Choosing Joy

The relentless, constant, unending, repetitive badgering.

The fighting, the yelling the screaming, the crying.

Day after day.

All hell broke loose a few minutes ago.

Sketch had just tried to go jumping on top of the van, again (his new favorite thing to do)

PolkaDot, so tired, was put in her crib. But, her favorite thing to do now is to throw her stuffed animals and pacifiers overboard and then cry because she can't sleep without them. (Don't you love that stage?)

I, riddled with aching joints, go to get PolkaDot, and then let Sketch out of  his time-out that he earned by kicking PolkaDot because she was sitting on the floor instead of being held by me.

"Hold the baby?"

Here we go again.  Twenty-four seven, he wants me to hold the baby.

I walk in to the computer room to text Mr. Incredible and see when he's coming home. We're supposed to be packing for a trip and getting ready for PolkaDots 1st birthday.

Sketch follows me.  Polkadot is nestled in the chair with me as I tap on the keyboard.

"Hold the baby? Log-in window?"  He demands.  Again.

He is pretty much OCD about all computers being on the log-in window screen unless he's playing with it.

"Not right now, Sketch."

He continues to badger.

PolkaDot pulls herself up to her feet, and before I could blink my eyes, she landed with a thud, right on the side of her face.

Screams.

Uncontrollable sobs.

"Hold the baby!  Log-in window!"

I send Sketch back to his room.

PolkaDot continues to scream, her body thirsting for comfort.

This is how it's been for most of the summer.  Unending.

We've had great moments in between the mind-boggling chaos.

It would be so easy to focus on all the bad things.  All the This-Is-Too-Much-ness of it all.

But, to focus on that would be the beginning of an unending darkness.  The "pit of despair" as it's described in The Prince Bride  .

So I choose after my own tempter tantrum instead, to focus on the the good things; to "Choose Joy" as Sherry Surratt talks about in her article I Choose Joy from MomSense Magazine's Summer 2012 edition. She says:

"It's so human to get caught up in what's wrong, what's broken, what's missing and to be crabby about it.  But here's what I know:  God wants me to choose joy. Contentment is my daily opportunity if only I'll slow down and notice the good things."

I really believe this is the secret to handling the impossible:

.         To Believe that all things are possible for those who love God.

        It is too hard by myself, but with God, I can do anything.

.        To Believe that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.

        It isn't a coincidence.

.        To Believe that God is there helping me, teaching me to see the positive.

        He whispers in my ear, which way to go.

.        To know that God is showing me,  pointing out to me,  the lovely, beautiful, good things that he as placed all around me.

        He opens my eyes to see.

So I choose be grateful, to be thankful for all that He's given me.

        When I do that, I see that the weight of all those good things is by far, heavier than all the bad.

Psalm 30:11

"You turned my wailing into dancing;
 you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy"

Somebody Else’s Story

I will never forget the day when Joy told me that God was using me in her story.  That was the highest compliment I have ever received.  No doubt, a treasure found in the dust of life.

"I wanna play a part
Of somebody finding hope
Somebody finding hope in God of Heaven"

Joy isn't her real name, of course.  But as I thought of names to use for her, this was the one that jumped out in my mind as perfect.

I'm sure right about now she is thinking I'm nuts, but the reason this is the perfect name for her is because one day, she WILL be filled with joy.  One day, the sadness and hurt will be wiped away.  One day she will be completely healed.

"I wanna play a part
Of somebody finding comfort
Somebody finding comfort when their hurting"

Somebody Else's Story is a song written by John Waller.  (You can listen to it by clicking on the link)  I was listening it in the car this week, and remembered Joy and how she said God is using me to make a difference in her story.

"I wanna be the one
To shine the light of Jesus
Into their darkness"

When God reaches down to the deepest darkest hurts and brings light, dispells shame and heals you there... you just want to share that with someone!  You want to help somebody else.

"This hope in me was not meant to be
Contained inside I've got to give it away"

When God brought me Joy to share with, the joy ran...runs deep in my soul.  Somehow the events of the past make more sense...it is somehow ok-er than it was.

"So lead me to that someone I pray
Lord, I wanna bring you glory
In somebody Else's story"

I was overcome with gratefulness and joy, that God has done such a work in my own life that he can use my story to help others and bring glory to Himself.

That's what it is all about, really. We are comforted so we can comfort others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Whether it is being able to comfort others in having children with special needs and autism, or dealing with life threatening food allergies and asthma, or sharing the hope and comfort God rains down in the midst of Rheumatoid Arthritis with someone else who has it, or healings of tragic events of the past, it is a treasure and honor, an absolute joy to be able to be a part of somebody else's story and bring God glory.

(All quotes are lyrics from John Waller's song, Somebody Else's Story)