Barefooted Joy List

I kept a “happy list” in high school and college.  It was a numerated list of things that made me happy.  Back then it was things like Nilla Wafers and smiles from cute boys and the giddy feeling you get after wandering about at all hours of the night with friends.

I’m a grown-up now (kind of…  if I have to be…  I guess).  Now I get that the things on those lists were little places where God was saying, “I love you, Val!”  People like Ann Voskamp have reminded me of the value of counting those things that we’re grateful for.  As a grown-up girl going barefoot I’ve found that happiness is fleeting, but joy is the quiet current that keeps you floating forward.

This then, is my Barefooted Joy List.  I add to it from time to time.  It’s growing slowly because I’ve done a lot of counting on paper as well, but little by little I’ll count these little love notes.

So here I go:

1.  Starting the morning with a hot cup of tea, drinking in the word, and the truth of He who loves me.

2.  Bouncing curls running up and down our hallway for just one more hug, kiss, snuggle, and noggin.

3.  The single dimple in my baby girls face and the way her eyes light up when it flashes.

4.  The sweet, sore feeling of muscles well used

5.  Working through a recipe written by my mother, remembering her hands mixing in the flour, or spreading on the sauce

6.  The ability to choose whether or not to do my laundry each and every day; Enjoying the accomplishment of a finished load, and enjoying the luxury of waiting until tomorrow

7.  Giggles that bubble up from little girl toes

8.  Kitty cats purring

9.  Finding a few stolen moments to read a good book just for fun

10.  The way my youngest giggles when I kiss her feet and belly and chin.

11.  Connecting phone conversations with Husband when he is away

12.  Even though I’ve gotten tired of the frequent dull greyness this year, I am thankful for the rain.  Especially when the drops are big and weighty and cleansing.

13.  Little girls in polka-dotted sundresses

14.  Learning to feel.

15.  My oldest daughter’s green, green eyes.

16.  “Hug, Kiss, Snuggle, Noggin, c’nI have a butterfly kiss?”

17.  The aliveness I feel during and after a good workout.  Not to mention the endorphins.

18.  Mommy friends–who drop pretenses and show up real.

19.  The feeling of friendship growing

20.  Hot Cocoa on a cool night

21.  Warm Campfire, S’mores, Friends, Stories

22.  Baby scribbles

23.  Littlest One’s new skills–head nods, words learned bit by bit

24.  Hearing stories of those who’ve ‘been there, done that.’

25.  Missing my Mama fiercely–The intense depth of my missing her shows just how incredible she really was.

26.  Crossing days off the calendar–getting us one day closer to Husband being home

27.  Falling in love with new music.

28.  Dancing.  To feel the desire of it welling up through my body:  Evidence of joy

29.  Breathing in the smell of my children

30.  Warm, snuggly, comforting clothes on cool, lazy days.

31.  The sunshine finally breaking out of it’s confines–and my spirit lifting as a result.

32.  Little Miss giggling during bedtime story.

32.  Sharing one of my favorite movies with my little ones.  They’re too young to ‘get it’ but they seem to enjoy it anyway.

33.  The kindness of a friend who sent *ME* a gift of pampering.  How incredibly thoughtful.

34.  Sometimes, yawns feel kind of comfortable.  Curling up into the sleepiness is a nice thing, no?

35.  My children like to run around barefoot.  I thought it might be just my example, but as it goes beyond what I do these days, I think it must just be hereditary.  My Mom and her Mom loved it too.

36.  My kids getting excited over splashes of sunlight on the couch in the morning.

37.  The reflection of Fall on Pass Lake

38.  Kittens without fleas.

39.  Friends who call out of nowhere.

40.  Reminders that being real isn’t whining.

41.  The smell of apple anything baking

42.  Warm Apple Cider

43.  Lisa Welchel’s book Creative Correction

44.  Causes that inspire me.

45.  Projects that energize me.

46.  When my babies play together.

47.  The excited look on my youngest daughter’s face when we go to pick up my oldest at Preschool

48.  Settling fully into Husband’s hugs.

49.  My Mother-in-law and her care for all of us.

50.  My sister-in-laws.  Both of them in different ways.

51.  That should have been two items.

52.  Coming back to a started list.

53.  Babe who slept long through the night

54.  Waking up to sunshine coming through the shades

55.  Anticipating the arrival of friends

56.  God who doesn’t give up on me.

57.  Children who love me as I am without the burden of expectations

58.  Baby head waggle

59.  Long awaited babbles

60.  Long black eyelashes over beautiful pools of daughter-eyes

61.  Nose wrinkle and dimple

62.  Getting excited about projects again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited in a forward thinking way.

