Monday, March 24, 2014
Five Minute Friday: Joy
Just jumping right into Five Minute Friday today (on Monday) because sometimes even when you say you are going to take a blogging break, then you just find the time to write... and you can't stop at five minutes! ;)
I hear the word "Joy" and I think of a little song I remember singing growing up, "there is joy in serving Jesus..."
When I became a mom four times over in less than five years, I kinda forgot how to serve with joy. Every need, every cry, every sickness began to wear on me and sap me of any joy that might have been there ... because having kids made me see how selfish I really am. It's a learning process and it's taking me a whole lot longer than I wanted to find the joy in serving my family, in responding right to interruptions and seeing them as opportunities, in finding joy in the moments of sheer exhaustion.
While I haven't shared my whole story, if you know me at all you might know that I've struggled to find the joy in mothering. It's been a process of two steps forward, two steps back and it's easy to let the devil have the victory and focus on each step backwards...
But just this week I had a step forward moment and God rewarded me liberally and it filled my heart with joy. Thanks for grace as I focus on the step in the right direction and share my little story.
Backstory: I do NOT like to have my sleep interrupted. Once I was done nursing my babies, I was done responding to middle of the night cries. My brain, once woken, couldn't shut back down and it was easier to ignore the cries than deal with sleepless nights. Thankfully, God gave me kids that sleep really well and a husband that responds, helps kids out, and is snoring again less then 60 seconds later. (My kids even go to his side of the bed now if they need something)
My 8 YO has been fighting a cold/sinus thing all week that was thankfully responding well to sudafed and tylenol. But one night I forgot to give her medicine before bed and somewhere around 2:30 I heard her get up, go to the bathroom and return to bed all without bothering me ... and then I heard her blowing and blowing and blowing, and the battle in my mind began.
My five minutes are well over so I'll skip the long battle because God gave me the victory. That is the only way I would have gotten out of bed. I was so tired, I could only open one eye. I checked on her and told her we should do medicine and stumbled my way to the kitchen. She climbed out of bedand followed me, so I hardly had to do any work. She took her medicine, drank some water and then said "I'm sorry, mommy." and I curiously asked, "For what?!" She hugged me and said, "For waking you up."
And in that moment my heart broke a little bit, but also healed together with a flood of joy that I made the right choice to help my little girl.
Yes, it did take me over an hour to fall back asleep and yes, the rest of the night was restless and I woke up feeling exhausted ... but my girls extended grace for every outburst I had as they readied for school and then I read some of the following verses in my quiet time...
John 15:12-13 "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Ephesians 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
Galatians 5:13b "...by love serve one another."
Part of life is fighting for joy and I do that by counting the gifts that God gives me every day (or at least every day that I remember)...
* baby steps in success
* unconditional love from my kids
* hugs in the middle of the night
* God's daily grace
* writing without worrying if it's just right
* breaking the time limit for 5 minute Friday ;)
so I'm also linking up with Ann Voskamp on Multitudes on Monday because I need to constantly fight for joy!