Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Choose joy!

James 1: 2
" Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, "

So, kids...God love them, because quite frankly, Lord, sometimes they are soooo trying!!!  I love ALL of my children so much. I know they don't truly grasp that. Sometimes I hear how much I favor one over the other, or if I have to discipline one of them, they know I absolutely couldn't love them. If I did love them, they would have the latest and greatest in technology or I'd let them go there or let them read that, or let them wear something completely inappropriate. Apparently, according to my children, I am the only parent in the world that has expectations of any kind. Their friends don't have to walk the dog, or clean their rooms or pick up anything. And...they also get pretty much everything they want. Too bad, so sad! Suck it up sister (brother, whatever). Life doesn't work that way.

 If I could, my children would each have my undivided attention all the time, their rooms would be something out of the pages of a magazine, they would have a driver to take them where they needed to go and pick them up precisely when they wanted to leave. They would have unlimited healthy, delicious snacks in the pantry and refrigerator whenever they wanted them, and we would dine on french fries and hamburgers (or whatever delicious meal they desire), expertly prepared by our live-in chef every night. We'd have a weight room and a gymnastics room with a trampoline, a built in pool with a lifeguard (his name would be Chris Evans and...I digress...). You get the picture.

I can't give my children those things. As much as I love each one of them, and as hard as my husband and I work, we will probably never be able to provide such luxuries. What I can give them is my unconditional love (sometimes it feels like unrequited love), a meal to eat, and a bed to sleep in. I only discipline them so that they know right from wrong, what is expected of  their behavior and attitudes,and  how to respect and honor others. Most importantly, I pray for them. I pray for their relationship's with God, that they rely on Him and learn the importance of faith and forgiveness, of hope and peace, and of true joy. Lord, today, I am so thankful for my children, even on the tough days, and I pray that they take the time to look beyond their daily trials and disappointments (in me, in their dad, in themselves, etc...) and look for the beauty, and feel the joy that is around them, that they can feel peace and contentment even in the storms.

Here are some pics of my kiddos over the last few days, even when they complained that their lives were abysmal and bleak, they seemed to be missing some of the moments when I saw joy!

Here we are on the way to get our brakes fixed at our friends house. No one wanted to go!
I caught this moment of my girls listening to Barney the dinosaur singing Christmas songs (yes, in August!).
There was definitely some singing along going on here!!!

It took me over an hour to convince my son he would have a good day. He refused to believe me and did his best in the beginning to really try not to, but ...I caught him!!!
We had such a fun time in the pool, what a beautiful place to get your brakes fixed!

Just another smiling teen pic captured.
We capped off our day of  fun in the sun with McDonald's Sundaes on the way home!
We laughed and swam all day, my happiness was in their squeals and smiling faces.
Thank you, Lord, for this moment of joy!!

I pray today that you remember the moments of joy. Even on our hardest days they are there. They are there in a kind word spoken or an action taken. They are there in the smile of a child or just a song on the radio. There are moments in sunrises and sunsets, in the embrace of a loved one, and on the pages of scripture. Thank you, Lord, for joy!

I pray you have a joyous day!