I am a mother of 4, and married to my best friend. I am an optimist by nature and the last several years of turmoil, anger, hate, and despair all over the world, inspired me to look for joy despite what is going on around me. You can follow me through Facebook and Instagram at Joyful Whisperings. Check out my other musings on https://www.joyfulwhisperings.com.