My top 6 favorite joy experiences.
1) Play outside. 2) Blessings. 3) Freedom from high standards. 4) Resting when I need to. 5) Knowing that being a Mom is a big deal, and 6) The God Pocket in real life.
My 40 days of finding Joy in the everyday officially ended on April.2. It is now April.20th, so I’m a little late in writing a reflection piece on the whole process, so I apologize.
My main point around starting this series came from that inner struggle of fighting the Mom funk, and finding Joy as a stay at home mom. You can read about this in my first post here. I was thinking it would be a fun, light series, and “happy, happy, happy” (for duck dynasty viewers, as Phil would say it).
In the end it became something much different then I ever planned on. Sure I wanted to blog more then I did. I only posted nine posts for the whole 40 days, but I also imagined the topics I chosed to be much more about balancing time between myself and being a mom and wife. Instead, it ended up being a massive spiritual journey, where I more or less disconnected from the blogging sphere, unless I posted, and really focused on living the series.
It also wasn’t an easy journey. I found that more than ever my Joy was being attacked as soon as I started the series. But after thinking about why I chose 40 days, and how I even prayed for the 40 days, and dedicated it to God, it all makes much more sense. The 40 day excursions that Jesus took, and the Israelites took (insert 40 years) wasn’t a cake walk, but a desert-like experience. Jesus went for 40 days without water or food for crying loud!
Granted, I had food and water, and wasn’t completly isolated, but it did feel comparable to a “desert” season. The fact that I spent more time living the series instead of writing it, made it more authentic because it gave me more time to disconnect online and really focus in on Jesus, the source of my joy.
So did I experience a huge transformation? I mean, that was sort of my point in this 40 day adventure, to be transformed by it. People, such as friends from Church, have commented on the growth they’ve seen in my life. Maybe it’s related to this 40 day event, maybe not. I mean, how can we really see our own growth that happens on the inside? It’s so much easier for an outside friend to tell you then for yourself to see it.
But I’ve still done some hard thinking to probe whether transformation has taken place, and I’ve concluded that it’s my perspective that’s been transformed. My joy is an everyday gift that comes from no other source but Jesus himself.
You see, even though I’m a Christian I think I’ve believed in the past that if I focus on improving my outside self, my inside self will feel better, but it’s all empty and fruitless. “If I spend more time working out, or being pretty then I’ll feel better.” And while they might help some, they don’t give you that lasting joy.
All the things in my life that give me joy only do so because Jesus is in those everyday moments. When I play outside with my son I can see His glory all around me; I can see His work in the clouds, in the ocean, and in the air. When I count my blessings I know they’re from Him. I’ve experienced amazing freedom from my own shackles of high standards I’ve placed on myself, and it was all from Him.
My walk with Christ is a daily walk. Therefore my joy needs daily renewing. I can still lose it if I lose my focus, but when I live for Him; where I seek my purpose, worth and approval from Him every day I start to experience joy in the everyday, because my eyes are opened to the Jesus that’s in the everyday.
May you be blessed by this same joy!