Two weeks ago I was talking with a friend about joy. Being deep down joyful about my life. I feel like I'm always yearning for me. I'm always running, chasing more. More joy, more happiness... always wanting more. It is no lie that I have always struggled with contentment. We live off one teacher salary, paying for two Master degrees while homeschooling 4 kiddos. We don't own a house and my van has significant rust (ah, holes). So sometimes I feel, "Woe to me." And I start sinking down in the pit of discontement. Oh, look at that nice house. Oh, look! A new van! Yes yes, it all runs through my mind. If I was being honest with you, more often that I'd care to admit to you.
You know, I love friends who aren't afraid to say the stuff that needs to be said. The stuff that you want to say but if you do, you might want to hide behind the corner after? Those are the friends that the Bible challenges us to have! So my friend says, "April, what if deep down joy is all around you."
Stop. Deep breath.
Joy. All around me.
Then she says, "All you have to do is embrace it."
It's true. God has provided me with unimaginable riches, that are so so undeserved.
It's all right here. Around me. All I have to do is embrace it. God did not waste any time helping me learn these sweet lessons over the last two weeks. The very next day my wheezy baby ended up in the ER to get some much needed oral steroids. And you know what I did? I stopped, and embraced. Because he bounced back in record time. When we hit a cold streak that left me cold to the bone? And frozen pipes and a waterfall washer? I stopped and embraced. Because, again, God provided a "cold" day for Sam and he was home to deal with it. When we discovered a hydrocele on my poor baby, I stopped and embraced. Because we have health insurance and awesome health care. And when I couldn't leave the sofa for a day because I was sick, I embraced. Because it was a weekend, and my husband took care of everything. When we trekked through lake effect snow bands to head to doctors appointments, I embraced and trusted Him.
So rather than chasing joy, running ever after it. I am practicing to STOP and embrace. Embrace what God has given me. To stop and drink deep from the joy He has so lavishly poured out on my life.
So this year, please join me. Stop, and embrace. Stop running. If you are like me, you are only going to tire yourself chasing something that isn't ahead of you...because it is the here, the now...all around you.