The Place of Joy

As you read this post, perhaps your turkey is roasting in the oven. Maybe you just finished crimping the edges on your grandma’s apple pie. Perhaps you’ll whip potatoes into pillow-y clouds just before guests arrive.

Today our bustle embodies all the feelings of fall. Our full schedules and full tables leave us feeling festive and sometimes a little frazzled too. Amidst all the gatherings and baked goods, it’s easy to forget what truly gives us joy.

When life turns busy and my turkey nearly burns, I start scrambling from one thing to the next—often shuffling others out of the kitchen and shutting them out of my schedule. Without even realizing it, I turn life into a list and stop listening and loving like I really long to do.

Then I sit down at the table. Somehow passing the potatoes, listening to old stories, and laughing until our sides hurt settles the soul.

Earlier this fall I watched as my husband’s linebackers crowded around a table, told tales about their football feats, mimicked friends and favorite coaches, and laughed so hard they cried. The adults watched from another nearby table and snickered too.

A few days later, I packed into a room dotted with eight-foot rounds. I hugged old friends, celebrated their successes, and applauded a ministry that really makes a difference. The annual fundraiser was more than a meal and token message. It was filled with meaning as I met and mingled with other women who love to serve and see each other succeed. 

Amidst a hectic fall, these brief moments remind me to slow down. They call me back to the people and places that matter. And they invite joy into the busyness.

Sometimes we get so focused on perfect pies and pretty place settings that we forget about the people sitting around us. At least I know I do. But may today be different.

May we take time to step out of the kitchen, set aside our schedule, and sit with the friends that know us so well and yet still love us and make us laugh. May we savor the stories and smells that rise from our tables, and may we lean in and listen a little more today.

Where do you find joy? 

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.