these have i loved

I’ve rediscovered Rupert Brooke’s poem The Great Lover this weekend. No, it’s not scandalous. It’s about finding delight in the simple details of life. I read it in college and now I tend to think of the line about “the strong crust of friendly bread” when inhaling the yeasty aroma of baking bread and slicing into a loaf of fresh whole wheat.
Along with re-reading this poem, I’ve been considering the importance of contentment, choosing to be happy and joyful in the midst of the life I have right now. It’s a life with lots of house work, job work that I don’t particularly enjoy, frugality/scrimping, and I’m often very far away from people I love. At times it is easy to focus on what is “missing” from my life, like new clothes, a remodeled bathroom, babies, a master’s degree, chances to travel as much as I prefer, ministry opportunities, a housekeeper (ha). But I am so very blessed; I have much to be thankful for; and I’m so much more joyful when I focus on the delights of the life I do have.

So here is my too-short list of the small and significant delights of my heart:
warm cowls and recycled yarn to make a sweater
celebrating Aaron’s 26th birthday
letters and cards ready to be mailed
friends H and B coming for dinner tomorrow evening
summer sausage from Aaron’s big deer
gray nail polish on my toes and fingers
finding new jeans with tags on from the gap at goodwill for $5.00
singing “Be Thou My Vision” in D-flat after dinner
writing in my journal
preparing birthday gifts for Aaron, N, E,  and others
reading my new ESV Bible from JB. This makes me feel extra spiritual. It is purple, which makes me feel extra special.
being married to someone who loves guacamole and fine cheese as much as I do
learning/trying to love Lord of the Rings
humming “Morning Has Broken” as the sunrise streams into our bedroom
fresh snow on our yard
Prairie Home Companion
bananas and greek yogurt
our fireplace
friends A and J, who share good news with tact and consideration
anything and everything by gf handel
heavy blankets over me in bed
cute stickers and stamps
handwritten letters
soaking tired feet in a bathtub full of hot water
the light of the lamp in our living room
freshly wiped counters
tablecloths
finishing projects; anticipating the day I will be a finished project (he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it)

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. …The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. -ps 111.
Lord, cause your wondrous works to be remembered in our hearts this day. Give us grace that we might trust in your precepts and your faithful work on our behalf for salvation and sanctification. Make us great lovers – of others, of what you have given us, and of you.

The poem is such a worthwhile read: The Great Lover
This article is also wonderful, along the same line of thought, and written by a dear mentor and professor from college: The Romance of Domesticity

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