Ah, the first snow of the year. Depending on what month it is it can bring some different feelings. For me waking up to the wet, white stuff this morning was a mixed feeling of my excitement for the impending holidays (which are still a ways away), and dread of the housebound winter season coming.
At our moms group this morning we were talking about joy. We are reading a wonderful book called Naked Fruit, a MOPS book by Elisa Morgan. It’s about the fruits of the spirit.
Anyway we were talking about joy and how children can exhibit a lot more joy than we can at times, and it got me thinking about today’s first snow.
When my son woke up this morning and I took him over to the window, he saw this beautiful white snow through eyes of innocence. He didn’t remember it from last year, as he was only a little baby, and by next year it might be a new revelation all over again. He was completely captivated by it. There was lots of pointing, “ooing” and “awwing” as he looked at our street, our vehicles and the branches covered in snow.
His joy over the weather, made me quite excited and most of my fears of long, cold wet winter vanished for a moment (until I walked outside to start my car). My joy was found in his excitement.
I haven’t always been actively pursuing joy, but it is suddenly a theme in my life. Since our move I feel like I have been tested a lot. I have had to choose between looking for the positive in a new city, new church and new adventure, or looking at the negative of missing my friends, family and old city.
My circumstances have made me unsettled. I have shifted blame to those things, and missed the fact that my joy is usually found in feeling that I have a purpose.
I have made a lot of snappy comments lately in the midst of sleepless nights, where I have said to my husband “well I have no purpose anyway” or “all I’m here for is to take care of everyone”.
The truth is, I don’t believe that. Nor do I hate taking care of my family. Honestly, I enjoy it (when I have had enough, or at least a decent fraction, of sleep).
Elisa Morgan wrote this passage in her book, which put words to my feelings. I read it to my husband the other night as a way to express my restlessness of late. Perhaps you can identify with her, and me.
“What I’m talking about is our deep desire to live a life with meaning and to share the meaningful life with others in a way that makes a difference in their days. We want to be more than girls, more than wives, more than moms, even more than women. We want to matter, and we want what we do each day to matter as well. We want our days to be about more than the next meal, the next deadline completed, the next errand to the grocery store, the next sale, or even the next girlfriend-time-get-together with our friends. And while it’s totally thrilling to watch our child move through each developmental stage – sitting, crawling, walking, talking! – we long for the day when she reads, when she makes her first real friend, when she uncovers her desire to learn, and when she falls in love.
We look past today and want to know that what we’ve invested our time in now will matter tomorrow.”
– Elisa Morgan, Naked Fruit
As I look towards April 14th, 2013 (my due date), I know that sometime in that vicinity our lives will be changed again by another miracle baby, and that I’ll experience, again the flood of overwhelming love. At the same time, I know I will again experience the flood of overwhelming responsibility. Again, for a time, my days will mostly be about the next diaper, next feeding, next meal for the rest of my family, and next time I get to close my eyes. It’s inevitable.
Thankfully what I am doing now DOES MATTER, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Joy is rooted in hope, and my purpose is also rooted in the hope that the Lord has called me to do great things on his behalf, and that his plans for me are for good and not for evil.
Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times.