simple pelasure I hurry to the window in near panic as I hear screams outside. After a few moments I realize that these are not screams but squeals of delight!

Precious children point and scream at hundreds of bugs swarming to the lights. Little hands try catching them and kids jump to reach them.

It might as well be Christmas, the way the kids are running around with such joy.

I look back at that night in Kigali as a reprieve from the ugliness of poverty. We danced together, the kids, the bugs and I. Even though orphaned or abandoned, these Rwandan children found joy in the beauty and simplicity of the bugs.

Now, three years later, I’m driving to work on a busy Colorado interstate. I know that a pile of papers and emails awaits me. And back home, I’ve left laundry piled high and dishes still in the sink. These seem like petty problems, but it’s the everyday-life kind of stuff and it’s bogging me down.

I make a conscious decision to practice the discipline of joy. To name the joys. As Ann Voskamp reminds us in One Thousand Gifts, the naming is important:

“The space that spans my inner emptiness fills in the naming. I name. And I know the face I face. God’s! God is in the details; God is in the moment. God is in all that blurs by in a life — even hurts in a life.”

In the car alone, I recount joys and name them, aloud. The warmth of the heat on full blast. A working car. A cup of hot coffee.

And then the sun breaks through the clouds. Literally and figuratively! The sun begins to shine and kiss the trees and mountains. As the snow on Pikes Peak glistens even brighter, the daunting tasks ahead of me at work, and those left to do at home, don’t seem so important.

I have taken a break to enjoy and name the beauty and the joys set before me in that very moment. The small things.

In that moment I give thanks and remember. I remember a night years ago when little children shrieked with joy over the splendor of the small things. As I am doing today, relishing the beauty of a drive to work.

The brilliance of that sun hitting the mountains? It might as well be Christmas, the way my heart leaps within me.

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  1. Susan
    Apr 3, 2012
    at 10:26 am

    Katy,

    How well you’ve learned the key to joy and hope – giving thanks!
    Thank you for this vivid reminder. May the miracle of Easter turn our ordinary days into extra ordinary ones, as you well illustrated.

  2. Apr 3, 2012
    at 11:17 am

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    …my beautiful daughter asleep in my arms…
    …cold water in my glass…
    …a dishwasher…

    • Katy Causey
      Apr 4, 2012
      at 10:54 am

      These are great ones, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dana
    Apr 3, 2012
    at 1:24 pm

    Beautifully written. I might have been riding in that car with you feeling the blast of heat from the vent as I read it. Thank you for sharing your Bug Dance and your Colorado Mountains that I might experience them through your words.

    • Katy Causey
      Apr 4, 2012
      at 10:54 am

      Thank you so much, Dana!

  4. Apr 4, 2012
    at 12:39 pm

    Beautifully written. I lived in Colorado for a spell, and it was gorgeous! Take advantage of the majesty displayed all around.

  5. Ron Zeltwanger
    Apr 5, 2012
    at 11:11 am

    Thanks Katy for the great reminder to ‘count our blessings’ – so many of which are all around us but we miss them if we fail to hit the pause button. Your writing inspires me!

  6. May 5, 2012
    at 8:25 am

    Katy,
    I had saved this post in my inbox for weeks, obviously! I decided to open it up today and read it…and Thank Him! that I did. I too have read Ann’s words…over and over and over. Here’s the thing, I still find it an effort to just begin counting when the eucharisteo is hard. Today, though, I knew it was what was needed. I’m glad I can join another Colorado girl in naming the graces.

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