I am so pleased to present, Leah from her blog, By Travel and Error! Leah’s post continues with our series, Seasons of Joy, focusing on finding Joy beyond just the Holiday Season!
Over the past few days, I have been trying to read as much as I possibly can. One of the books that I just finished was “Grace not Perfection” by Emily Ley. Through sharing stories of her own perfectionist tendencies and want-to-do-it-all struggles, Emily encourages readers to embrace simplicity and celebrate joy.
At the same time, I am also reading “Present over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist. The funny thing is that this book’s tagline is very much the same as Leys, “Leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living”. As I started to peruse the other books I had loaned from my local library, I noticed a common theme:
Joy, Simplicity, Grace, Gratitude
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the mindset of more, more, more and me, me, me. Isn’t it a bit tragic that we focus so much on this at Christmas time? This is a season when we should be reflective and joyful of the gift of love that God sent his son for us but instead we often turn it into a frenzy of materialistic distractions.
In 2017, one of my resolutions is to write down 5 things I am grateful for every night. In Ley’s book, she starts off chapter 10 with this quote by Brother David Steindl-Rast, “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” While these past few months have been full of grief and heartache for me and my family, I have tried to focus on finding small things that I’m thankful for at the end of every night. A few have included:
- fuzzy, cozy socks
- my 1-year-old nephew’s post-bath giggles
- Dove dark chocolates and Apothic red blend wine
- candles and silence after a day full of conference calls
- my parents German short haired pointer, Toby, running to greet me when I pull into their driveway
No matter if 2016 has been a great year or a crummy one for you, I challenge you to also start a gratitude journal in the New Year. Let’s embrace giving ourselves and others grace and living a simpler more thankful life. Ultimately, just like Brother David Steindl-Rast stated, our gratitude will bring us joy.
Leah Deppert is a travel and lifestyle blogger who shares lessons learned, experiences shared and stories created while wandering around our messy, yet beautiful world. While Leah loves to explore new cities, she adores her hometown, Cleveland, OH. Visit her blog and don’t forget to say hello at www.ByTravelandError.com.
For more from the Seasons of Joy Series take a look at these articles:
1 // Seasons of Joy
2 // Acts of Joy