This past month we were discussing the first chapter. It was about choosing to be thankful and learning to be content. The Lord convicted my heart again, that in the midst of a season where there are some difficult days (especially where I am laying on the couch not feeling well), that I can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, choose joy. Here is an amazing little nugget for you, then the story...
"The joy-filled life is not found by trying to diminish God-given responsibilities as a woman, wife, and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept-the tension between the "ideal life" and "daily realities." That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy."
Isn't it sweet of our Lord to give us opportunities to practice?? So, I was not feeling well, my tummy was doing flip-flops, my head was pounding, and we were on the way home from grocery shopping and a last-minute library run. I had been reading to Ezra and Noah a story about ten rubber ducks, and Ezra was making a very cute, low and bellowing "quack" sound, copying me. So, on the way home, we were quacking for Ezra, and he would copy us, and it was all very cute. Unfortunately, one of the kids decided it would be more fun to get Ezra to "ROAR", which he does at the *top* of his lungs.
Everyone is roaring, my head is pounding, and the thought rolls into my mind: "choose joy."
So, for the next 15 minutes, Ezra would yell, "Mommy!! Mommy!!" And I would say, "Yes, baby." And he would yell, "Dis. (This) ROAR!!!"
And we all chose joy. And even though it is not always quite as easy or sweet, our choice was rewarded each time with the belly laugh of an almost two year old, content that he had pleased his audience. =)