Monday, April 27, 2015

Finding Joy in the Little Things

Finding Joy in the Little Things

By Mary Manners
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24 (NIV) ~
I belly-laughed the other day, and it felt so good.
I was standing in the bus line at the intermediate school where I am assistant principal, loading children onto a small bus that heads to an after-school program, when one of the pre-school boys in the second seat turned to me with the cutest gap-toothed smile. I winked at him through the window and he did his best to wink right back, scrunching both eyes and twisting his mouth as I waited there. I laughed at his effort and, seeing my reaction, he giggled, as well. In that moment, I remembered one of my favorite things...watching young children learn how to master tasks such as winking and whistling and snapping their fingers. They find such joy as they share the talents they've accomplished...great pleasure from simple things.
So, when I got home later that afternoon I decided to make a list of ten (OK...eleven) simple things that bring me great joy:
1. Winking at a child and watching him or her wink back.
2. Listening to backyard birds welcome the warm, spring dawn with a song.
3. A hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning (or any morning is just as fine).
4. Quiet walks with my husband, holding hands. and sharing our dreams for the future.
5. Long talks with my mom, sharing memories (over coffee, of course).
6. The caress of a breeze as I sit in the rocking chair on my front porch daydreaming.
7. Curling up on the couch with a good book and plenty of time to be swept away.
8. Sharing a life lesson with my daughter, so she does not have to learn the hard way.
9. Push-mowing the lawn on a warm summer day (while writing a story in my head).
10. The sound of laughter drifting through my office window from the school playground.
11. Waking up long before dawn to spend the entire day writing...and writing...and writing some more (with a pot of hazelnut coffee)!
Simple joys...they truly add to life's sweetness. So, I ask...what are your simple joys? I invite you to share!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jack Seaton moves mountains, literally, as he develops commercial property along the West Coast. But not a day goes by that he doesn’t think of Misty Larsen and the carefree love they once shared. He thought they’d end up married, but his job—and five thousand miles—got in the way. He’s sure she’s moved on and found a new man to love...Until he unexpectedly receives a letter Misty wrote the day he left Mills Landing nearly six years ago. Jack is shocked to learn Misty was pregnant with his child—a child that must be in kindergarten by now.

Misty Larsen is determined to give her daughter a good life. She’s put a business-management degree to good use by spearheading an online Web-design agency. Misty’s hectic schedule gives her little time to reminisce about Jack Seaton, the man who stole her heart. But when Jack storms Misty’s doorstep one thunder-filled afternoon, clutching her letter in his hand, the past bubbles up and spills over to merge their lives once again.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and daughter Danni, and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She loves flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.
Mary was named Author of the Year by Book and Trailer Showcase. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website:


  1. Curling up with a good book with the sunshine and a breeze coming through a nearby window.

    Sharing coffee and good talk time with my grown daughters.

    Hearing my grandson laugh.

    Time with the hubby over dinner "out" when we can just relax and talk.

    Driving through the mountains on a gorgeous day.

    Girl time with friends.

  2. Thanks for this uplifting post, Mary! I love working in the garden on a summery day (spring offers some of those at times) with a breeze blowing and the scent of English laurel or lilacs wafting by. This time of year, that's how I get refueled for more writing. Hugs, my friend.

  3. This made me smile, Mary!
    I love walking my dog in the beautiful park just 3 blocks from my house and watching sports with my hubby - we are big fans of all things sports and we love disagreeing with the referees.

  4. Digging in the dirt this time of year, Mary. :)

  5. Fun, Mary. Making my husband laugh. Laughing over something one of my grandchildren said. Exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains with my husband. A biblical ah-ha. A writing ah-ha.


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