It is hard. So hard.
But for me, it is worth it, pointing back to God when I sit and question and wonder when it will ever stop.
Yup...trials, love them and hate them all at the same time.
So what will I do?
I will (ahem...try) to consider it ALL joy. Yup, all of it.
Because in the midst of it God is teaching me to trust Him, and sometimes His love brings pain.
But you want to know something?
That's a good thing.
It really is.
It means I stop and consider God's Character, Who He is and what He does. Not just in my life or the lives of people who I know, but through out history.
And guess what...."The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful" (James 5:11)
What are the chances that God is trying to tell me something that is not making it's way past the stubborn, me-focused walls in my heart and mind?!?!
One of them is this:
James:Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore
and the other is the Bible Study Troy and I go to Wednesday nights at our Pastor's house. Just looking, verse by verse, chapter by chapter at James and learning how to apply it to our lives and to live for Christ by showing mercy and living in community even in the midst of trials.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. Sometimes I don't wait all that patiently and I get discouraged and frustrated and lose sight of the fact that God knows.
He has this all under control and none of it (did you just read that?) NONE of it, is a surprise.
Not the joblessness.
Not my reactions to it.
Not Troy's reactions to it.
Not the effect it is having on our family.
NONE.OF.IT is a surprise to God and you know what? It's all good.
178. kids laughter
179. family board games
182.anticipation of a visit
183. little boy *tiny hugs*
184. gentle kids kisses
185. a house becoming (slowly) organized
188.stepping out in fear and faith
189. two (!) Bible studies on James
191. gift cards
192. silly kids
193. snow-pants, hats, mitts, slush strewn in our enterance
195. hand written letters
196. bear, deer and cow in the freezer
197. no meat on our grocery bill
198.waiting on God
199.struggling to grasp joy and have it placed in my lap
201.cuddles with sick kids
202.an evening to myself
203. Anthony truly happy
204. gift cards from a number of different people (some who know me well enough to know that Starbucks is the way to my hear *grin*!)
205. rain (in January, in Northern Ontario)
206. friends at a distance, connected through Facebook
207. time to clean my house
208. booking a 5 day trip just for me.
209. cheap airfare
210. new meals to make and try
211.kids playing kindly together
212. chance to play with my kids 1 on 1
213. work for Troy for a day...another day booked
214. warm, warm January weather (like windows open, heat turned off)
215. night-time pictures
216. McDonalds with a good friend and her kids
219. purging of old toys
220. learning (again, continually) to die to self
221. home-made pretzels
222. a daughter who loves to cook.
223. Dell costumer service and a replacement labtop.
May God's grace find you this weekend. May His joy surround and bring laughter.