Blog-tember Challenge Day 7: 5 things that make you joyful

I realize I am four days behind. Oh well; I am just picking ones I like. I may or may not come back to the ones I missed. I have just been enjoying writing lately. And with my new goal of no judgement, I think I am doing a good job.

Choosing only 5 things that bring me joy will be pretty hard.

My top joy-bringers (I am sorry that I cheated a little bit by combining a few things…) are:

  1. Travel/Culture: Ever since the trips we took as children to the Appalachian Mountains, the West Coast and New York City, I have loved seeing how other people live their lives. I was blessed to take a life changing study-abroad trip to Guatemala in college where I fell in the love with the beauty and simplicity of the Mayan culture. Another one of my favorite trips was to Arches National Park in Utah with my parents in 2009. This is combined with my love of Nature. I am not a science person, so I don’t know all the correct terms, but it was phenomenal to see how God allowed erosion to take its toll over time leaving us the most beautiful natural landscapes in these arches. Plus, I loved the dry heat and desert climate, the luscious blue of sky and the hummingbirds darting about outside the cabin we stayed at.
  2. Nature: This is where I am most healed. Right now I am sitting, delighted, with wind whipping through tree branches through the open window, light pouring through shadowy leaves on my carpet and clothes. Down below is my deck and backyard where I just got my squirrel barrier set up above my feeder so as to encourage the chickadees, nuthatches and cardinals to come and stay awhile. (I had to move it further from the trunk because those pesky squirrels were still able to jump to it!) Anyone who knows me knows how childlike I get in nature-especially when it comes to birds and cloud-filled skies! Nature is at rest and that’s where I want to be.
  3. Live Music-the last picture above is the Piano Guys live in concert. I know it is not a great pic, but that was one of my favorite concerts. (It was my 3rd or 4th date with Nathan 2 years ago!) I am a fan of all kinds of music, but choral and instrumental music-especially live- really fill me with the kind of peace I cannot describe. I am grateful beyond words for the beauty and exquisiteness of music. Also PandoraOne. I recently tried to add another station and was met with the Error Message: “You are not allowed to add over 100 stations.” Ha ha. I am a little obsessed; this just goes to show the variety of music I enjoy. My favorite station right now is “Alexandre Desplat” who is a film musician and did Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-part 2, Argo, Filomena, and The Imitation Game among many others.
  4. Loved Ones. Some say I don’t laugh enough. They’re right. The things I laugh the most at are people. No, I laugh with them. They are the people closest to me. Above, you will see a group of the Bettgers (my dad’s side) outside the Whirlyball court in Maple Grove MN. This was in the spring of 2015 and it was a blast!!! If you’ve never played Whirlyball, it’s hilarious! And we laughed a ton. Then there’s my hubby. He’s the strangest yet most loveable person ever. I don’t have to fake laugh at my husband’s comments and jokes (like they talk about in the media). I actually think he is hilarious! Above we are being goofy at an airport on our way to NY last Christmas. Also, pictured is me with my oldest bro Nate, sis-in-law Kat, and 2 nephews, Owen and Brendan at their old house in Oshkosh, WI. I am so blessed to have an amazing family!!!!!
  5. Memories. What can I say? I am so nostalgic. Probably to a fault. Remembering the past and all the good times brings me so much joy. My favorite creative writing to do and books to read are nonfiction and memoir. And my dream is to be a memoir author. I love going through old letters and memorabilia. In fact, my “Survival Box” (for when I am so overloaded with stress I have nowhere to turn) is filled with this kind of stuff. Above are some memory jars that I made for my family one Christmas out of decoupage glue and scrapbooking materials. Inside the jars, I put strips of paper-30, I believe (one for each day of the month)-with memories and quotes typed up and catered to each person, my mom, dad, and brothers. It was a lot of work, but so fun and cathartic. I was told it was a blessing and a meaningful gift.

What are your 5 joy-givers????



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