I just finished reading If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy: Making the Choice to Rejoice by Lindsey O’Connor. Ready for our last discussion group meeting tomorrow morning. It’s been a good group this summer. One thing I liked from this week’s reading, the last chapters of the book, was how she encouraged us to find joy in the moment. So often I get caught up in the things that must be done that I let myself get busy and forget to be alert to the sparkles that add so much joy to the everyday. I tend to be pretty serious in my disposition, but I love to laugh. Remembering to keep my eyes open for those everyday joys helps to bring laughter to life.
She especially encouraged us to not miss the joy in the moment by looking for the joy in the future. How much of my life have I wasted with a “well, I’ll be happy when…” kind of attitude. Even now, though I love it here and really love our church, I’ve found it so hard to jump in and really let myself get involved in serving because we know we won’t get to be here for a long time. It’s hard to go into a new place knowing there’s already a countdown to when you’ll be moving again. But I have recently made the decision to go ahead and let that go. Rather than waiting for some future date when I feel settled enough to get busy, I need to make the most of the time I’m given here. Let’s face it, none of us should boast about tomorrow, because we aren’t guaranteed there will be a tomorrow. So I want to serve Christ here, now, today, not wait. I want to learn to enjoy life here, now, today and not be always looking for something else. That always waiting for something different kind of marred my time in South Carolina. I didn’t like it there, tried to be joyful, for sure, but in the back of my mind I think I was always hoping we’d be free to do something different. So, I’m going to take that MOPS discussion group leader position and pray I do it well, joyfully and to the glory of God. I’m going to help with that new Bible study for women and bathe it in prayer. I’m going to look every day for those little sparkles that make life joyful.
Then she encouraged us to not miss the joy in the moment by looking for it in the past. One thing I regret is letting old friendships from the past lapse. My problem with the past is that I either color it too rosily in some areas, or I remember the hang-ups and insecurities I battled as a kid and teenager and forget about a lot of the joys. There were many. And those joys were helpful in molding me into who I am today, and I am thankful for them. But to live too much in the past is not good, either. The past is done and now we need to live today. Cherish the joys from the past, but don’t neglect today’s joys.
I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn’t really what I expected, but it’s been okay. There were times I had a hard time really getting into it as we've gone along this summer, but overall it was not bad. I do like being reminded again to learn to enjoy today. So, here’s a few joy sparkles from my day today:
- sitting outside with my youngest child and enjoying the nice afternoon reading while she played, and then having her ride her little tricycle up to me just to give me a kiss.
- Boo asking for me to sing the “Cinderella song” which is actually from “Sleeping Beauty,” but I sing it all the time, and now she likes it, too
- singing the blessing at lunch time and hearing all three kids join in the song. I love to hear my children sing praise to the Lord.
- rejoicing and dancing with Boo when she had a potty victory.
- Praying for each of my family members as I folded laundry.
- The joy on my oldest son’s face when he creates some new Lego thing. No matter how bored I may get with the Lego obsession, I do enjoy his joy.
- my younger son’s joy at beating a difficult computer game.
- Marveling at God’s creation as I watch the black clouds rolling in and listen to the thunder and watch the rain this evening.
- The sweetness of a sleeping three-year-old who finally petered out and is taking a nap in my lap as I type.
- My husband walking in the door after work, and his cheerful, “Hello!”
And now that he’s home, I think I’ll post this and go enjoy my family.