Friday, August 10, 2012

choosing joy

I've never been very good with words. I can have a heart full of emotion, and a head full of thoughts, but I've always found it a challenge to formulate words to express either of those. Writing is a good outlet for me for many reasons. It gives me time to think about what I want to say, and then if it doesn't sound quite like I want or if the words don't properly express how I feel...there's always the backspace!

But even in writing I find it difficult sometimes to compose post that express the struggles in my heart. Maybe it's more the humility that I lack. I know I've been blessed by multiple blogs of mothers being open about their difficult days or seasons of struggle in raising children. It was never intended to be easy. We're all in this together, and all working towards the same goal.

Lately I've felt like the joy in my day has been sucked right out of me, and it's not even noon yet. I wake up enthusiastically determined to make today better than yesterday, but the efforts are short-lived. I resolve to be consistent in discipline, thinking we've gotten lacks and I'm dealing with the repercussions of it, but it's not effective when administered in frustration. I decide I need a breather from the demands, and pine for an afternoon of mindless shopping or a Starbucks in silence, but neither proved to refresh me for more than a couple hours.

I blame them. I blame their ages. I blame the potty training. I blame the tantrums. I blame this stage of life. I blame the heat. I blame anything I can think of that could possibly be a factor of why I feel like at the end of the day, I've merely mothered for survival rather than with a purpose. 

And then my theories and excuses start crumbling beneath me when I read this. (taken from New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer)
We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so.
Satan is an expert at stealing and our joy is one of his favorite targets. 
Nehemiah 8:10  tells us that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. 
In John 10:10 we are told that "the thief" comes to kill, steal and destroy, 
but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life. Satan is the thief,
and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy.
If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; and when we are weak,
the enemy take advantage of us.

I was allowing my joy to be stolen, not by them, but by the greatest of all thieves. When I feel like I'm taking on water because of the circumstances around me, I can choose joy or choose misery.

Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery is available. 
Righteousness and peace are available and so are condemnation and turmoil.
There are blessings and curses available, and that is why Deut. 30:19
tells us to choose LIFE and BLESSING!



  1. Youch. I feel my toes being stepped on...especially on this day! It's a daily struggle for me to choose joy, but what a blessing it is, when I let the Lord lead my attitude.

  2. Oh I hear ya.LOUD.and. CLEAR. You are not alone dear friend. And if you want to blame it on boys I will trade you for a day and you'll see that YES we are all in this together. Girl and boy tantrums and sin natures are ugly just the same, Grady, Emma, Cohen, Leila, Melissa, Kelley.... Thank you for being honest, and reminding me who the true enemy and thief of joy is. I needed that so much today - it has been a challenging one. Are 4-yr. olds any easier than 3 yr. olds???

  3. thankyou so much Melissa for sharing your heart! As I read this I found myself thinking " this is me all the way" I am so glad I read your thought because just tonight as I was rushing the boys off to bed I thought. Am I really enjoying them or just making it through the day! The LORD is my JOY and my STRENGTH!! You are such an encouragement to me my dear! Prayers for you as your continue the potty training process with JOY ;)


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