I'll be honest, I had a couple of days this week that were not joyful. Days where Jeff and I were off our game. Days where the noise level at my house had reached epic proportions. Days where I just wasn't feeling it.
Sometimes I wish people would upload those kinds of statuses on facebook. When you're having an off day, don't you just love reading these kinds of statuses?
"My hubby is the BEST. He came home with dinner and flowers and cleaned the kitchen and gave the kids baths. Love love love him! XOXO"
"My precious children are just so wonderful! Everyone went down for naps easily and now Mommy gets a break!"
"So happy everything is working out just like we'd planned! So blessed today!"
I am probably guilty of status updates similar to those at one time or another (though not as cheesy I hope!) but on a rough day, hearing about someone else's charmed life doesn't usually help my perspective. It's a little difficult to stay joyful when no one's getting along. But for some reason, hearing about someone's even-less-than-charmed life can remind me that we all have those days and there are people really struggling with very real problems. I think those status updates would help me more. You know the kind where someone says:
Pray for me. We're having a really rough day today.
I've had about twenty things go wrong today and it's only 7 am. Help.
I need a do-over. This day cannot reflect my life.
We're all going to have those days. And I'm telling you now that I've had more than one this week. I love my husband, but we're just regular people with less-than-great moments. I adore my kids, but they can be like little tornadoes whirling through our house. I had this moment this morning where I was thinking about something Jeff said this week and what my kids were doing right then--and suddenly I asked myself what exactly I expect from me. Not them. From me. And what does God expect from me? Not them, just me.
I think sometimes He expects joy even when I don't have any. Then I remembered what I read in my Jesus Calling book yesterday. (I love this book.)
As you sit quietly in My Presence, I shine Peace into your troubled mind and heart. . . . You gain My perspective on your life, enabling you to distinguish between what is important and what is not. Rest in My Presence, receiving Joy that no one can take away from you.
There are days when I so need that reminder about what's important and what's not. Fancy trips and material things are not what's important. The people in my house are important to me. I talked with my sister yesterday and asked about her father-in-law, who's in the hospital. That situation is important. I spent time this morning talking with some friends of mine, sharing life together. That's important to me.
I'm realizing that joy is a choice. And it's a hard one, depending on the day. I'm just being real when I tell you that there are days it doesn't work out for me. I think rearranging expectations and priorities helps. I try to consider God's expectations for me (instead of my expectations for Jeff and the kids) and prioritize my day in the view of what's truly important. I don't want to live a frivolous life. I want a life that reflects all the things that are really important to me.
Today, I'm choosing joy. I might have to choose it once every hour, but I'm choosing it.