This week has been pretty intense. It was great to get back into the swing of things, and on top of that, I spent a lot of time attending training for Immerse AR, which was excellent. One of the things that the trainer does is start each session with a pretty extended time of prayer and worship. It can feel a little uncomfortable at first, in such a different setting, but it proved to be really wonderful time each day.
Yesterday morning, the Lord laid the word JOY on my heart. In 2012, I think I saw more than ever the depth of heartache that this world really contains. I have finally made my self see some of the stuff that makes me uncomfortable, but is so very real. And honestly, it is a bit depressing. This world is a messy, screwed-up place.
However, that is not where I should stay. I want to have the Lord's joy in spite of and because of circumstances, because his joy transcends circumstances. It is always available, and he promises for his joy to be my strength. I don't know what all will come our way this year, but it could prove to be intense, especially if we receive a referral for our sons. That will be so joyful, but it will have a lot of hard things that come with it. I have a feeling that clinging to and relying on the Lord's joy will be a saving grace for us.
Already I can see that this is a good mantra for me right now. Our power is currently out this afternoon, and after the many days without power, it was not a welcome darkening. My exact words to John were, "What the h*** is wrong that they can't just keep our power on?" There are so many things wrong with this attitude - my sense of entitlement, my lack of gratitude for all the time I do have power and my blaming our power company who is probably doing the best they can. As I sat down to write this post (since I can't sew like I was planning due to the power being out), I had to laugh at the irony of writing a post about joy when I was so cranky.
And that's the thing. I can and should be joyful in all things. I have a choice to make about the attitude of my heart. So this year - I am asking God to help me choose joy.
And as I finish this post - the lights just came back on. Hooray! Not going to lie - it is easier to choose joy in the light.