This past Sunday morning I had one desire… just one. I wanted to go to church, put my kids in their classes and spend my morning in worship.
Corporate worship is something I love and I was practically fantasizing about standing in a room full of people with my hands spread high singing at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbors).
Jonah was part of the worship team this weekend, so while he finished up practice I checked the girls in and dropped both of them happily off to their classes.
Once back in the sanctuary, I dropped all the coats and bags on our chairs and assumed the worship position.
Church hadn’t officially started yet so I closed my eyes, leaned back in my chair and simply enjoyed the quiet.
I sat there for a minute or two when i suddenly got that feeling… you know, the one only a mom can get. Not wanting to open my eyes I peeked at the digital screen on the wall… and there they were. Three red numbers … 774 … my numbers… I sighed.
I got up and walked to the toddler room where I found Maelie sobbing. I picked her up consoled her for a moment and headed back to my seat. I stood with her and bounced for a few moments thinking, maybe I could still have both. But it didn’t take long for her body to weigh increasingly heavy in my arms. So, sadly waving the white flag, I settled into my seat.
Once sitting, Maelie shifted a few more times before snuggling into my chest and falling promptly asleep.
My worship fantasy dashed, I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes.
I was tempted to become discouraged with my morning when I felt the Lord say, you’re issue isn’t the “kill joy” it’s the “steal joy”.
He showed me how like a game of jenga, the tower can be high and uninterrupted, while slowly and methodically pieces are being removed from below. All seems well until one too many pieces is removed when the tower suddenly begins to wobble.
I think that as women we get pretty good at the obstacles we can see coming a mile away. We’re good at out-smarting them, out-thinking them and generally we can dodge the obvious. But the subtle stealing of our joy is where I think we sometimes miss it.
It’s like the pilot light in a house, just like that deep abiding joy we posses in our everyday crazy lives. Most of the time we don’t think about it because we know it’s burning, or at least we think we know. And it’s not until the house suddenly becomes very cold that we even realize somethings off.
I feel like the Lord was giving me an opportunity to see the fork in the road. Even in that moment as i was tempted to become discouraged in my morning that was less than I was wanting, I was reminded of just how much I have right now to be so full of joy over.
I could give in and abandon the rest of worship, or I could close my eyes, rock my sleeping baby and be fully content being in the present.
And this is the choice we all face daily.
Sometimes everything lines up and all the boxes get checked… and most days they don’t. So what are we going to do? Join in with the general “ho-hum” of “well isn’t that just my luck”, or are we going to stretch ourselves (because a lot of times it is a genuine stretch), to not allow a small piece of our joy to be stolen?
As the year progresses I hope I choose the latter, I know you all do too. But even when you don’t, I hope you will all remember these words and remind yourselves of how fully and wonderfully capable you are of continually choosing joy… and I’m sure I’ll need you all to continue to remind me of the same ;).