A Simple Joy

A Simple Joy

It’s snowing. I hate wind and cold, but I love sitting in my warm, cozy house, watching my yard become a beautiful snow globe scene. A simple joy.

When my husband arrives home from work, I’ll tell him what’s for dinner, and he’ll smile. He loves my cooking, and dinner time is always a pleasurable hour. A simple joy.

I’ve never needed or desired a complicated life, where supposed joy consists solely of expensive events like rock concerts, trips to Paris, or Disney vacations. (Although I have an inexplainable yen to visit Prague.) No, my greatest joy has always come from things like the smile on a student’s face when he understands a new concept, the aroma of a spiced chai latte, or my granddaughter running to me for a hug.

Several years ago, I almost lost my capacity to share joy. My husband walked out, and I was left in shattered fragments on the ruins of our marriage. I’m not sure how long I lay there, but eventually I became aware of Christ’s presence as He held me and comforted me. I was safe. A tiny ember of joy still smoldered under His protection.

The Lord was also working with my husband, who returned home hoping for a new start. Forgiveness I could offer–with God’s help–but the new start was shaky. Those of you who have gone through this know that trust is not easily rebuilt. The marriage was fragile, I was fragile. My joy flickered, hesitating to spiral into a healthy flame. What if life quenched my joy again? I wasn’t sure I’d have the strength to rise up and praise Him once more.

Then God spoke. “Go. Play.” I tried to obey. I forced myself out of the emotional cocoon I’d created and returned to church activities. I started a new, enjoyable job. I discovered a passion for writing. But play isn’t fun when you’re not willing to let go of fear. It took me months to make any progress at all.

One day, after I’d shared some tidbit from the day, my husband smiled and said, “You enjoy the simplest things in life.”

Really? I was healing! I had begun to radiate joy again.  That little ember had kindled several twigs, and a small but steady fire resulted.

That’s what Jesus wants us to do. I’ll expand on His original command to me. “Go. Play. Dance through life with the companionship of My Holy Spirit. Enjoy the simple pleasures I offer. Share them. Not only will you obtain joy, you will provide joy to others.”


Slowly, my joy has built up until I have solid campfire. Logs crackle and spark. People can gather around for blessed warmth and toasted marshmallows. I love my Savior. I love my God-given surroundings. Every day, I can’t wait to go and play wherever He leads me. A simple joy.

About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at www.lindasammaritan.com.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Linda. Such a wonderful encouragement. Have you shared about this in more detail elsewhere? My husband and I are leading a marriage group and your experience is so hope–giving!

  2. Thank you, Becky. My desire was exactly that–to give hope to those who need it. I have not shared my experiences publicly before. There’s a fine balance between disclosing private information for the good of others versus causing discomfort to my family. For their sake, I hope I did it right.

Speak Your Mind

*