I love to wake up each morning and have my quiet time before my girls come bouncing down the stairs. They are full of energy the moment they open their eyes. I cannot say the same for myself. The only thing that successfully pulls me out of bed is the promise of a hot cup of coffee and my quiet time.
My prayer for my girls today was for the joy of the Lord to be ever present in their lives.
I don't always give my kids a good story. And I know that the person who sucks their joy away so very often is me. I was raised in a house of yelling. My kids have, unfortunately, been 'blessed' by an emotional, sometimes rage-driven, mother.
Perhaps it is me who needs prayer for the joy of the Lord. Or peace. Or self-control.
Last night I painted after a difficult transition to bedtime for my kids. I had every intention of painting a lovely, whispy, feathery angelic scene. All my brush could muster up were patterns. Loud, wild, crazy, splattered patterns.
Nothing really had any rhyme or reason to it.
|I used an old drivers license to paint on layers and layers for this one. Then I threw paint all over it. It felt good.|
Or maybe......these were all me. All part of the inner workings of me. It sounds like artist cliche but I was a bit of a time bomb last night with my explosive dictations to the girls. My way or else.
And today I prayed for them to experience true, unhidden, beautiful joy. Or maybe just a reprieve from their Mother.
"I made you, shaped you: You're my servant. O, Israel, I'll never forget you. I've wiped the slate clean of all your wrongdoings. There's nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I've redeemed you." Isaiah 44
It's difficult and wonderful to pray that someone receives what you, yourself, have struggled to achieve for so long. Perhaps if I see joy in my children's lives, it will redeem my years without it. Perhaps it will lead me home.
And as I prayed, my amazing little girls came bounding out of the bedroom and came straight to me with good morning kisses and hugs. And smiles. And sweetness. And forgiveness.
So, I started over with them. I started over with me.
Lilly had tea with 2 lumps of sugar with breakfast.
We munched on honeysuckle. If you are not from the south, you will not appreciate this delicacy. You may even think it strange to pick a weed and suck the nectar from it. But, it rocks. Yes, it does.
We ate dinner as a floor picnic while we watched 3 episodes of 'Little House on the Prairie' in a row. LOVE me some half-pint.
Now, I know joy is not the result or response to circumstance. It is a placement of the heart. A choice. And today I choose joy. And tomorrow. And the day after that. Even if I don't feel joy at the time. My prayer is that I can make that choice.
And my painting was much more joyful, much less chaotic, this evening, too. More focused, I would say.
'These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."