It is only 10 p.m., but I am typing this with one eye open due to extreme fatigue, so I hope it reads well, or at the very least, is understandable.
As I was blog surfing last night, I came across this wonderful blog that I've never read. I was instantly hooked by Sarah's writing style and honesty, and was stoked to find that she's doing a similar project for December on her blog. She's going big though, looking for at least 100 things that God uses to bring her joy this month. (See her One Hundred Joys post for more info.)
Being the challenge-seeker that I am, I have decided to step up my game and increase my joy-finding for December from the 31 I had chosen to at least 100. I love the idea and, frankly, have been finding it difficult to nail down the ONE thing each day that has brought me the most joy. There are many highlights to my days, and this will be a great way to share each one and not cut God's joys down or prioritize them to fit my little human mind.
So, here are my joys for today (in no particular order):
8. My husband is home from a three-day business trip. Yahoo! I don't love it that he has to travel, but I am so very grateful for his job and the fact that it allows me to stay home with my son, so I count it as a blessing. Whenever I feel bummed that he's not around, I just think of all the troops sitting in foreign lands, wishing they could see their families after MONTHS and YEARS of not seeing them face to face in the flesh. That is hard. My life is not.
9. I love packing suitcases. I began packing today for a trip back home to KY next week, and I was already getting excited to see family and friends and make memories my son can cherish the rest of his life. I love to travel, but getting to visit my family is beyond travel for me. It's going home; it's a pass to be a daughter again and to know I'm being looked after just as I look after my son. It's warm and cozy, and full of love ... and the occasional weird relative. :p
10. Hearing my son say, "Hey, Mom." Answering, "What?" and hearing him say in the tenderest boy voice, "I love you." That alone could be the only joy I experience the rest of my life and be quite alright with me. There's just nothing like it. He could've just crashed a priceless heirloom and thrown a tantrum that would make King Kong blush, but if he followed with those three little words, I'd melt, as I do every time I hear them. It's like he's giving my heart a hug with each utterance of that phrase. It's not just that he says it; it's the way he says it. There's so much sincerity in it; it's like he recognizes, at the tender age of almost 3, that it's one of the most important phrases he will ever say to me.
11. Forgiveness is a joy I often take for granted. It's hard for me to extend to others at times (which I know is not biblical and I'm truly working on), but I experience it daily. Not just from my Savior, but from my little family. I wish for the day where I won't have to say "I'm sorry" even once because I've been that on point that day. Alas, I think that day will remain elusive to me, and that's OK. Perhaps it's a gentle reminder from God of the ultimate forgiveness I've received, a chance to humble me and bring me to forgive someone or something else. In that case, I'm thrilled at the growth opportunity, no matter how painful.
I'm thankful that I've got some great role models to learn from: my husband and my son. My husband is the quickest person to forgive I've ever met and my son's not far behind. They just say, "It's OK," and move on. They get it. They love me unconditionally. Why? Sometimes I'm not sure, but they do and they're better for it. They don't carry a burden of what I did or said around with them, letting it weigh them down. They release it with those two words, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
12. The little man and I watched Charlie Brown's Christmas tonight. We sat by the glow of the Christmas tree lights, laughing together at Snoopy's dancing and snuggling. It was just the kind of peace I needed after a long day. I know I'm here to take care of the kid, but there are some times that I swear he's taking care of me.
In reviewing this before I post it, I am realizing how great this project really is. I could look back at my day and remember the tantrums, timeouts, frustration and grief (which can be abundant with a toddler), or I could choose to see the beauty in it. By decompressing and analyzing my day, I've chosen the beauty. I've witnessed the thread of joy woven ever so carefully throughout my life. Thank you, Lord, for this thread of joy. Please let it be strong and continually growing.