“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” ~ Richard Wagne
I know joy.
In fact there have been many times in my life where joy has filled my body so entirely that it has had no choice but to burst through me. My childrens births have been some of them. In my life it has always been easy to find joy and to be thankful for the times where things worked out….in times that made me happy. When Audrey died it was understandable, and maybe even acceptable that joy did not radiate from my pores. In the days and even months following no one expected to see me frolicking down the streets or bursting at the seams. Even if they had wanted to it would have been impossible. I was full of a lot of things….anger….guilt….fear…confusion, but joy, my joy compartment was empty. It had disingrated away along with the death of my daughter. Afterall happy times lead to joy, not horrible,messy, ugly things such as this. I had no choice in the matter. This is what life had dealt me. Simple as that.
Or so I thought.
In the months following my sweet girls absence I over- filled my life with adventures, activities, and busy days to try and distract myself from the heart break and the sadness. I desperatley searched for joy in hikes to waterfalls and in white sand between my toes. I was able to sometimes find it there, but in my day to day life…..in the days I found myself surrounded by spilled maple syrup and piles of laundry…in the moments where my heart broke as the feeling of someones missing in our home…..it remained scarce.
…..But today as I sat on an porch swing….surrounded by a cranky teething baby, a dirty-faced toddler, and a needed to be occupied pre-teen. Feeling tierd, annoyed, and not enough. Feeling anything but joyous. I immediatly began to panic…..to find something…anything that would distract me from the mediocrity of my day…..then right there, in the chaos of my thoughts… I realized something.
Joy is not something that can be made. It is not something that can be bought, or even deserved. It is a gift …a gift in which WE choose. A gift that so many of us miss out on because we are too busy searching for something thats already there.
My God is joy.
He doesn’t just offer it to us in the form of beach, waterfall, or that brand new Kitchen Aid mixer. He offers it in the form of full-bellied, messy, bored children… and in a baby boy with eyes that smile only for his Mama. He has offered me joy in the midst of grief. In the feeling of helping other moms, in the moments of family and friends that came together to love and support, and even in the construction of a beautiful purple tutu made especially for her.
So today I am choosing joy. Not because today is perfect. Not because my day has been full of excitement and adventures with memories made that my children will remember, and not because my heart is not still breaking for the loss of my sweet girl.
Today I choose joy because I am blessed….not only when life is good but because I have a God that is when times are not. Today I feel thankful..I see the joy in the drool soaked sleepers, stickered knees, and pizza faces he gave me.
Today I found joy in the everyday day.
How about you?