The middle boy dragged himself across the room, flinging dirty socks and leaving trails of leaves and sand across the doorway.
The oldest girl unpacked school bag, waltzing back into the living room, hugging literatures and vowing to finish them all by tonight.
The toddler clung to my feet, arms raised, asking to be carried, completely oblivious to how busy, and hurried this mother was.
With toddler on the hip, and one free hand unpacking bags and clearing dishes, i could feel my pulse quickening. It’s still a long night away, there’s still swimming lesson…and then dinner…and then washing…and then homework and then chores…daily living taking its toll on my horizon of time?
But that afternoon I remember to breathe…
and that my only joy stealer is my inability to praise and thank God through it all –
so…I did just that…
I begin, softly, and then a little louder, until my quaky voice reverberated through the entire house – this lifting up of voice and letting out of praise in naming everything good and wondrous in my day.
Slowly this river-healing power of confessing His goodness begins to change the atmosphere around me.
“Thank you God… for my day….thank you God for my home…thank you God for the ability to pick the kids up from school… …thank you God for our food… thank you God for our swimming lesson tonight…thank you God for the things I love… I love swimming… I love my blueberry chocolate muffin… I love how much these kids enjoy these muffins… I love being able to share these muffins with people at school…I love these dinner that I ‘ve cooked tonight….thank you for my friends…thank you God for my wonderful husband and his time with us…”
…on and on and on I went, counting every single blessing, naming every single goodness…and as my husband and daughter chuckled at how ridiculous I sound, my heart warms and my soul finds its space…
This nugget of truth – that our world will crumble unless we praise Him...this act of confessing every good thing breaks the cycle of me-isms and brings me to be consciously aware of God’s presence!
I stopped what I was doing, looked at toddler in my arm, tickled her gently until she wiggled away from me, giggling with a heart full of love. I called son back, hugged him tight and thanked God for these healthy legs that could run on sand and dirt.
We can always count our blessings – we can always count on His goodness.
That night as i fold laundry and called out spelling words, I saw joy radiant on the faces of these little ones. I am a slow learner in holy living but as I named my blessings and thanked my God, He interjected my mundane with the meaningful, the daily with the eternal.
He fills my world – and I in turn fill my home.
“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in a secret place so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:23-24, 1 King 8:27, Ps 139:7-10, Acts 66:1-2, Acts 7:48-50)
If this is all truth, then naming our joy is not an option for us – but a precursor to everything ridiculously good in our day today.
Why am I tongue-tied then when plans don’t work out, and the kids are sick and the days are long?
I open my mouth once again tonight and verbalise it slow – but deliberate – “I am blessed, blessed, blessed in Christ – blessed in my going out, blessed in my coming in, blessed in the work of my hand – blessed as I mother, blessed as I homemake, blessed as I parent, bless as I teach, bless as I cook, blessed to be a blessing…”
Am i faithful to carry out this command – this simple act of making daily joy?
Faithful in not being anxious about anything – not worrying about what life may bring?
I need the Lord to teach me what it means to fight – for for the highest joy – fight for a ridiculously good day every day- fight worry with worship – fight fear with faith.
That night as I tucked children to bed, I knelt down next to my oldest girl and read out Psalm 18. I breathed these precious word over our hungering souls. Yes, the world will go from bad to worse. Yes, economy will plummet and darkness will hover around our face of this earth. Yes…but God’s able to put us out onto a broad place, on a rock higher than ourselves. He is our Immanuel – God is here – Saviour of All.