Well, I must share my journey of attaining JOY...that never-ending process. If you had seen me two months ago you would have seen a Mother who cried almost every day to send her homeschooled kids to school. Things were ugly and I was scared and discouraged of the proverbial "giants" in my life. And now...I am discovering that it's all about how I act rather than re-act to spilled milk, to being woken up in the middle of the night, to complaints of having to do school, to sibling squabbles, to no privacy in my bathroom or no privacy anywhere, to noise, noise and did I mention NOISE? I have recently begun responding with smiles, deep breaths, and calmness...and JOY! It has taken me many hard tests to get to this point; but I think I'm finally getting it. (And I know the tests will continue to come, but I have JOY and faith that God will help me.) And the reason I'm finally getting it? God's grace. The realization that my kids are growing up. The realization that life is short. Happy hormones. A jovial husband. Gratitude that I've been placed on this Earth with a beautiful family and wonderful friends. (Praise precedes JOY.)
Also, by looking at the glass half full I have been able to attain more JOY in my life. See I am one of those that tends to be critical. I am now reminding myself to look at the positive. For instance, as I write this, I have been interrupted about 6 times. Now usually I would have demonstrated a little crossness by this point; but I have smiled, taken some deep breaths, praised God that I have a cute son, and redirected my busy 6 year old son to Legos. And now I sit in JOY. JOY is a virtue, a discipline and a gift from God. Without God we cannot have JOY. Thank you Elizabeth for birthing this small steps to JOY post. JOY makes the world a nicer, happier place!