In an effort to be totally transparent, I must admit… This blog is as much to give me a kick in the pants as it is intended to encourage you! Just sayin'…
Is your heart joyful, today?
Do you hesitate to even consider that question?
I get it! It’s been an incredibly long winter and for our friends in the Northeast winter isn’t even over yet.
We’ve had more than our fair share of days cooped up inside. It’s been too cold, too wet, too dreary, too… You name it!
It’s so easy when our days are long and the weather is gloomy to bring that same type of gloomy attitude into our parenting. It’s tempting to allow our mood, our temper, and our disposition to be shaped by the outward circumstances we are facing.
It’s natural to feel a little dumpy, dress a little frumpy, and react a little grumpy when the sky is gray for One.More.Day.
And when we’re dumpy, frumpy, and grumpy, it’s no surprise that the rest of our family feels exactly the same way. We’re all just tired, and tense, and without any strength.
However, the dumpy, frumpy, grumpys don’t have to be the inevitable result of our dismal outward circumstances. In fact, regardless of how gray the day, we can bring the sunshine of joy into our homes. May I say it more strongly… We must bring the sunshine of joy into our homes!
According to Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
I wish that verse had some bailout options to pamper my dumpy, frumpy, grumpy mood. I wish it provided some wiggle room, but it just doesn’t. It doesn’t say:
When it’s sunny… the joy of the Lord is your strength.
When the kids can get outside… the joy of the Lord is your strength.
When I feel bright, and perky, and full of energy… the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Hmmm…Perky? I'm actually not sure that's every happened!)
Nope, it’s pretty straightforward. Regardless of my circumstances,regardless of the weather, or my mood, or the condition of my hair… If I want strength in my parenting, my marriage, my daily duties, and all my relationships, I’m going to have to choose joy.
I’ve spent months studying what the Bible says about joy.
It’s a relief to know that my joy isn’t based at all on my circumstances, (that’s happiness… a wholly different thing). No, my joy is based on my settled situation of salvation. My joy is based solely on my relationship with Christ and because of the permanence of that relationship… Joy is always available.
Joy can change the whole atmosphere of a home. When just one member of the family, (tag mom… you’re it) chooses to cling tightly to joy, that joy will have an infectious reaction in the lives of the rest of that family.
Our joy reminds everyone that God is on the throne. Regardless of what’s going on outside, the “happenings” in our heart can be joyful. Our joy is evidence that the Christian life is awesome, even when our circumstances stink!
When our children see that we are joyful, despite the fact that we’ve been cooped up for days, they’ll see that Christ really does make a difference in our hearts.
When our children see that we are joyful, despite another day of gray and gloomy weather, they’ll see that Christ really can change our attitude from woe-is-me to Great is He.
When our children see that we are joyful, in spite of our circumstances, not because of our circumstances, they’ll begin to understand where true joy originates… In a relationship with Christ; not the circumstances of the day.
A home filled with joy points clearly to our joyful Creator. A joyful home will woo and win our children’s hearts, while a joyless home will repel and drive them away.
So, how will you cling to joy, today? Will you sing songs of praise? Will you record blessings? Will you search the scripture for eternal words of life? Will you look for beauty in the grayness and praise the One who created that beauty?
Will you be the Joy-bearer who points her family to the only source of Joy?
That joy that comes from the Lord will strengthen you as you face your day.
It will turn your dumpy, frumpy, grumpiness into Christ-focused, God-honoring, family-loving delight!
I’m praying that we’d all “joyfully” find our strength in Jesus, today!