This week I was blessed to speak at the first meeting of the year for the Women of the Well at Klein United Methodist Church. They asked me to speak on Joyful Living. I was excited to see such a large group of women when I arrived. Apparently, they had many more than they expected, and had to keep pulling in chairs! Joyful Living must be a popular topic… 🙂
The group had grown into a very large oval shape, as the room was a long room. While they were doing announcements and what not, I was just listening and being present to these wonderful women in the room. One lady way at the other end of the room particularly caught my attention. She made a quick announcement and I just noticed her glowing joy.
So fast forward, now it’s my turn to speak to the women. Their theme for the year is Mark 6: 21, “where your treasures are, there your heart will be also.”
I love this passage. I spent the next hour speaking on finding JOY wherever we go. In each moment. Even the moments that you find yourself not feeling so great. I spoke about Gratitude (a favorite topic of mine). Throughout my talk, my eyes kept falling on the sweet lady in the back row. Just a kind, sweet soul in action. I spent some time talking about switching our thoughts from “I have to” to “I get to”. This is a life changing habit that we all could benefit from. Let me explain.
How often do you find yourself with these thoughts? … I have to drive carpool….I have to go grocery shopping….I have to do laundry…I have to cook dinner for the family… etc etc
Now, let’s look at those same events like this….I get to drive carpool (because I am lucky to have a car that works)…I get to go grocery shopping (because I have money to buy good healthy food)….I get to do laundry (because I have many outfits that I get to choose from)…I get to cook dinner for my family (because I am blessed to have these people at my dinner table!).
Do you see the difference. There is a small shift in our thinking. Why do we “have” to do all these things? I mean, really, we don’t. We don’t have to do laundry – we can wear dirty clothes! We don’t have to drive carpool – but then our kids wouldn’t be involved in fun activities.
Ok, fast forward again…my talk is now over and many women came up to share their stories with me. It’s always a JOY to hear others stories! One of the ladies came up to me and this is her story.
“My name is Boots. I’m the oldest member here at the church. I wanted to share this story with you. One day I was coming up to church, and I always park in the same parking spot. Right up front. This one day I noticed someone else took my spot. I drove around the parking lot and could not find any spots to park in! Finally, there was one way at the other end of the parking lot. At first I was frustrated and thought I should just go home, but then I remembered my doctor told me I should walk 30 minutes a day. I immediately felt grateful as I parked in that very far off parking spot, as I realized this would count as part of my 30 minute walk! ” She smiled. Then added “guess how old I am?” uhhhhh, ohhhh dear I hate these questions, I am the WORST age guesser! lol…so I just smiled… and she said “I’ll be 92 in November!”
So lovely! Boots is 91 and 3/4 and still driving, coming up to the church many days a week, smiling, loving, laughing…walking across a big large parking lot….I told her, her JOY is contagious, and it’s that wonderful attitude that surely keeps her so young!
Thanks Boots for sharing this sweet example of how to move from “I have to park so far awawy” to “I get to begin my 30 minutes of walking”.