Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finding the joy.

I saw a blog post that stuck with me. It's made me think about what life really is.

When I think about having kids someday, I picture smiling faces and Christmas photos and running around the park together. I don't ever, ever picture cleaning up vomit three times a night, or doing two loads of laundry a day, or walking up and down the hallway at midnight with a baby who will start crying the second I stop moving. I don't think about the endless diapers, the tricky discipline moments, and stepping on pointy Lego pieces that someone left on the floor.

I picture all the good stuff, but none of the stuff in between.

And I realized that before I married Brian, I pictured marriage as a never-ending cloud of joy. What could possibly be better than spending every day with someone who loves you? And I couldn't wait to take care of our house and make him delicious meals and even do our laundry, thrilling at the sight of his clothes whirling around in the washing machine with mine.

In some ways, marriage has turned out to be even more wonderful than I imagined, but in other ways: surprise! Marriage and housekeeping are boring sometimes! I have realized that the really special moments are distanced from each other by commonplace experiences: toothpaste on the sink... dinner dishes to wash... a bowl of venison to grind up first thing in the morning. Not bad things. Just not exciting.

This morning, we woke up at 5:30 to go jogging and I took a couple minutes to make coffee and unload the dishwasher before we left. And folks, I was dragging, thinking of everything I had to do this morning... and this afternoon... and this evening. And as I put away the mugs and plates, I found myself inwardly complaining that there "wasn't anything to look forward to today." Meaning that the only thing happening today was the tedium of life.

And I caught myself, thank goodness. I prayed that the Lord would help me find the joy in every day. Joy didn't become my permanent houseguest when I got married, just because that's 'what happens'. And joy won't be automatic when we have kids. Joy is only found where God is, in his dwelling place. We have to ask him for it. And I reckon when I have little ones and morning sickness and then I'm unloading the dishwasher and making coffee at 5:30, I'm going to have to work a little harder to find joy.

And I also prayed that I wouldn't be so focused on the dreariness of what I have to do that I'd miss the brief seconds of what I love. Tonight, for example, I have to run to a neighborhood homeowner's association board meeting right after I fix dinner, clean up the dishes, and feed the dog. None of that will be particularly fun, but maybe somewhere in there, Brian will come up behind me at the kitchen sink and hug me and kiss me on the top of my head.

I hope I don't miss it.



  1. What a great post! It's so easy to get wrapped up on the daily grind. I, too, need to start praying that I'd be able to find joy throughout the day. Thanks for the great reminder! =)

  2. There is so much truth to what you have to say, Maegan, and thank God He can help us find joy in all of life's different seasons. I wish you joy today and always!

  3. Thank you both! It was a little tough finding the joy when Bo went to the bathroom all over the aisle in the pet store today. HAhaha. But I'm thankful I have a dog. Thank you!