//Finding Joy In The Simple Things//

So I went on an adventure today.

My day didn’t start out the way I thought it would, but I quickly discovered that God was speaking to me in the little things. I wouldn’t consider myself a professional photographer, but I have always loved taking pictures. Today, I decided to take my camera and take some pictures for the blog, just to capture nature’s beauty. Ashley Lemieux, owner of the Shine Project, has a challenge going on that I am currently doing, and today’s challenge was to let light shine through the cracks. She encouraged us to stay off social media and instead make a list of things to do. Well I did, and wow! I didn’t realize how much of an impact it would have on me. It was like a breath of fresh air to focus on something other than what could fit in a tiny screen.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love social media. It’s a way that I connect with my friends and family. I use it for my blog and other stuff, but sometimes I get too caught up in it. I’m checking every two seconds to see the latest news. I sit and scroll, not realizing how much I am comparing my life to everyone else’s until I’m so far in that my happy mood goes downhill. I start complaining. I start asking God why He hasn’t done what He promised or why He is blessing everyone but me when the truth is I was feeling blessed five minutes ago and nothing has changed since then. I get so frustrated with myself when I do that because I know better. I know that most of the time we just post the best parts of our lives. I know that others struggle in the same ways I do, and when I see something good happen for someone else I am happy for them.

We know the truth, but when our guard is down the devil begins to creep in with all these lies. Sure, we recognize his lies, but sometimes we are too tired to fight so we just give in. Well, STOP! Stop letting him get in your head. Stop letting him lie to you. Fight! I know it stinks. Some days you just don’t have it in you, but you have to fight because if you give the devil an inch, he’ll take a mile.

Be strong.
Be courageous.
Be fierce.
Tell him NO!

On my little journey today, I got frustrated because I started to think, “God, what the heck am I gonna take pictures of? It’s been raining here for 100 years (okay, I’m exaggerating, but it’s been a long time), and everything is dead. All of these pictures are going to be the same color and look ugly.” In the midst of my complaining, He spoke to me and said, “Find joy in the little things.” So I did. I walked around my grandparents’ farm and took pictures of whatever I thought could work. I found the more pictures I took, the more I saw some of the most beautiful things. As I was heading back to my parents’ house, I noticed a flower blooming so I sat down to take a picture. It was growing up through the dead leaves that had fallen last fall. Honestly, it was surrounded by ugly leaves, muddy rocks, and dead weeds. And there it stood all alone, but alive, flourishing in the midst of death.

What a powerful message!

Even though we are surrounded by death, we can still flourish. Let’s take it one step further and say that maybe, just maybe, God is calling us to be the life in the midst of what looks like darkness and death. Maybe He is calling us out of our comfort zones. Maybe He is asking us to be different, to be THE change.

I don’t know what you’re surrounded by or what your life may look like right now, but I do know this: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

This may be your winter season. Things may look dead now, but, oh, if you only knew what was beginning to grow under those dead leaves.

Spring will come.
Life will come.

Those seasons are hard, I know, but we can get through them. And I challenge you to ask God, “What are You doing in me?” instead of, “Why are You doing this to me?”

Today, look for the joy in the small things and believe that life will spring up.

 

Editor: Rebekah Pendergrast

Photography: Whitney Dawn

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