"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Heart full of JOY

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

I must confess that I have been very tempted to adopt the three D's over the last week ... disappointment, despair, and discouragement. Okay... let's be honest maybe for longer then the past week. :) Not for any catastrophic reason. Just feeling the weight of some hard parenting/schooling days, a traveling husband, holiday hustle and bustle and perhaps an awareness my own selfishness and sin.

After receiving a friends Christmas card which included a verse and short paragraph, I was really challenged in a good way. My brain was swirling with thoughts. Last night before bed, it occurred to me that often times I'm going to have to look for joy in life. I think because of how I'm wired it's not going to be overly obvious to me. (I tend to be drawn to thinking of the little things that irk me or that I can whine about.) As I laid my head on my pillow and prayed, I prayed that God would help me to see blessings and experience joy the next day. When I awoke this morning, I prayed again for patience with the boys and eyes to see joy throughout the day.

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." Psalm 100:1-2

The day was not perfect (and oh how I falsely worship the idea of perfect and smooth days), but in spite of that I was truly filled with joy at certain moments today. It almost makes it better that the day wasn't perfect and that God enabled me to see those special moments anyway!

Here are a few joy filled moments from today:
1) A happy 2nd grader
2) Dancing to Tchaikovsky Russian Dance from the Nutcracker with the boys. (10 times on repeat)
3) Listening to Ethan read me a book (all while he is wiggling all over the place). We ended up finishing the book both of us on our bellies under the coffee table with no interruption to the reading in between. Wish I had that on video camera!
4) One son nibbling his carrots at lunch until they resembled lincoln logs and then stacking them up. (We discourage playing with food at meals, but for some reason this really made me smile. It was quite inventive.)
5) Aaron calling Daddy on his trip and asking if they could wrestle when he returned.
6) Deep belly laughs.
7) Making plans for a special Christmas gift for Darin that I think he'll be really excited about. Shh...
8) Planning out one sewing project for this holiday season and buying the materials. I've had to really scale back on sewing projects this year and have missed it greatly. So excited for this one project.
9) Extended book reading time with the boys at bedtime followed by...
10) Singing Christmas hymns together and early lights out!

God doesn't always answer my prayers in obvious ways or in my timing, but today He did and I'm thankful. Joy to the world, the Lord is come! I pray that no matter what the circumstances, my eyes are opened to see His goodness all around me.

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