RSVP’s. Some say they are out of date. Not many people respond anymore. Most people keep their options open and remain flexible instead of committing. Why is that?
When I was 22 years old, I had one child and was pregnant with my second. An invitation came for a ladies’ luncheon at our church. At 22, I still felt like a kid! It seemed like all those women were way more put together than I was. (After all, perception is reality, even it isn’t the truth!)
After serious deliberation, I decided to be brave and accept the invitation. I was nervous, but I have always been one to lean into challenges more than shy away from them. So, a ladies’ luncheon was my next giant to conquer.
On the morning of the luncheon day, my daughter woke up with fever and a horrible sore throat. She was crying and only wanted me to hold her…which was perfectly fine with me.
I was concerned, had a call in to the doctor, cancelled the babysitter, and then called the hostess and let her know I would not be able to make the luncheon after all. What happened after that I still remember 40 years later!
I was given a lecture on how she had set her table the night before, had printed name plates for each table guest, and to remove mine would leave the table with uneven numbers for the activity she had planned. I was told I should follow through on my word because “that is what women who can be trusted do.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but at that moment I thought the last person I would be tempted to trust would be someone who put an uneven number of ladies at a table above their sick, hurting, and scared child. I stood my ground, expressed my regrets, but let her know I would be taking care of my daughter instead of attending the luncheon. To which she then informed me that she would be sure I didn’t receive an invitation to any others ladies’ luncheons.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the importance of giving courtesy to the host of an event so they can plan properly. But life happens! Every day! And we can’t always plan for it.
Even after all these years, I still have some angst with RSVP’s because of that encounter. And I absolutely cringe when I have said “yes” and something happens that prevents that. Sometimes not responding just seems the better option.
But not with joy!
Joy needs our RSVP!
Could it be that our lives are so full of have-to’s that when we have an option to actually
want-to, we make extra sure before we lock ourselves in? I mean, what if we don’t want-to on the day of the event? Then we have committed ourselves to something that has now become another have-to! Bottom line? Our lives are way too busy and we sometimes guard against the very things that could bring us joy.
Our capacity for joy is endless, but we must say yes to growing that capacity. It’s ok to say yes, then not show up. Unlike my ladies’ luncheon, you will always be invited back. Why? Because the invitation itself comes from you.
You get to choose joy.
We get to choose joy!
And when we wake up and say “yes” as the day begins, we start to see the joy opportunities showing up everywhere!
Joy is in the hugs, and visits, and smiles of everyday life. So why do some feel it when others don’t? Because…
To experience joy, you must be fully present.
Remember all the “have-to’s” that keep us so busy?
That busyness keeps us from being present to the joy opportunities.
We give rushed hugs so we can get on with our tasks. We don’t notice the smiles of the stranger… or the friend. And who has time to visit?
Joy requires an RSVP to be fully present. And that presence, full and undistracted, begins to resonate and wake up the places inside that have gone to sleep.
Joy wakes up our soul.
It releases an energy that reminds us what we have been missing.
Joy shows us that busyness is not where the good life happens.
The good life happens in the moments that we say yes to the hugs, smiles, and visits that connect our hearts to those who are glad we are there.
Science now shows us that joy even boosts our immune system, fights stress and pain, and supports longevity!
Give joy a try! Go ahead and RSVP. MORE JOY is my wish for you in 2024!
Brenda is a believer in impossible possibilities. In brokenness becoming beautiful. In justice and mercy and honor and power – with love perfecting them all. She is a wife, mom, mimi, daughter, and friend who also enjoys speaking, writing, and coaching.