Home management and parenting young children can be really challenging, especially when coupled with sleep deprivation and emotional weariness.
The constant stream of activities…the seemingly never stopping, always busy kinda life…the unending cycle of just daily chores for a sustainable life: meals-dishes-laundry, let alone deep spring cleaning and tackling major renovations… these alone can drive any sober-minded woman up the wall…but, what despairs a mama’s kind heart and turns it into dry and brittle ground is when joy is sapped and holy reserves run low.
I have been learning these days and hanging on to one thing, sweetening my soul and setting my feet adancing…It is understanding that motherhood is a calling to live life out of the covenant of grace, and knowing that God has made me a recipient of that grace and that everything in my life can be an overflow of His grace.
It is in these mess, especially in the mayhem…that we need to turn to His grace, and claim these spaces as holy ground, because God is not constrained by what constrains us…nor limited by what fixates us.
“Don’t let your identity be defined by what you do and produce. Let His grace mark you, characterise you, be made manifest in you, then your striving ceases and real joy comes in.”
There is a “face” we wear in the moment of our arising…A grace-marked face greets the morning with a smile and a song of the heart even in the midst of many mountains.
Having a heart of gratitude is living in the overflow of that Grace. Yes I know, you haven’t got it all under control yet, but don’t cease to give thanks!
Thanksgiving unto the Lord…being grateful for the things He has done and will do…puts you in command of your morning…
Making up reasons to be happy, finding excuses to give thanks, produces a heart that wells with joy in the daily, giving you strength for the mundane ….
You see, JOY does not enter when you have everything under control. Joy enters when you open your tight-clenched fist and REST. When you trade being in control with trusting Him to control…
Could gratitude be the antidote to our disappointments, worry, dissatisfaction…could it be the key that opens the fists clenched for control for life that would often spun out of OUR control?
Here I am, learning, ever so slowly, that the Spirit-filled life manifests in the overflow of thanksgiving and gratitude. We are to be filled – and JOY is the evidence of a life infused by the Spirit of God. Joyful Mum creates a joyful home and a bunch of joyful (messy, and rowdy) children.
As I’m learning today;
– I don’t have to be somebody.
– I don’t have to achieve anything.
– I don’t have to control everyone.
– I don’t have to understand everything.
But I can make up a 10000 reasons to bless God’s name. I can dare my daughter to come up with a 1000 reason to be thankful. I can preach the gospel to myself in finding creative ways to cultivate joy.
Joy in the little, Joy for my daily…walking in the joy of the Lord despite our fluctuating feelings and circumstances…joy which combats purposelessness with vision, dryness with songs…
Living in this home with joy then becomes a serious business…if joy is an expression of living under the influence of the Spirit, then I want to be a student of joy, I want to cultivate a learned habit of thanksgiving and graft gratitude as the hallmark of my life, for what mess I may find myself in, if GRACE could mark me, then JOY would save me.