“Learn to enjoy life more. Relax, remembering that I am God with you.” Good words from August 13 of Jesus Calling. Author Sarah Young refers to our lives as “action addicted” in the entry for August 2, and I admit it’s true. My name is Beth and I struggle with action addiction. That’s why I am making the effort to take at least one Joy Break every day.

My sister Kathy coined the phrase. We want to live joyfully for our Savior, but the daily pressures of life sometimes overwhelm us. We want to learn how “to live freely and lightly” as Jesus invites us to in the Message paraphrase of Matthew 11:28-30.

Kathy even made me a “coupon” to remind it’s okay to have a little fun in life. To let God refresh and renew me for the journey. It has become a delightful assignment.

          

  So, the other day, after working in the yard all morning, I sat on our back deck and bundled lavender to dry. The sun was warm on my back. I turned off my music and listened. Birds twittered, an owl whoo whooed, doves cooed to each other, and an occasional puff of wind rustled the trees and gave me cool relief. I breathed in the heady scent of lavender, careful of the bees who came to share it with me. It had been a busy, exhausting week and consciously savoring the moment refreshed my spirit immensely.

            When I asked others on face book about their Joy Breaks, the response was immediate:

 “Oh man, I could use one of those!” Sally

“I call it my “Magic Carpet Time.” Today, water coloring a flower in my travel sketch book.So relaxing!” – Dalia

Sat in the sunshine singing hymns. Thanking God for allowing me to live in such a beautiful place. Took two of my sister’s grandchildren to the park and saw a good friend and shared a hug. (I really needed one!) – Veronica

I took my camera outside to shoot the beautiful blooms, worked on a quilting project this afternoon, took some old license plates to my daughter who is making birdhouses and needed ‘roofing material’, then came home to play the piano and read in my novel! Great relaxing day! – Loretta

I sat on my patio watching & listening to a classroom of children playing on the playground of the school. There is nothing more joyful than watching children play & listen to their laughter! – Karyn

I sing hymns and count blessings – Jennifer

Played in the flower garden with my two beautiful, fun, affectionate Ragdoll cats. – Lorna

Starbucks! – Sally

A bundle of lavender and sitting for a moment are a perfect mixture for relaxing. I think I need to plant some lavender. – Rhonda

           

            Since that day I’ve enjoyed many more Joy Breaks. Some were longer chunks of time – walks along Netarts Bay with Trish, a Sunday afternoon of unplanned adventures with Kelly, having girlfriends over for a Saturday brunch. Others were just a pause to breathe in the blessing of the moment – looking out the window as the sun was coming up to marvel at the mountain silhouette as clouds melted away, looking up the words to an old hymn when a phrase popped into my head, grabbing my husband for an impromptu dance when a good song came on.

One day I thought I was too busy to take a break, but happened to notice a silver sheep on my key chain as I took the keys from my car. It was a gift from my Aunt Mary years ago – I was in college or maybe even high school – and it’s been on my key chain ever since.I paused to think about how much I love her. How grateful I am God put her in my life. I reminisced about all the fun family gatherings we’ve had at her house. And how she cried with me, prayed with me, and held me through my divorce. It was only a minute, but God found a way to refresh my spirit in a sweet and abundant way.

We serve a loving God who wants to delight us with His presence, His children, His creation, and the simple pleasures of everyday life. How is He blessing you today? Are you ready for a Joy Break?