Happiness is the feeling I get when I hear my children laughing as I tickle them, or when I find a new book by my favorite author, or discover a new British miniseries on Netflix to binge. It was the flutter in my stomach the first time Tim held my hand. It’s watching the leaves change from green to gold and orange. It’s a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s reminiscing stories from my childhood, it’s eating cake at a birthday party, and it’s having a kitty fall asleep on my lap.
And while there are a great number of things that happiness is, one of the things it is not, is Joy.
Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a choice.
Joy is living in the confident assurance of Jesus Christ and his provision in your life.
Joy is going to a funeral and seeing hope in the midst of grief. It is watching your sick child and trusting God with the ‘what ifs.’ Joy is standing with your life in tatters and believing God can and will redeem the broken pieces. It is being unshaken by the future because the future has already been conquered. It is living uncondemned by your past because your past has been reconciled. It is walking through the pain and realizing you didn’t walk it alone. It is knowing the hairs on your head are numbered and your days have been counted. It’s trusting the cross is more powerful than the grave and that death already lost.
That, my friends, is joy.
Not a feeling.
Not a fleeting moment.
This weekend is the women’s retreat at our church, so I won’t be posting much. Praying your weekend is blessed!!
Tonight at Awana’s it got pretty chaotic and I really started to ask myself why I continue to put myself (and all of us) through this week after week. It was Star Wars night so I braided C’s hair and put it in buns near her ears, and we borrowed a mask from a friend. When we got there, Baby E refused to go to class and Big E refused to go unless I went with him. So I took Baby E and we joined in Big E’s class. Between chasing down Baby E, reassuring Big E that I wasn’t going to leave him, and feeling frustrated with myself for my lack of patience, I wondered what I was doing. The kids were finally settled down and watching a video and listening to the teacher talk about asking God to live in their lives. Big E turns to me and he said, “I want to do that. I want to ask God into my life.”
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. It was too loud and busy to talk with him more about it until we got home, but as I tucked him in I asked him if he meant what he said. When he responded yes we talked about it for a few minutes, prayed, and then he prayed silently to ask God into his life. 🙂
Closing on our townhouse is scheduled for one month from today. I’m completely blown away at how quickly this process has been happening and I am constantly swinging between excitement and sadness. I’m getting more boxes tomorrow and some intense packing should be starting soon. We got a lot of things out when we cleaned up to put it on the market, but I need to start packing away the closets, cabinets, and attic space. It seems kind of daunting at the moment.
This evening I took the kids, yup you guessed it, to the beach. The weather was cool, but not uncomfortable, and the colder days are soon upon us so we are spending as much time outside as possible. And even though I expressly told the kids they were not allowed near the water, I turned around to find Baby E standing ankle deep in the lapping waves with a goofy grin on his face. The joke was on him though because two minutes later he said he was very cold and we headed home.
Speaking of Baby E, he woke up this morning with his eyelid swollen and purple. It took him a little while to be able to open both eyes equally, but he didn’t complain about it hurting. By this evening the swelling was down considerably and the purple is already starting to fade.
Big E hit Baby E in the face with a frying pan tonight.
Yup. You read that correctly. Smack on the face, the left eye actually. By divine intervention, he missed the actual eyeball, but he landed it squarely on his eyebrow.
Mind you, I wasn’t in the room when this happened, but the story I was able to piece together was that Big E was spinning in the living room with the frying pan in hand and whack got his brother.
I don’t normally let my children spin unattended with heavy kitchen implements, but we had just shortly arrived back to the town house and I had been unloading things from the van and putting groceries away. I guess Big E was helping me by bringing me the pan. Hmm…
Well, we are back in the townhouse for a few weeks while we pack everything up and get ready for closing. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed in my own house for a little while. Not sure how long it will be until we settle down, so I’m trying to absorb this all while I can.
This weekend was packed and it’s late once again, so I’ll leave you with this great photo of our MOPS mom’s night out! I loved spending time with these wonderful ladies! 😍😍
Today was an extremely busy day, but it is late and we are exhausted, so I’ll be back tomorrow. The kids stayed up late with a group of their cousins and we didn’t get home until around 11:30pm. They rarely get to see so many of them at once, and us adults are rarely together, so we decided to bend our rules tonight, but I’m sure we will pay for it dearly in the morning!
Since we haven’t been living in our house for a few weeks I’ve been trying to make our evenings as special as possible. With our schedules, that can be difficult, but that’s why we’ve been hitting the beach and participating in more activities lately. This evening the kids wanted to go to a nearby park and then the beach before heading home. The weather has turned dramatically cooler in the past few days, and our once bustling beach town has turned into a ghost town. There were a few kids at the park, but no one on the beach when we got there. It got dark so quickly, but the kids still enjoyed themselves.
Today was Big E’ first field trip. The kindergarteners all went to a local pumpkin patch. He had so much fun and couldn’t wait to tell me about his pumpkin, and how they almost got lost in the cornmaze. I love seeing him get so excited about things!
The farm he went to is one we have taken the kids to a couple of times over the years, so tonight I tracked down the photos from our previous visits and put them together. Wow, time flies! This is from 2012, 2015, and 2017.