63.  Nursing noises.

64.  Cat lounging on his back, tail barely twitching

65.  Returning to a run

66.  Footsteps upstairs–my girls are awake!

67.  Color

68.  New pictures!!!

69.  Blue sky and puffy clouds all I can see in the four-pane window above me

70.  New potential of every day.

71.  Trying again–the privilege of a do-over

72.  New books that sync with the soul

73.  Hum of house around me

74.  Baby Thunder Thights

75.  Feeling encouraged.

76.  Baby Squeals

77.  Sweet enigmatic little smiles when baby is discovering something new

78.  Showing kids science and then relating that science back to the love of God.

79.  Dancing popcorn kernels

80.  Friends who rescue you

81.  Baby dropsy game.

82.  Finding community even in rarity.

83.  Having a difficult experience come back and be useful in encouraging someone through a similar experience.

84.  Three varieties of little girl hugs.

85.  Slap, slap, slap of baby hands crawling

86.  Encouragement.  Seeing some of the good in me through someone else’s eyes

87.  Not being defined by my failures

88.  letting my kids own their own mistakes

89.  Words coming

90.  New paintings in the clouds each morning

91.  That sweet moment when Andrew is home for the day

92.  Baby latching on.  We fought so hard to continue nursing.  9 months on and going strong even with all the hospital stuff

93.  Knowing the feeling of needing to return to gratitude and heeding the call.

94.  My husband calling me Elmer

95.  Finding freedom in new disciplines

96.  Baby hair starting to curl

97.  Being reminded to really look at my kids

98.  Puffy clouds over blue water

99.  Moments of quiet to breathe

100.  Friends who help me laugh at mortifying situations

101.  Drudgery being turned into fun.

102.  Stretching my legs and getting out of the house.

103.  Six year old snuggled up to me.

104.  Blowing bubbles.

105.  Not perfect, but they’ll work eating days

106.  Emails back and forth to Andrew during the day

107.  Teasing out the bounty when it doesn’t feel like it’s there.

108.  The feeling of being part of something that you know will make someone feel so loved.

109.  The way the air smells different when thigns start to cool down.

110.   Baby claps

111.  The University of Washington Medical Center

112.  Really good doctors

113.  Walks on the beach with my family.

114.  The amazing ways that Abigail’s subtle personality sneaks out surprises me.

115.  Lainey’s hands slapping on the floor as she crawls.

116.  The little smile on Lainey’s face that she gets when I come home after being gone.

117.  Daddy working with big girls on bike-riding without training wheels

118.  Kiddos playing together outside

119.  Sore, but not too sore, leg muscles

120.  Lovely long sweaters

121.  God showing me ways I can overcome old patterns of defeat and taste victory

122.  My friend, Denise

123.  Consecutive numbers

124.  Unexpected naps

125.  Warm oatmeal

126.  Hang-me-down furniture

127.  Andrew on leave

128.  Family loving me through my grumpiness

129.  Water colors on the wall.

130.  Lenticular clouds

131.  Feeling victory in areas that have been so long defeat.

132.  Sermons that soak deep into me even when I can’t be in church to hear them myself.

133.  Quiet, but humming house

134.  Appliances

135.  Patient, patient servant husband…..  May I be as much  a blessing to him as he is to me.

136.  Books to get lost in.

137.  Black cat insisting on attention

138.  Breathing deep in quiet blessing

139.  Neatly made bed

140.  Friends to take on cleaning with, if only virtually!

More to come…’


5 thoughts on “Barefooted Joy List

  1. Just found the Gratitude community site and have been enjoying catching up on everyone’s 1000 gifts. Talk about being blessed by a group of total strangers. Thanks!

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