I’ve been channeling my inner Anne Shirley and dramatically wallowing in the pits of despair lately. The insurance premium hike, the miserable weather, the car taxes coming due, being practically crippled by my own girth as I draw near to delivery; the first few weeks of January 2014 have been an epic pity party. I’ve found myself so far down in the dumps that my prayer life has begun to wither and I almost gladly missed church this past Sunday when my daughter had a fever. Which inevitably puts me in a far worse mood for the remainder of a Sunday then if I’d dragged my behemoth back side into a pew. It’s so easy to give in to self pity, world weariness and indulging yourself when things aren’t all roses. Which brings me to this morning when I decided to open the daily devotional I hadn’t picked up lately and see that the last few days entries were all focused on Joy. I almost slammed the book closed. How dare it?! Joy? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I am having a pity party here, the cheese dip is fantastic and now Joy wants to crash and pop all the balloons?! But I read on anyway. A few excerpts:
“God, grant me the strength and grace to be gentle and joyful in all I say and do today” Ouch.
“It’s sometimes awfully easy to focus on here and now at the expense of my spiritual growth” Yea, that stung.
“Give me the grace to count my blessings instead of my crosses, my gains instead of my losses…” There we go, a little salt on that wound.
The devotional is set up in a simple “Think, Pray, Act” format and one of the actions it suggested was to write a list of the things that bring you joy and ways you can bring joy to others. I am kicking and stomping at this point because writing a list of grievances is a heck of a lot easier and much more fun. After reading this quote from St. Augustine; “When many men rejoice together, there is a richer joy in each individual, since they enkindle themselves and they inflame one another.” I have decided to start my list here in hopes it may help someone else out of the doldrums. If you’re so inclined I’d love to see some of your joys in the comments.
My 5 year olds developing sense of humor
the scent of snuggle fabric softener
sun peeking out from behind the clouds
when my husband makes dinner
looking at my family and knowing that very soon we’ll have a brand new person in our home
driving down the street imagining what it will look like when everything is green again
anticipating our garden
hearing my daughters be kind to one another, however rare the occasion.