Sacrifice, yes, Mundane--shoot me now

Every morning when I awaken and sneak down the stairs, (I make myself get up early because I do not survive well without time alone to sit, awaken into the day and get my heart centered.)

I light my fire, and candles around the room and put on some music from my favorite Pandora channel. No, it is not a party and I am not having a group over--this is for me.

I find that if I could sacrifice my life at the moment for a cause--to die suddenly for rescuing someone on the spot or be killed for my faith, it seems noble and I think I am willing.

But it is the long haul, the day after day, faithfulness, the years and months and days of mundane that rattle my spirit. I am not naturally a sit still and work hard type. And so, to survive the mundane better with some grace, I have learned to place small pleasures in my day. It brings me pleasure to sit in an early morning, dark room with candlelight and music and a fire shimmering. It also brings pleasure to my children to be in beauty and color.

It is why I have cultivated a one woman tea time in the afternoons and take some time to do something that I like--from reading a favorite magazine or book or watching a 15 minute clip from a movie while munching a piece of dark, salted almond chocolate.

When my children were driving me crazy from being inside for too long, I would sometimes stop what we were doing and load them into the car and take them all to Barnes and Noble or another such bookstore or to a park or somewhere for hot chocolate or the goodwill store to spend $2 apiece or a garden shop or to the Focus on the Family Whit's end, or somewhere they could run and explore, hiking nature trails, just so that I could breathe.

God never said life had to be boring to be good.

In the spring, I would finagle a way to go on the road. I would offer to speak in different places for staying in homes in order to explore historical homes and cities, listen to books on tapes in the car and to give me and my sweet ones a break from the mundane.

I am a bit wild at heart and sitting still for too long, for years and months could tempt me to crater.

God slowly showed me that I am responsible to craft a life in which I can last long term with joy and pleasure of my own crafting along the way, so that I can maintain the ideals I have established for myself.

And in the midst of living an interesting life--my children have also become crafters of beauty and pleasure.

There is so much mundane, so many challenges, so much stress, that I finally learned, a wise woman takes responsibility for her own long term well-being so that she may stay the course and live well in the midst of daily ideals.

A tiny bit of investment of my time and creativity brings me days of little pleasures, as I enjoy the places of life I have crafted for the well being and life of my own soul.

It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. After all, God is the one who made color, beauty, music, stories, food and pleasure. It is in incarnating His  fullness that my life can be lived well.

(A little corner of pleasure--the dishes I just inherited from my mom; candle sticks from a friend wrapped with little berries from the craft store, a heart gift from a friend, and a framed calligraphy quote from my little team of leaders here in Monument. Just seeing this little table each morning and lighting my candles gives me a tiny pleasure and memory of loved ones.)

And so, today, I commend you to do at least one thing that brings a little pleasure to your soul and to celebrate life just a little as that will also bring pleasure to a God who loves to see us celebrating His reality.

How about you? What are some of your little pleasures?