Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I See the Gifts but I Can't Find the Joy

I haven't been able to share my joys this week. Floods, shootings, suffering, sickness. I just can't see the joy. My cup is overflowing with gratitude. Others are shoveling water out of their homes, some are mourning the dead, people everywhere are sick, children are starving in this world on our watch. My heart is heavy. But, I haven't lost my grateful heart. My home is dry, my children are healthy, my pantry is full, water runs freely from my tap, a hardworking man loves me dearly. I see all of these things and so many more.

I see my abundance. I have no real problems. And yet, I can't equate the enormous privilege permeating my life with joy. I can't reconcile why I am so lucky.

And yet, my selfish heart also feels tired and overwhelmed with mothering small children. This morning, I got on my knees on our staircase landing and prayed, face to the floor, while my four year old threw a tantrum because he didn't get to pick which half of our last Pop-Tart he would eat. And yes, my sweet Boulder friends, I fed my children Pop-Tarts for breakfast instead of free-range organic eggs.

As my child screamed in the background I said to God, "I am too weak for this job. Show me what to do. My heart is rotten this morning. I am too tired. I need a full night's sleep. I need a minute to recharge. I am grumpy and mad. I know a break is nowhere in sight God, but would you please change my heart and my perspective. I need to be a better wife and mother than I am being in this moment. It is all too much for me today. I need your grace to take over."

Prayer is good y'all. It isn't a magic potion but it does offer peace. A few hours after I got off my knees, I happened upon this blog. Wisdom about suffering from a Christian point of view; exactly what I needed.

My heart is still feeling heavy. I still desperately want to break. But I can see how joy and gratitude are related again. It isn't in an easy life that we find joy. It is in the simple things. Like air to breath. It is in redemption, in the perseverance to keep walking when we just want to lay down, and it is in the humility and grace to hit our knees when all other options fail.

We are not in this alone. God is always there.

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