This is My Joy: Books, a Nook, and Dates With My Two Year Old

I was away from my kids for the beginning of this week and missed them terribly. That’s the funny thing about motherhood. Your kids might drive you crazy when you’re with them, but given enough time and distance and all you’ll remember is their sweetness (mostly).

Things have been tough in our house for a myriad of ways, just like I’m sure things get tough for you sometimes too. I’ve been letting these tough things really get the best of me lately. But today I woke up determined to not let unmet expectations, uncertainty, or any of life’s other little nuisances steal my joy. 

I really, really believe there is joy to be found in every day, in every situation. It can be seemingly hard to find it, though, can’t it? For me, I think the biggest cause of this is the fact that it’s so much easier to feeeeel. Sure, there is joy to be found in any situation, but isn’t it easier to just let the emotions of whatever you’re facing just wash over you and – quite possibly – pull you under? Looking for the joy, finding the joy, claiming the joy, is a whole different ballgame.

I wrote a post recently about getting comfortable with sadness, and I still stand by what I wrote. But I think there is a flip side. While we don’t need to always work our way out of a funk, or try to fix every situation, that doesn’t mean wallowing is the best approach either.

I’m wondering – maybe there is a place in between sadness and happiness? A place called joy? A place where you rest in the reality of hard situations, knowing that nothing needs to be fixed or changed, but where you none-the-less claim a joy you don’t quite feel?

I have Romans 15:13 written on my kitchen chalkboard right now. It says, “May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with HOPE.”

That verse doesn’t talk about how to get rid of your tough situation. It doesn’t talk about what you need to DO in tough times. It doesn’t tell you how to stop feeling. It simply says that God has hope, and he can give it to you.

And, that hope can fill you with joy and peace. It doesn’t say, “except in tough times…” There is no caveat. There are no exceptions.

So today, I turned my eyes away from the things that were making me sad because, I’ve acknowledged them enough. I’ve made friends with the sadness. But I can’t let the sadness pull me down anymore. I have another option. A different option. A better option. I choose, joy.

Today, this is my joy:

My big boy crawling up on the couch to read with me...
My big boy crawling up on the couch to read with me…
...and then this little boy crawling up to read with me once his big brother moved on to other things.
…and then this little boy crawling up to read with me once his big brother moved on to other things.
The view from this window, in this room, on this couch.
The view from this window, in this room, on this couch.
This nook. Making all my family-breakfast dreams come true.
This nook. Making all my family-breakfast dreams come true.
A much needed date with this boy, my baby, who doesn't look like a baby any more.
A much needed date with this boy, my baby, who doesn’t look like a baby any more.
And this smile. Always. This. Smile.
And this smile. Always. This. Smile.

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