Friday, 4 July 2014

Blogging through the Alphabet {Joy - when we need to chase it down with a big stick}

I am not a miserable person, by nature. I am much more the optimist than the pessimist.

I'm a glass half full, not a glass half empty, kind of gal.

I try to be an encourager, and remain cheerful and upbeat.

This week, it's been a challenge. Children with the chickenpox has been VERY challenging. I had great visions of having opportunity to do oodles of jobs, whilst the children watched more DVDs than normal, or maybe even slept.

Errrrrr, no.

Well, sort of.  In between giving out extra cuddles, smearing on multiple varieties of soothing cream, and running oat baths, I have also had to cram in normal "everyday" kinda stuff.  You know, cooking, washing clothes, going to the loo...?

Add to that a daughter, covered in chickenpox, wakening me at unearthly hours, and starting her day at insane times (think 4.30 am, 6am, and 5.45am today - on top of disturbed nights.. Yes, great...)

Feeling tired normally makes me feel rather sensitive, and easily wound up - especially when you add to the mix a very spotty, very itchy, very sore, four year old boy, who doesn't deal well with the "out of the ordinary", and spent most of his waking hours crying and saying "ow, ow , ow".

*And breathe*

I didn't have to just choose joy, this week.  I had to chase after it, and hunt it down like, well, a hunter!

You see, joy is not something that hangs upon circumstances being rosy and bright. It's not dependent upon things all working out in the hunky dory category. It's not something that just drops in your lap as a natural occurring phenomena.  You have to intentionally choose to be joyful, and it especially applies in the tough, trying moments. Times like this week, it was certainly not in plain sight - it was a hidden thing, that required a soul-searching, and a crying out to the Lord to answer prayers.

Praise His name alone, I found it.  Every day, I have been able to find joy, in troubled moments.

How did I chase it down?  How did I find it?

First, I have been asking the Lord to help me, more than anything else.  I don't have the strength to have joy on my own. I am a weak woman, and have no ability to do so in my own strength.

Do you know what?  God answers prayer!

Next, I keep being extremely thankful.  Thankful, amidst all these poorly children?  How can I be *THANKFUL*? I am SO thankful that chickenpox is a one off.  This will not happen again.  This is it - done and dusted.  Do you know what else I am thankful for?  I am thankful for my children - the children that God has given me, whom I love dearly.  Had I not been given them, sure, I wouldn't have this trial - I WOULD miss out on daily joy of numerous sorts, simply by having them in my life.  Even Elijah saying funny little things, amidst his struggles, makes me smile! "Mummy, this is just so ANNOYING!"

I hear ya, son - I hear ya!

I am exceedingly thankful that they are not in pain ALL the time.  Some people have children who suffer pain and discomfort EVERY day of their lives.  Children with long-term illness and terminal illness.  People with children who have disabilities.  My children will be better in a short space of time, relatively speaking.

I am thankful that I am accustomed to them being at home, and that I am here, available, to care for them.  If your children normally attend school, it must be somewhat of a palaver to arrange to be off work, or to have them in the house when you're not used to it.  That was just "the norm" for me, so less of an adjustment.

I am thankful for the one-to-one time I have had with the children. Whether it's been showing compassion, spreading lotions over itchy skin, or cuddling up with younger children - it's all been special!

I am thankful for the time to unwind a little.  This has forced me to sit down, and rest, which isn't something I normally do.  It's been quite a treat.  Sure, I am dog-tired, with Tabitha waking more at night, so the rest is appreciated - but, besides that, it's still a treat!

I am thankful that I have managed to get some jobs done that have been bugging me for AGES! I will share more about that in another post, but I got some sorting, clearing and organising done, in the odd moment where the younger ones were asleep, and I had other jobs caught up on.

I am thankful for the opportunity to see some friends.  It's ALWAYS a joy to see people who we rarely see.  Both families came to try and catch the pox, so we'll see if that part works.  Chickenpox-catching aside, it was so lovely to catch up with them, and spend sweet fellowship chatting and encouraging one another. I felt bad that I couldn't be the hostess I like to be, but my main aim was to look after my family, and theirs' was to try and catch the pox! *grin* Standing on ceremony was less important.

I am also thankful that I got some tidying up done today, because some friends, over on furlough from missions work, were coming for lunch.  Tabitha was awake before 6am, so I was able to get some home baking done for them coming, which I wasn't sure I would have got to do otherwise! Having people come over is ALWAYS a good incentive to do a power clean! Amazing what you can do in about 30 minutes, whilst your small people follow you around asking "When can I sit on your lamp?" (Elijah STILL calls my lap my LAMP - quite what he thinks we sing about, when we sing "Give me oil in my lamp", I am NOT sure....)

I am even thankful, right now, in my foggy brained state, that although I feel like I am getting some kind of viral ailment (think, sore throat, fuzzy head, and achy joints starting..) that it is coming on at a time when everyone is starting to be "On the mend".

Being thankful REALLY helps with the chasing of joy - and the CATCHING of it!

I rejoice that I can be thankful - I rejoice that I can see friends - I rejoice that I have these precious children who HAVE the chickenpox, to shower my love and attention upon.

In all that joy, the best part has happened.  We are told "The joy of the Lord is your strength".  That is how I have survived. That is how I have kept going, in relative calm and peace. Having joy, from the Lord, has given me HIS strength, to be what I need to be.  It's nothing of myself. When I am weak, then I am strong - IN HIS MIGHT.

Joy is not dependent upon circumstances.  It's something we are TOLD to do - ALWAYS. There is always something to rejoice about, even if it's as simple as having joy in God, who He is, and what He has done for us.

"Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, REJOICE". 
Philippians 4:4

I apologise if this post is lacking coherency, because my brain is rather foggy, but I still wanted to share with you about how the Lord has given me joy this week, in my trials.

Ben and Me

1 comment :

  1. Not lacking at all Caroline! Great post and a good reminder that we need to seek joy always....we will always find it if we keep our eyes on God! Hope your kids are feeling better as well as you!