Simple

Today as I woke up to a new morning, it was filled with the smell of coffee and bacon. As I layed there trying to wake up and not get pounced on by the white furry ball of energy (Charlie) I realized that life is good. It’s full and it’s busy, I need to spend more time with my family, walk the dogs more and stop watching the reels on Instagram so much, but it is good. When we were celebrating Christmas last week with our extended family it hit me while we were at church for the Christmas Eve service that if I follow the two most important commandments that Christ gave: Love the Lord you God with all you heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself, the rest of what is going on fades away.

So as we were singing the songs from the hymnal I was enjoying the bobbing Christmas trees that were a part of the headband the organist was wearing. I was enjoying the fact that my family was singing along and letting the simple message wash over them. What could be simpler than the story of Christ birth and having shepherds, not scholars be the ones that get to tell the people in the town? Love your neighbor as yourself. What a simple command. What a simple way to start the new year too.

Our new year started with a cold but clear and beautiful day. I had just sent out my Happy New Year post, and was scrolling through and came upon a post that was tagged with my sister in it. It was showing a family with young kids celebrating New Years Eve with confetti poppers, a balloon clock to help count down and delicious looking food on their table. This was all wonderful to see, but the best part was the laughter of the kids in the little video, and the smiles on the adult’s faces as they looked on. I can imagine they had a fun night together. Simply loving their neighbors.

Today we will be taking down the Christmas decorations. The week will bring work, school and responsibilities. My son asked me what my New Year’s Resolutions are and normally I don’t do them but I think this year it will be to spend more time, quality time, with my family. The world will always have something going on, something for us to rejoice over or fret over. My family, and the quality time I can have with them will not always be there. The realization of this fact will hit me harder and harder this year as my oldest will start her last year of high school, and my youngest starts jr. high. I don’t want to miss any more of their lives than I already have to with life responsibilities, so I will strive for the simple. Love my family the way I would want to be loved. Put the phone down, stop making excuses and simply enjoy. Plan the trips and make them happen.

Christ, in everything He did, used love as His foundation. Simple. He didn’t overcomplicate things. Someone wanted healing, He forgave their sins. Someone wanted to follow Him, He said take up your cross. He loved the poor and the rich. He ate with sinners, and healed because of a person’s faith, or lack thereof. We are called to the simple. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Until next time:

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Charles Mingus
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Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

Help keep Living Joyfully a place where hope abounds and people can find ways to see the joy around them

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

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