Saturday, February 22, 2014

Take the Joy Dare #4&5

I forgot to do this last week, though I can't for the life of me remember why. I struggle to remember yesterday or, well, sometimes even just this morning, much less a whole week ago! Ha, which is why I write it down, numbering the joys so they don't slip away. Here are a few from the past two weeks:

1) Illness-free while my husband was gone

Ever do that anti-prayer thing? Where the thing topping your list is really a not-thing, an absence of a thing? My husband went out of town for a conference and my number one prayer: please, Lord, let us all stay healthy. Him, to present at the conference, me and the kids to, well, spare my sanity and time and sleep and efforts. We did, all of us! Which is a great blessing indeed. But I can feel my faith pushing me to higher heights, ones that say "thy will be done" instead of "please, Lord, anything but that"... one day.

2) Downton Abbey -- my daughter -- bedtime

What do all these things have in common? That day's prompt: laughter. Laughter is vital in our home; we, all of us, languish without it. That particular day I caught up on the most recent Downton Abbey (well, recent for those of us in the US) and of course, laughed with every line Maggie Smith uttered. Hilarious! My daughter spent much of the day giggling at her big brother who couldn't get enough of her "oxygenated grace" as Ann would say. And bedtime? One of my favorite times of every single day is listening to my husband read my son's favorite book (Where's My Cow? if you're interested -- highly recommend!). They both laugh and laugh and it brings me joy on so many levels.

3) Power after 18+ inches of snow

This was after the big snowstorm, and all I could think every time my heat clicked on or I took something out of the oven or I read my book at bedtime was "power" -- we have power, praise the Lord!

4) Growing patience

It's weird to feel yourself growing, physically (hello, preggo belly!) but even more spiritually/emotionally. Probably the number one most important used-every-day fruits of the Spirit I need is patience. (Obviously, we all need them all, but my stage of life requires a healthier serving of this one.) I have never been accused of being patient, but slowly, I am starting to see my rope lengthen. Partly, I think it's because I've accepted some of my limits and I keep my eye on them. But I know in part it is a work of the Spirit, filling me with the Word and growing my heart toward others. I'm learning to be "quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" (James 1:19). It hasn't happened over night but over the long run, I can look back and see myself changing. What hope lies there!

5) My grocery list

Next time you make your grocery list, think about what it says of God. You need bread and milk and how did we go through all that peanut butter? You write it down, go to the store, pick it out. Maybe you even price compare and use coupons. You go to the register, let the clerk ring it all up (or if you're Type A about bagging like me, you do it yourself), and then you pay. You walk to your car, load everything up, and go on your way, simple as that. All of these steps? They are blessings. From your access to the store, to the products they carry, to the ability to choose your sustenance, to the friendly (or not so friendly) clerk there to ring it up (or for me, the super nice lady who always helps me to my car when I have both kids with me), to the money to pay for it all, to the car to get you home and the gas to fuel the car. Such a simple thing, going to the grocery store, but it is full -- FULL -- of God. Of His love and care for you. Be so grateful! So, so grateful!

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