Children, Family, Giving Thanks, Motherhood, Thanksgiving

Cheap Joy

April 16, 2012

We live delightfully close to one of the most amazing Zoo’s in the country. By the time we get parked and through the gates the children, positively wound like springs, burst down the path with leaps of energy and laughter. The weather accommodates, or perhaps encourages our moods, with the brilliance of sunshine and cool breezes. The sky wears brilliant azure with no clouds anywhere for miles.

I see the carousel and I think, this time, we might ride. We never do, but today, it just seems wrong not to.

It’s only $1 to ride. Even in this stumbling economy it’s easy to justify the expense of a few turns around on the carousel. Two of my four have never ridden one before.

I imagine to my littlest one, the horses look so monstrously huge. The ones baring their teeth for the run, slightly off-putting. But the colors, the lights, the music–it all draws them in, bees to honey, kids to candy, and many other cliches come to mind.

They saddle up and the slow start eases them in, the joy builds with the gaining momentum.

The slow bob of the racers, a heightened delight for the children. From where I sit I can’t see their faces, but I hear their squeals, and see their smiling postures.

Sometimes joy comes cheap, but builds a memory whose value lasts a lifetime. Can you really even measure the long term value of gifts that come easy? Aren’t the hard thanksgivings worth more? Maybe sometimes. But God knows we occasionally need a few easy thanksgivings tossed in amid the hard ones we pick away at, miners mining this rock for diamonds.

We’ve been practicing this Eucharisteo now for over a year. Life has been transformed. Some gifts, we’ve dug out, through filth and sorrow, we’ve grabbed hold with white-knuckles and held on fast. Others have tumbled out unexpectedly, right onto our toes, we live between the seasons of abundance, and famine.

Sometimes we forget that we can all afford joy.


The blur of light and color of this spinning carousel serve as a mirror to my days. We ride the turning wheel with our ups and downs and some days the horses appear scary, angry even–the lights and shadows blot out the beauty of the experience. We forget that this ride is beautiful.

We forget how to sit back and take it all in.

Children know how to live life. It’s the adults that often forget the thrill of simple pleasures. Kids know how to savour the licks from the bowl, how to play carefree in the yard.

These four provide me daily lessons on cheap joy. 



Continuing on, beyond 1000 Gifts:
1068. A morning at the Zoo with friends
1069. Spring weather, the ugly storms that cut away to clear skies and warm temperatures
1070. Plans slowly unfolding
1071. Family
1072. New dresses
1073. Laughing with friends
1074. The grace of answered prayers
1075. Sunday dinner, evening play in the yard
1076. The hard waiting, time for prayer in uncertainty.
1077. Being able to trust you, Lord. Whatever you give is good
1078. Cheap joy ;)


Joining the community of friends and Ann in giving thanks for all things. Won’t you join in the praise?


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  • Wild Optimist

    Hi Kris,
    Loved “Cheap Joy” and catching up with you.  It was a little eye candy for this Monday morning- thank you!  Hope you have a lovely week.

    • alwaysalleluia

      So nice to hear from you again, my friend. Praying you are well and enjoying Gods sweet blessings. Thank you for taking the time to read and say hi here today! You bless me!

  • Kerri Smith

    what a beautiful day with your littles…enjoying time together. it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to find joy, to see joy, to live joy! have a blessed week!

    • alwaysalleluia

      Yes! How true this is! Thank you Kerri ;) God bless you, friend.

  • Ro elliott

    this is a sweet post…I love the pictures and yes…how counting lets us find “cheap joy”…blessings~

    • alwaysalleluia

      ;) God bless you, my friend!

  • Jana | Grace for My Mess

    “Sometimes we forget that we can all afford joy.” Yes, and amen. So grateful to share joy (and occasional sorrows) with you, my friend. 

    I love watching your sweet kids grow up through each beautiful blog post! Love you much! XOXO

    • alwaysalleluia

      I love sharing this journey with you! I am better for knowing you, as you bless me so much! Thankful for you, for your honest heart and sweet sisterhood. Xo

  • Michele-Lyn Ault

    I read through this smiling the whole way… What fun! What joy! What blessings! 

    You are so right… sometimes we have to unearth those gifts, finding beauty in the midst of the ugly. I am so glad I am on this journey with you… only by His grace.

    You are a good mama… and a beautiful soul. Blessings to you today, friend, and thank you for sharing. 

    • alwaysalleluia

      Thank you, sweet friend. It was a lovely day, overflowing with gifts. God bless you as you keep counting. Such fabulous grace around every bend! ;)

  • Christine- Fruit in Season

    We’ll have to go experience that joy together next time!  Love that place.  :)

    • alwaysalleluia

      Yes!! Let’s plan it! :)

  • Craig

    “Sometimes joy comes cheap, but builds a memory whose value lasts a lifetime.” as I read this I pictured you running around the carousel, catching all the different angles of your babies, listening to their laughter, smiling yourself, and being happy that you spent a little bit of money for the “cheap” joy. One of the great blessings of my life has been this counting of thank you’s. I consider you a blessing from this past year as well Krissie. Oh, and obviously my favorite from your list of thank you’s – the last one :-). God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

    • alwaysalleluia

      Thanks Craig. I have appreciated yr comments and support and encouragement over the last year. Discovering your words and seeing Christ through your writing has blessed me. Praying all s well in your world. I hope you are encouraged and joyful in the wake of Resurrction Sunday– praying you live the peace of it daily! God bless you!

  • Tammy

    Your writing is absolutely beautiful!!

    • alwaysalleluia

      To God be the glory. So thankful you found something you enjoyed here. Your kind words encourage me so…

  • Barbie

    The Merry-Go-Round brought me lots of cheap joy as a child.  They had little ones outside stores when I was growing up and my dad would always put a quarter in so I could ride!