Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Joie De Vivre

My kids were recently complaining about something.  I don’t remember what, but I remember thinking, “Boy, I wish I could be a kid again.”  It was great being a kid.  I knew I was loved.  Things were taken care of for me.  I was fearless.  I was daring.  I had amazing imagination.  Life was larger than life.  I was so full of wonder for the world that I thought my heard would explode.  Everything was COOL.  And AWESOME.  And BIG and BRIGHT. The world through the eyes of a child is amazing.  My joie de vivre was huge.  Even during my hearing loss, I remember life being very vibrant.  I my poem, “On Deafness,” I call it a “life-vibrance, a hearing person would never presume.”

I have been ruminating a lot on how I would think and react as a child versus now as an adult.  I have wondered how to bring that child-like awe back into my world.  As an adult, I love that I am confident, capable and trustworthy.  I love that I have two children of my own to give them that same sense of “life-vibrance” that I had as a child.  However, I miss my imagination, fearless, daring and exuberance that I had as a kid.  Somewhere along the way, joie de vivre got buried in being an adult.
I want it back.  So I have set for myself a goal to find my inner child-like joie de vivre.  Thus far, I have loved it.  I have taken the time to play with my kids silly games.  I have had a water gun fight and a sword fight.  I have attempted water skiing (unsuccessfully) for the first time in 20+ years and loved that I gave it a try.  I have roasted s ‘mores over a fire. I have engaged in conversations with my child’s imaginary friend and laughed at my own folly.  And I have begun to think of what I would want to do creatively to nurture this side of me because it makes me smile.  This playing adds activity to my life that I did not have before and so I get more miles on my Christ Walk journey!  This activity lifts my heart.  We all feel more joy when we are feeling joy ourselves.  There is a saying that goes, “when momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy.”  Well, the true can be said “when momma is happy (or dad, or grandma, or sister or brother), then everyone is happy.”

We all need to find our child-like joie de vivre.  Jesus says that we need to be child like to enter the kingdom of God. (Mark 10-5).  This child-like hope and joy and trust opens our hearts to the love around us in the world and lets us share that same exuberance with those around us.  It allows us to trust and believe in the grace of God without exception.
What child-like activity would you try?  What activity would you like to try again that you have never done before.  Life is short.  Don’t live with regret that you did not give it a try.