I am sitting on my porch this afternoon reveling in a great lunch I just had with my best friend. Talk was easy. Laughter abounded. We caught up, sought advice, shared worries, encouraged each other in ministry, and then off she went. And I just decided that the day was so good, and the breeze was so nice that I should finish my day's work right here. The birds are chirping, and I can hear kids playing next door. I have work that I love to do and I feel so grateful in my spirit.

This all made me  want to encourage you to seek out the simple things in life that fill up your soul. For, when we spend time engaging in good actions that bring our hearts joy, the Scriptures tell us that God gives us strength.

In Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah is speaking to the people of Israel, many of whom had been crying as they'd finally listened to the reading of the Scriptures after their return from exile, and he said to them:

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

I remember reading that one of the best protections against sin is allowing yourself to engage in the things in life that bring you happiness and joy. And I don't mean things like watching tv, playing computer games or shopping .... I mean deeper, truer, better things than these.

What good activities bring your soul joy?

What people do you love spending time with because they bring out the best in you?

How do you most love to immerse yourself in God's good creation?

Whose words do you love to read because they inspire you?

What do you love to do that truly refreshes you?

Do. These. Things.

And remember that these good things, these gifts, come from God. And God will fill you with His joy ... and you will find yourself strengthened. God is so good to us.