Tag Archives: joy

Pleasures in Life

I am a fortunate man. God has blessed my family and I many times over. I am both humbled and thankful for all of the blessings that have come my way. One pleasure in life that I am very thankful for, one that I try not to not to take for granted, is the beauty of my sleeping children. No matter how busy the day has been, or how hectic, and even disastrous it may seem, there’s always the moment that seems miles from any of the chaos.

The moment, in the dark, when I walk into the warm room(s) where the children I have been blessed with, to guide and to raise, are peacefully sleeping. The pace of life knows not this moment and this space. No anger, ill-tempered, or negative emotion cross the threshold into this area. Time slows to an appropriate speed when I walk among the shadows to seek a glance at those precious, innocent faces. The noise of life and the roar above the growing hum of humanity clattering through our universe while being distracted by instant everything, can be overheard here by the faintest of whispers. Here inside these walls, the absence of light creates an atmosphere that is placid, quiet, and it takes on a different feel than it does at any time during the day. Reverence washes over me immediately as I step from one world into another, a world separated by just a door and these four walls. Outside this space distractions abide, and stresses tug, decisions are real, and too many of them are required. But, here, in the dark silence, there is innocence, beauty, and peace. There is love here, lots of it. There is respect. There is peace. There is life that originated from a miracle, and here it sleeps, just inches from the madness of today, but here it rests, completely.

My heart rate slows and my mind seems to clear up. I look at the preciousness before me, and it is overwhelming. Sometimes I fight back tears when I let myself think of ever missing one of these moments. Mostly, I smile. I whisper to the sleeping beauties. I have done this with all of the children, even as they got older. I tell them I love them, and how beautiful I think they are. I tell them to dream big, and go after the things in life they love. I tell them to always love, and to always give thanks to the Lord. I tell them they can do anything that their hearts desire, and to work bigger and harder than their biggest dreams. I tell the boys to take care of their sisters and to always look after their mother. I tell the girls to always help their mom, and to make sure they look after their brothers. I pray for them. I pray for direction to be a better father, to be a better husband, and to be a better example. I give them each a kiss and I linger a moment, somehow wishing I could return to that time in my life.

As I open the door to leave and to re-enter the world outside, I think of how truly fortunate I am to witness these pleasures in life.

Happy Thanksgiving in my words

I know this is late according to the calendar. Is it ever late to be thankful? I guess there are times when it would be. Hopefully this isn’t one of them. Happy Thanksgiving in my words.

The following are some definitions of the word ‘happy’:

  • feeling or showing pleasure, contentment, or joy
  • causing or characterized by pleasure, contentment, or joy
  • feeling satisfied that something is right or has been done right
  • willing to do something
  • resulting unexpectedly in something pleasant or welcome
  • used in formulae to express a hope that somebody will enjoy a special day or holiday

The following are some definitions of the words ‘thanks’ and ‘thanksgiving’:

  • an expression of gratitude for something
  • a prayer that offers thanks to God
  • an expression or an act of giving thanks
  • a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

So maybe I would say, in my words, a joyous contentment in expressing gratitude. Or maybe pleasant satisfaction in publicly celebrating divine goodness.

When I dig to the core of the meaning of Happy Thanksgiving to me, I truly get to a place of content, of joy, of genuine gratitude and an internal celebration of divine goodness. It’s not about the stuff, or the things; all of which I can’t take to heaven anyways. It’s about the times that could have been worse, but they weren’t. It is about the times that were so amazing in a moment when I felt the least deserving. It is about the wondrous warmth and goodness in people when so many seem hard and cold at times. It’s about my family and loved ones. We didn’t pick our families, I am so glad God did it for us. It’s the joy of being a dad, being needed, as shown by the look in my baby’s eye or in the calm they feel in my arms. It’s the beauty of the quiet, distant moments with my wife when all the world seems miles away. It’s as plain or as magnificent as the simplicity of walking outside from a crowded place, full of hustle and bustle, into a dark evening where the sound of the silent snow falling is deafening, and beckons my mind to visit dozens of warm memories that just seconds before, were miles from view. Content. Happy with how things are, in any moment, or in all moments.

We have so much to be thankful for. Every moment there is something. Sometimes it’s the moment itself to be thankful for. I mean think about how life would be if we stopped more often, throughout each day, even for a second, to be thankful for something in our lives. Maybe it is a physical thing, or maybe it’s a moment today, that we didn’t have the day before. I think life would be far more rewarding than it already it is. I think we would proceed differently, slightly at first. As time and our commitment to genuine thankfulness wore on, the course would be dramatically altered. I can’t imagine that overall respect for one another as human beings wouldn’t improve. I would like to think that gratification could return to being a word that stands alone and no longer had to tag along with the word instant. Hey I know changing the course dramatically seems far-fetched, I just don’t think that being more thankful is that far-fetched. Neither is the time it would take to be more thankful. A conscious thought to allow for a moment to recognize a feeling of joy or content for something already present in your life. We spend more time trying to remember the name of a song than we do being present and thankful for just one of the many things we have to be thankful for.

Say thank you more often. Mean it. Look inside yourself and check to see just how thankful you are. Once you have identified how much gratitude you feel, let it be seen in your eyes, heard in your voice, and felt in your hug or handshake. If you cannot find the level of gratitude that should be present, then think on it some more and figure out what mental block is keeping you from gratitude. Get over the block and express gratitude or celebrate divine goodness, but don’t dismiss it.

I know, it’s late, but Happy Thanksgiving in my own words.