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Count it all as joy

So many times during the day I try to be a good, Christian mom.  I thank God for giving me two vibrant children who fill my house with...and that's where I get stuck. Because, truthfully, what I often feel like my house is filled with is chaos, clutter, disasters, screaming, fighting, tears, and insanity. 

My house is not my sanctuary.  It is not a place where I feel at rest.  Half the day I'm running up and down stairs, pulling things out of toilets, scrubbing messes off floors, pulling kids apart, and hosing them down. By the end of the day, I'm done.  I find myself just yearning for my kids to finally go to sleep, to shut their doors and hear no more questions or needs.

I try to count it all as joy, but this is a tough thing to do when you have no energy left to feel any emotion beyond pure exhaustion.  Let's be honest. Joy takes energy.  It takes motivation.  It takes switching my mind from what would be much easier - to just be defeated - and decide to fight for happiness.  But, isn't this the way we should truly be spending our lives and teaching our children?

My daughter is well-known for her mood swings.  Something - anything - will throw her into a tizzy of emotions telling me how sad, angry, or upset she is about whatever she's dealing with (not having her favorite meal, unable to find a specific toy, being told she can't have dessert when she didn't eat dinner, etc.).  My response to her is oftentimes, "You need to choose your attitude."  Yet, is she really learning how to do this when each day I choose to be defeated by the battles waged with my children?

No one can change our attitudes for us.  We must choose joy - even through the hardships.  God never said he would only give us good or happy times.  He never said that he would make life easy for us.  After all, aren't some of the greatest things in life created after going through immense pressures? 

As I move forwards with choosing to count it all as joy, I know I'll still have some setbacks.  My kids will still decide to rub sunscreen all over the hardwood floors.  They will flush the unflushable PB&J sandwiches down the toilet.  They will learn new ways to inflict pain when the other one does something they don't like.  But, at the end of the day, we'll remember that tomorrow begins anew.

Maybe tomorrow will include one of these great treasures which has gone through immense pressures: new diamonds...hint hint.


I will choose to count it all as joy!

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