Sunday, January 8, 2012

Unexpected Joys

Earlier today I sat down and typed up a blog post, and after 30 minutes of re-writing and editing, hit "publish."  But something happened and the entire post was deleted.  It was about some answers I had written to SimpleMom's "20 Questions for a New Year's Eve Reflection" (which I highly recommend you download and complete - awesome stuff).

Anyway, one of her questions was "What was an unexpected joy this past year?"  I thought long and hard about this one.  What kept coming to the forefront of my mind, however, was this one Saturday morning in July.  We were on vacation in Morro Bay with our close friends, and found out that some mutual friends of ours were camping right down the street. Morro Bay is about 5-6 hours from where we live, so the fact we were all there at the same time was just awesome. One morning I was able to sneak out with two of my closest friends, Anna and April.  We had coffee, chatted about life, and went thrift store shopping.  Those 3 hours were one of the best "unexpected joys" that I had all year.

Why did that moment stick out in my mind so much?   I think it's because friendship revives the soul, brings encouragement when we are weary, and comforts us in the deepest way.  To laugh with friends has to be one of the greatest gifts.  To connect with people who have known you for over 15 years is a special treat.  You know you can be yourself, flaws and all, and be loved.

Then I thought about the other unexpected joys this past year, and they all involved friends or family...

My best friend Heather's 35th surprise birthday party...

My sister's engagement and surprise engagement party...

And even coffee dates, phone calls, letters in the mail, and even Facebook posts were all little moments - unexpected joys.

There were unexpected obstacles as well (which I'll write about later), but these unexpected joys are things that we need to hold on to, especially to carry us through dark times.  Friendship is hard work; it takes time, energy, investment.  But when we work at it, it reaps us the most amazing rewards.

This year, I'll be seeking more ways that I can be an unexpected joy in someone else's life.  Whether through a word of encouragement, a card in the mail, a phone call, or just spending time together, I know how much it blesses my own life, and I hope to bless others in this way as well!


  1. Love that picture of you and your sister! :)

  2. I loved this post! I totally agree, friendship and time with friends is really the source of my best times as well. I'm lucky that my best friend is really my husband, but I have a few girlfriends that when I get together with leave me feeling so great and are just fun to hang with. I kept thinking of my coffee date with a good girlfriend last week. We can chat for over an hour and it feels like it's just been 5 minutes. You are right, these are the times that are so precious in our lives and the only cost is being a good friend! Thanks for making me remember that!!

  3. Love it! Thanks for sharing. This reminds me that we need to live in the moment and be grateful for the little things---they ARE what make us happy and get us through the rest of life's challenges. Real joy comes from these small moments.

    New follower from VB.