Archive for May, 2011

Finding the Joy

God’s been working on me lately.  Beginning with my daughter saying to me, “Mom, I know. You’re always overwhelmed,”  I’ve had a lot of thoughts going through my head.

One of them goes back to a personal mission statement I saw a few months ago that really resonated with me.  I even put it in a box at the top of the daily agenda I print for myself.

To bring glory to God

To bless and encourage others

To find peace and joy through Him in all things

 I also started to read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, which talks about a similar theme – finding God’s gifts to us in the everyday.

What’s about to come next is a bit embarrassing.  I can’t quite believe I’m going to share this picture with you, but it was such a perfect illustration of what God’s been pointing me toward that I must.

This is a picture of my kitchen table when I got home late last night:

Let me say that I LOVE my husband.  He is a wonderful man, gifted in many things.  Clearing off the kitchen table is not always one of them.  Devouring every page of the newspaper is.

So on a day where I was rushing around and didn’t quite get my chores done during the day and where he was low on sleep and was still asleep in our child’s bed when I got home after 10:30, this was the scene of my kitchen table.

I’ll be honest – typically the sight of dirty dishes, things that belong in the dishwasher, and basically utter chaos on my table would get me a bit frustrated.  Maybe a bit bitter.

And yet in the middle of this table, there stood 2 vases of lilacs.  My kitchen smelled heavenly.  The flowers were beautifully arranged in the vases my children had painted for Mother’s Day – his idea.  I breathed in the smell.  I wondered at each small stalk of flowers beautifully created by a loving God who created them just so we could enjoy them.  I imagined the broad smiles on my children’s faces as they picked them for me, and the shrieks and giggles as the dog no doubt checked out what they were doing.

Joy.  In the midst of the mess.  Choosing to see it – to focus on this small gift.

   

(Sorry for the photo quality – it was late, dark, and I used my phone.)

And by taking those few moments to embrace that joy, I didn’t even mind cleaning up the table.  I smiled the whole way through, and trust me – it’s not something I usually smile about!

The reality is that He longs to bring us such moments of joy over and over every day.  But we have to choose to look for them and to savor them in the midst of whatever mess or busyness or funk we find ourselves in.

I’m grateful that He provided this tangible picture of the lesson.

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