Planting Seeds of Joy #choosejoybook #giveaway

Spring is not my favorite season. I really don’t like it much at all. I understand it’s much cooler than summer and warmer than winter — both good things in my book. But to me, spring is about allergies and tornadoes. And busy-ness. Spring always brings extra appointments and events and general scheduling chaos in my house.

No, I don’t like spring. But boy, do I ever like bursts of color and bright skies and the freedom of open windows. And even though I’m not much of a gardener (like, AT ALL), I sure do love seeing flowers pop up everywhere (even if the ones I buy for my front yard don’t last long because I forget to water them).

As spring as bloomed all around this year, I’ve been thinking about how much I don’t like it — and how hard God works to make me smile during this season anyway. Of course I’m not so selfish that I believe my neighbors’ flowers and bushes are just for me. But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating and enjoying them. And it doesn’t dampen my delight one bit when I discover a new (to me) bush full of pink flowers peeking out from the corner of a neighbor’s house.

I also haven’t been able to shake the idea of how those flowers and bushes and trees were all planted well before spring ever arrived — and how that’s just like joy sometimes.

If we never tried to find beauty or choose joy until our darkest days hit us, we might never spot the gifts God is offering us in the midst of our mess. But if we’ve made a habit of choosing joy and seeking beauty, if we’ve stored up moments and memories and all the things that have made us smile, we’ll be prepared with the tools, the armor we need to make it through the dark. Because just when we think life can’t get any harder or darker or messier, that’s when those seeds we’ve planted will push their way to the surface. That’s when the flowers will bloom and spring will return.

Planting Seeds of Joy #choosejoybook #giveaway

Because it always does return. God is the Creator and the Giver of new days and fresh mercies and blank slates . . . and springtime.

So while I still kinda-sorta hate spring for the allergy attacks and tornado warnings, I am still loving the moments of joy and beauty God is giving me right now.

My friend Sara obviously talked a lot about seeking beauty in the darkness and creating the habit (planting seeds) of choosing joy. But she also wrote on her blog several times about how exciting it was to see new plants or flowers on her patio.

Once she was unable to leave her house anymore, her window that faced a parking lot and other apartments was her only view. For the girl who grew up on a farm, that must have been a dismal arrangement. But Sara was blessed with generous and considerate friends who kept her view colorful with new plants and decorations each season. And so, even though she spent years without feeling grass under her feet or gazing at fields without a building in sight, Sara enjoyed and appreciated the little bit of the world and its beauty that her friends brought to her porch.

In honor of spring and seeds planted and the many ways God makes every season beautiful in its own way, I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Home Depot. That way you can pick out some flowers or seeds or pillows or flags or, I don’t know, ceramic frogs to bring a little more joy and spring to your life. (Or, if you find more joy in paint or light switches or plywood or extension cords, then go for that!)

Here’s how to enter: Use the Rafflecopter widget below to earn entries. A blog comment or a tweet will give you one chance to win this gift card, and proof of your purchase of Choose Joy will earn you five chances to win! A winner will be selected randomly after the giveaway closes at midnight on April 20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Planting seeds of joy works for me!

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