Does it seem hard for you to find joy, really happy pure joy? I feel like I am always running to the next thing and joy just seems to pass me by. I’m not talking about being happy for a moment I am talking about the joy that fills your soul with an unspeakable warmth.
Over the past few years I have slowly but surely lost my joy. There is always an inner battle going on and I am constantly fighting the feeling of guilt and failure. Sound familiar? I often get so busy focusing on all of my failures or things that I see as failures and I am blinded from the joy around me.
As a stay at home mom and housewife I hold myself to a certain standard. I want to provide a clean, happy, God centered home. I wake up each morning with a to do list that never seems to get smaller and as I walk around the house the list just continues to grow. I often feel like I can never get it all done. Failure seems to slap me in the face all of the time. I can’t keep up with laundry, I have gained weight, oh and my hair yup I haven’t “done” it in weeks, my meal plan didn’t get done, the patches on the walls that I mudded, they are still there in all their glory not sanded and not painted, sticking to a work out schedule seems impossible, my kids rooms look like a bomb went off, my floors didn’t get washed this week and the list goes on and on. After failure comes guilt I guess or you can roll them both into one category, it all depends on how you look at it.
I was reading my bible the other night and as I read the story of Jesus feeding five thousand I suddenly began to see things differently. In John 6 we hear the story in more detail than in the other gospels. After realizing that they didn’t have enough bread to feed the people that gathered the disciples tell Jesus that the only thing they had available was the lunch of a small boy which contained 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish. As many of you know Jesus than takes the boys lunch and feeds the crowd. Amazing right?!
The part of the story that spoke to me that night was the little boy; of course Jesus in all his glory feeding five thousand people isn’t to shabby either but what about the boy???? Did his mother feel like me? Did she feel like she wasn’t getting it right? Struggling to get things done around the house feeling like no matter how hard she worked something was always falling through the cracks? On that morning did she hurry up and throw him a few loaves of bread and a couple fish and hurry him out the door?
We have to chose joy. It doesn’t just magically appear. The thing is it’s all around us everyday and we chose to walk right by it, we chose to ignore it. It’s easier to focus on our guilt for all the things we have failed at. That little boys mother was just doing her job probably feeling all the weight of motherhood and all that comes with it. The story of Jesus feeding five thousand didn’t start with the crowd that gathered. God was preparing for that moment in the small kitchen of a women who just packed her son a simple lunch. It’s not always in the speculator things that we do that we find joy it can in anything if we are willing to look for it. Imagine if that women knew that day the lunch she packed for her little bundle of joy was going to be used by Jesus and her lunch would be talked about for centuries. She probably would have been a bit more joyful that morning putting it together don’t you think?
God is the god of joy. He wants us to be joyful. We don’t know how God will use us but let’s not forget he is always with us working through us. Chose joy today. Enjoy the gifts around you. Be joyful in all you do and enjoy doing the small things. We may not have tomorrow and I am not going to waste my today feeling guilty because I failed to meet “my expectations” of myself. The bottom line is I don’t need to meet all those expectations, I need to love God and meet his expectations. How do you start? Start with joy. Find the joy in all you do. Enjoy every moment as each moment, each breathe we take is a gift. Forget the guilt and find the joy!!! God bless! xoxo