Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Counting the Joy. All of it.

Yeah, this is predictable. I publically announce the elimination of fear and worry and crisis strikes.

There they were, fear crouched behind the chair and worry lurking in the corners of the kitchen, reminding me that I'm not out of the woods yet. They were aware it would be difficult to overtake me but they annoyingly made their presence known.

I found myself grumpy at times. I was irritable. No, this just won't do. No matter what happens to my bank account, it is no excuse for a grumpy mama. It is no excuse for ruining an otherwise lovely day.

James says, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)

So what I had to be most thankful for today was each day before that I got up and faced this same trial, lasting over a year now, that was used to get a little closer to perfecting patience. Because today, I must say that I handled this crisis. I put on that armor and fought like mad, which I could only do because of the perfecting of patience, and every single verse I have clung to this past year.

This was a test. I knew that. I also knew that if I had not experienced progress in perfecting, all my tears this past year would have been in vain. I'm a little smarter than I was a year ago- a little braver, a little more confident- because I know my God a little better.

I used to grab my Bible and flip through it like mad to get some comfort, but now, though it is still fun to read, I have the knowledge inside of me. Perfecting patience. The sword of the spirit. The shield of faith.

I began to get excited, wondering how God would remedy this crisis. Would it turn out to be no big thing or would it be a miraculous intervention? I'll know tomorrow. But today, I know that my Redeemer lives.

In the past, a crisis caused such a struggle that I was lucky to get the basics done. Now I have perfecting patience, a fast from fear and worry, and an assignment to give thanks always.

The kids got more fresh air, excitement for spring is building. Max keeps asking, "Is it spring yet? I think it is. There is no more cold. Maybe it can be winter with no more cold." I love the way he processes his thoughts in words.

Even though we are reading Pippi Longstocking at night, I have my own Pippi, who was helping in the kitchen this evening:

"Mom, I sucked on that bone so long I think I ate the whole thing."

She's my puppy, so I respond, "Honey, you know you're not a real dog."

"Yeah, well, I like bones. Except for the ones that taste like strawberries."

"Strawberries?" I question her.

"You wouldn't know. You've never ate a bone before like me."

It was the kind of conversation that you know is mostly fiction, but she says it so darn seriously- until you call her a goofball. Then the giggles roll out. Joy, pure joy.

I loved how seriously they took the job of washing the sliding door. Back and forth, inside and out, they examined each smudge and attacked it. They diligently worked for a good 20-30 minutes. Then Max moved on to another window until I told him that he had to stop.

Each of my children have a night to stay up a little later than everyone else. Tuesday is Summer's night. They won't let you forget either... "What should we do tonight?" someone asks.

"I don't know what you are doing, but I'm staying up."

We did some math together (part of our routine). She giggled the entire time. She said it was the sugar she ate, but I knew it was the fact that it was Tuesday, and on Tuesday she stays up. This typically serene child was a goofy mess. We looked at animals on Pinterest and came up with captions.

None of this joy would have happened without the perfecting of patience, the various trials of the past year. I would have otherwise been consumed with fear and worry. I count that as joy.

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