What Makes You Smile

Who or what makes you smile?
What brings joy to your heart?

For a long time now the joy has been crushed out of me and I’m searching for it again. It seems roadblocks keep popping up; I know that just means “try more hard”! But sometimes it’s hard to keep going. Thankfully inspiration is always popping up.

I enjoy swimming and being in the water. All winter waiting for spring/summer, to swim for enjoyment and for physical therapy… only to have the neighbors once again shoot it right after we opened it in spring. This time at the bottom, instead of the repairable ring at top like last year (3x).

My doctor was frustrated when I said “there’s no money for gas to drive to the Y daily, I’ll wait ’till summer to do phyiscal therapy at home”, and now what to say. But no one understands what it’s like with no income and even doing without necessities. I live extremely frugal already, nowhere to cut back.

Many bad things going on, everything has been in high stress level for a very long time. I just want to find joy again. So the quest continues. One foot in front of the other, each problem cut into small pieces and addressed one by one.

Someday I will look back on this time, just as I now look back on all the previous hard times, and be thankful to have survived it. This has been the longest, most difficult time in life I’ve ever experienced, but God does not give us more than we can handle.

So each day the search for a small bit of joy continues. Pray the joy increases and the problems and worries decrease. Surround myself with those who bring joy and inspiration and leave the ones who try to discourage me. See the beauty in everything God has made. Be thankful for everything, because I truly am blessed in many ways.

I’ve kept a Joy Journal since a scare many years ago. I wanted to make sure my son knew the joy he brought to me, so began writing down the things he said and did that brought me joy. When I’m gone, hopefully he will find comfort in it, knowing that no matter what we’ve been through, I love him and would do it all again for him.

It’s helped me immensely as well. I enjoy writing; it’s a relaxing and calming outlet. Reading the joy journal has also helped me as a parent, reminding me on bad days of the lovely boy inside that stubborn teen.

Lately my blog has brought me much joy. I don’t know how long it’s been since first reading a friend’s blog, but he has been an inspiration for me to write daily. {Thank You!}

I actually started the account awhile back, but didn’t do anything with it; really wasn’t interested in blogging. In March decided to give it a go, then life and work got in the way at start of April. But in July that all changed and I jumped in with both feet.

Highly unusual for me to share much of my inner self with others or to say much about what is going on in my life. So this blog has changed me a lot in that regard.

Most people who know me extremely well know I’m an introvert. Those who are just acquaintances will believe the opposite because I can be quite outgoing. But as a true introvert, socalizing is exhausting for me and the need to recharge afterwards is huge. I enjoy time alone; it brings me joy.

I used to enjoy needle arts immensely, but with an eye injury which has become worse, that is a challenge. I hope someday to get back to it because I’ve been crocheting since 8yo, sewing since before 12yo, cross-stitching and needlepoint since my 20s and tatting. I miss needle arts terribly, it brought me so much joy. I am not able to crochet with threads (like lace edgings etc), but can a little with yarns… though that depends on vision and joint pain level, which varies day to day.

I enjoy my plants. Growing things makes my heart sing! Herbs and veggies… anything that provides us a benefit from herbal teas to food for the table. But free houseplants from an avocado stone or a flowering plant bring me joy too, even if they are not producing plant.

Vases of flowers, picked from our property during walks bring me joy for days, no matter it is a tiny flower in a bud vase or huge vases overflowing with flowers.

Finding new uses for something destined for the trash brings me joy. Repairing something with my own hands… or teaching someone a new skill and knowing that I’ve left a piece of myself with them for a lifetime.
I taught my son at 7yo to rewire a table lamp; he will now have that knowledge all life. That brings me joy.

I love creating. Whether it is a handmade card for a friend, a topi for a loved one, a baby blanket for a new arrival, a ‘lucky penny’ for a new bride or a special dinner for someone. Making things brings me joy.

Bringing joy to others brings me joy. What about you… have you brought a smile and/or joy to someone today?



  1. Waqas Ali said,

    August 20, 2011 at 6:37 am

    WOW Buttons! These are such joyful thoughts, I’m so glad to learn you seek enjoy in MAKING.

    You know I am recently learning that, true leaders & strategists are people who make things, it can be a blog post / meal or needles art. You’re on very right direction to change yours & family’s life.

    You son must be very proud of you.

    My prayers and best wishes are with you & family.

    For me, joy is when I help myself or someone through my blog mostly.

    Washing sometimes pots in kitchen or helping someone online is what I enjoy the most. I know there are many little pleasures which we often ignore, I’m trying to figure out those little things.

    Thank you Buttons for this genuine post.

    • Buttons said,

      August 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

      You touch on a point that most people miss, because they’re always hurrying through life. Most say they have no time to themselves just to think and reflect, but you mention that you sometimes enjoy washing pots… is it because time alone doing tasks which require no thought allow the mind to wander, to be creative, and to problem solve?

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