Your husband’s warm chuckle? Soft snores from the kids’ room? Coffee bubbling into your mug? Book pages turning? The crackle of a bonfire? Which noises make you come alive, settling a deep contentment in your soul?
I personally thrill to the sound of a redemption bell.
Church music has been a battleground for ages. I’m guessing that around 900 AD, the pipe organ was a new-fangled, risqué addition to services that caused every medieval curmudgeon to scowl at how the young people were trying to change things up. More recently, Cory Asbury’s ‘Reckless Love’ has sparked a bit of debate among believers.
I’m never far away from a grin. The happy just kind of creeps out across my cheeks and up into my eyes. Very much like Buddy the elf, smiling’s my favorite.
In high school, I apparently looked so bubbly that the JROTC instructor asked if I was a believer. When I answered in the affirmative, he responded, “Anyone who smiles that much has to know God’s on His throne.” Little did I know I had encountered a profound bit of theology.
“We are the women who want what God wants—more than we are afraid of it.”
Once upon a time, a girl sat at the bottom of a mountain in a shopping cart. She couldn’t get out, and there was no one else around for miles. Knowing she just had to reach the peak or she’d burst, she closed her eyes, hummed a hymn, and smiled because this wasn’t her idea; it came from the same God who had created her (and the mountain and the shopping cart). Her hair rushed back as the cart picked up speed, pushed along by the One in whom her hope rested. What a unique sensation, holding on for dear life as she watched the scenic road unfold before her! Bizarre, for sure, but thrilling. If you’ve ever felt completely out of control and entirely safe at the same time, that’s about the size of her exhilarating ride from bottom to top. The cart handled long stretches and wild curves, whizzing along happily as though it were made for nothing but this particular adventure.
My absolute favorite part of any trip is coming home and unpacking. I don’t care if I get to spend a month in Fiji on the beach (well, I mean, I might care a little)—unloading my suitcase, doing laundry, putting everything where it goes, and reestablishing my normal rhythms again? This is where my heart is happiest. (Not sure if this peculiarity is due to my being an ISTJ or an Enneagram 1 or just straight up nuts. But I own my fondness for routine and home sweet home.) Something about unpacking brings the closure I need to move forward.
November comes alive just in time to kiss the pumpkins, caving in slightly around the mouths, off our porches. She sweeps the last bits of leaves through the neighborhood in hopes of making our dwellings a brighter spark for family to flock toward like geese on their way home. The scent of fresh bread mingles with mulled cider spices, and little ones lick their lips in anticipation. May this season of gratitude for every blessing cascading down from the Father of Light meet you with so much laughter you could burst.