Thursday, September 3, 2009

Find the Joy

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice [be joyful] and be glad in it.

Well, it is the time of year when kids return to school, and we are in our "honeymoon period" so to speak. Everything is new, the kids are excited to learn about their teachers, find out what friends are in their classes, and anticipate how the school year will go. The second week of school when the newness is already beginning to wear off, I asked my oldest, "How was your day today?" Well, she then launched into each of her three switch classes, commenting on how this teacher doesn't smile, and that teacher is hard, and she just couldn't find the joy in the third teacher's class! I had to laugh...what an interesting way to describe the third class...I love that!

So, I asked, "How do you think you could find joy in that class?" To which she replied, "I don't know, I prayed for a good year, and now I don't know if it will be!" I said, "What makes you think you won't have a good year, if you prayed about it? Let's pray right now that God will help you find the joy in that teachers' class every day. Even if it is the smallest thing. I want to challenge you to look for the joy!" Well, I am happy to report that she found joy when her teacher made her laugh after discussing a video they watched. She then found joy the next day when she received an assignment to write about a personal experience (she likes to write and was excited about the subject she chose).

This conversation caused me to reflect on whether I take the time to stop every day and intentionally find joy in something! Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the busy-ness of the day, that I just let it suck the joy right out of me! Even on the most hopeless days, there is joy to be found. For example, it is a joy to hear my twin girls talk and play together early in the morning when they wake up. They are so sweet and engaged with each other. The girls share such a special bond that is a joy to observe!

When I was young, and complaining to my mom about feeling down or grumpy, she would suggest that I think of something to do for someone else. That is a proven recipe for joy. It is a built in blessing that God has given us. We cannot let the enemy steal our joy, even while serving others. Gal 6:9 So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

Another wise word from mom was to always count my blessings. Find the good in everything. I Thessalonians 5:17-18 says "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

So we now have a theme for the school year, to find joy in every day!

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