Making beds. Folding laundry. Emptying the dishwasher. Dusting. Mopping. Cooking dinner. Giving baths. Checking homework. Buying groceries. Carpooling. Bill paying. Coupon cutting. Picking up toys again and again. And again.
We feel buried beneath.
Suffocating from the mundane. The ordinary. The tedious.
We fight to breathe, gasping for air from shallow lungs.
Our struggle—To find the yellow-bright sun peaking through the gray of our days. We search desperately for the bright but miss it’s warmth. We miss it because we don’t know what the bright is.
The bright is the hidden joy.
Joy-filled light exists within the mundane. A tragedy beyond imagination faced by a man from my community has reminded me of this truth. This reality. This gratefulness that brings forth joy.
Grateful I have tiny clothes to fold and children who are alive to wear them. Mopping my floors means life exists in my home. A good life. Fingerprints run along table tops to remind me I have little hands to hold. My bed keeps me warm in the dark when I have students sleeping in cars. Dirty dishes tell me I have food to feed my family. Checking homework says I have a daughter mentally able to attend school.
I am learning. Gratefulness brings forth joy. God-given, God-bestowed joy. Because His joy fills us to the brim and overflows into our lives.
If I am to find the joy, I must look for the thankful. The I-don’t-deserve-this-beautiful-life gratefulness existing in the mundane.
The yellow-bright joy peaks into my dreary chore. Squeezing oranges, fresh from my neighbor’s tree. Then I think–I have a neighbor who shares the fruit of her labor. This thankful recognition breaks through the gray. Joy breaks forth.
Fresh squeezed oranges using a juicer Grandmother gave me. My hands placed upon the same mechanisms she once held. My husband’s hands on our son’s. Pressing down. Teaching. I have a heritage. My grandmother—a legacy. More joy.
I was just squeezing oranges. Messy. Time-consuming. Mundane.
Yet, joy was there waiting. It wanted to be found. It hoped I would look for the soft yellow light existing within the tedious.
Do I now mystically, magically enjoy juicing oranges? No. Chores will continue to be mundane. But joy is in the mundane. When I am looking, I find it—the yellow-bright sun breaking through my gray.
And then I can breathe.