- I have this terrible habit of misplacing things. I will pick up the nail clippers, with it completely in my head that I’m finally going to trim my nails now that I have a minute. Then I think, “Well, I’ll need the file too. Can’t have jagged edges.” I set off in search of my nail file. “I know it’s in this kitchen somewhere!” (Isn’t that where everyone keeps their nail file?) While in the kitchen, I see the creamer is still out on the counter. I pick up the bottle to place it in the refrigerator. While the refrigerator is open, I notice the cooler bag of my breast milk on the top shelf. Realizing I need to bag it up and freeze it before I forget again, I grab the cooler pack quickly. Not wanting to leave the dirty bottles to have remnants of milk dry inside, I decide to put them in the dishwasher immediately. When I open the dishwasher, I notice it’s full of clean dishes. I have to empty it before I can put the dirty bottles in there. So I put dishes away. Now that the dishwasher is empty, I might as well finish cleaning the kitchen. If I do it now, I won’t have to later. Halfway through rinsing plates, the baby wakes from her nap and starts to cry. I dry off my hands, and rush off to scoop her from her crib before her cries wake her two year old sister from her own nap. The baby is hungry, and I settle into the rocker to feed her. After she’s fed, I realize I better start thawing chicken for dinner. So glad I already cleaned out the sink! The two year old enters the room, and I decide to go ahead and fix her dinner. While she eats, I cut some potatoes to put in the oven. After I put the seasoned and foiled potato cubes in the oven, I figure I better give the two year old her bath. I hate waiting to the last minute, plus she’s got macaroni all over her face. I go ahead and bathe the baby too. Just as I’m putting pajamas on the kiddos, and putting the completed dinner on “warm,” my husband walks in the door. After too brief of a visit, the baby starts to whine and rub her eyes. It’s bedtime. As I rock my bundle to sleep, I stroke her little head. As I finger her tiny curl, I notice my finger nails. I really need to trim them! But where in the world are the nail clippers?!
- Sometimes the day can get so hectic, it’s insane. In the middle of all the busy chaos, you lose something. As you hustle and bustle, back and forth, here and there, you misplace your joy. You can’t see it anywhere. All you see is a huge “to-do” list that has yet to have a single thing crossed off of it. You don’t have peace, you have frantic tasks to complete. You don’t see joy, you see discontentment. You almost find your joy when you finally get that disgusting floor mopped, but then the crawling baby throw-ups and decides to finger paint with it, on your clean floor. Sometimes you can’t find your joy because your life in no way resembles what it once was. Once meticulous about everything, you watch in horror as the baby pulls out strictly alphabetized DVDs off the shelf, upsetting the ABC order. In the back of your mind, you may realize a beautifully categorized home isn’t true joy anyway. Simple annoyances may steal your joy into hiding. Like, why does egg always stick to the pan after being washed, like the dishwasher only cements it into place? Even present day conveniences seem intent on sneaking away with your joy. Why do they jump on the bed when it’s made? Why does the husband seem determined to squirrel away balled up, dirty socks throughout the house? Why does the phone ring when babies sleep?
- I’m of the opinion that we can find our joy. It’s there to be found. It’s simply a matter of perception. How do you see the chaos, turmoil, or busyness that works so hard to shield your joy from your sight? I think we can make a pledge to find our joy, to see it shine through every situation. Earlier today, the two year old wanted to swim, but I wouldn’t let her. I couldn’t watch her at the time, and told her to play in the sprinkler instead. She commented, later, about the sprinkler, “I don’t like it, but when I’m in it, I love it!” The sprinkler wasn’t her first choice, she wasn’t even particularly fond of it, but loved it in the midst of the spray. Do you hate your job? Sometimes people will say, “at least you have a job!” That comment may not always bring you the joy. Instead, look at it this way. God has you there for a reason right now. I once was forced to take a 4 hour break during the day at work (in the restaurant business) because it was slow. I had a bill due and really wanted my hours. I wasn’t happy, but spent my break at a park by the river. While there, I came across a girl and struck up a conversation after the Lord’s urging. It so happens that she was intent on jumping over a rail onto the rocks below, along the river that day. I came along right when she needed someone to talk to. You never know when or where God can use you. But He can’t use you if you’re too busy grumbling. Find your joy as you wait on His leading. See each situation as the joy it truly is. When you’re trudging through the house with clothes in your hand to put on your child after they peed on the first set, and you find them outside standing on a upside down tricycle, with a plastic golf club in their hand, naked as the day they were born, smile. That’s joy in disguise. When there’s a cup of water spilled on the floor, wipe it up, and you can feel accomplished saying you mopped today. That’s joy in hiding. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Hold it tightly, and don’t let it out of your sight. A wonderful thing happens as you view each moment with joy. You realize that it truly is joyful, even the moments you didn’t think you could count as such.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So, if you can get past the rush, the schedules, the frustrations, the inconveniences, the disappointments, and find your joy, you won’t regret it. As you view your life with joy and see the gifts, you will discover you are indeed blessed, and open the floodgates for more of Him.
And, if you were wondering, the nail clippers were in the refrigerator beside the creamer.
That is all 🙂