I was looking around facebook today perusing through the recommended friends that I might know and I came across a young man that I went to high school with. I clicked on his profile because though his name was familiar, I didn’t have a clue who he was from the picture posted. Well, he had some other pictures on there of him and his family and before too long, despite the shaggy beard and long hair, I started to recognize him.
I didn’t befriend him. I didn’t know him well in school…he was one of those “know of” people. But something in his pictures struck me.
The pictures of him and his wife, him and his children and even shots of just him, radiated joy.
I was reminded how precious life is. How short our time here on this earth with our loved ones really is.
A stranger, for all practical purposes, in a handful of facebook photos, spoke into my life about the sanctity and sacredness of all the things we have been given responsibilty over this side of heaven.
For those of us that are blessed with partners in this life, we have been given divine responsibility in tending to another’s heart. To care for an nurture an adult, probably completely different from ourselves, in all ways physical, emotional and spiritual.
And for those of us that are parents, we are ordained to train up and lovingly guide our children. We’re beyond blessed to nurse wounds, to wipe away tears, to give piggy back rides, protect, cuddle and live as an example for these little hearts.
But so often, somewhere in there, with the demands of life and heartache and disfunctional upbringings, we lose the joy that is meant…that is necessary in these relationships.
Our marriages are our legacy.
Our babies are our gifts.
And it is up to us to not only conduct these bonds with Joy, but to create Joy for those we are bonding with.
I’ve always imagined traveling far and wide with my family, but because I fall into the “oh, we can’t do that until the kids are older” category I limit myself in what I think we’re capable of doing or not doing. This is a tiny example and kids don’t need cross-country excursions to taste joy, but I find that I place these limitations across the board of my life in a lot of what I do. I become stingy. Disgruntled. And before too long, I won’t even consider going to the park after a rain just to let my girl jump in puddles.
It’s the little things. Smiles and laughter. A little dirt and a lot of fun, literally and figuratively.
And it’s been entrusted to me to create joy in a number of shapes and forms through grace and through love.
I confess to letting things get to me and allowing them to rear their ugly heads when interacting with my husband and daughter. The two people who bring the most peace to my existence, the most happiness to my soul, I take out the bulk of my frustrations on. I sometimes lack joy.
So, in turn, I commit to smiling more. And letting the calm of God’s presence settle over my heart. I commit to kissing my husband and holding tightly to him as if today might be my last. And I commit to being a parent first to my children, but being their friends as well...a woman who they cling to now as their mommy, but will one day cling to as the woman who raised them in faith, strived to make life and learning fun, who would die for them and ultimately the woman who taught them to pass on this same joy it’s taking me a lifetime to learn.
I praise you that you have thought it wise to give so graciously to me my husband and children. They are great and precious responsibities, ones I too often take lightly. But my prayer is that You will give me the wisdom and the strength to be the wife and mother you would have me to be. I yern to love like you love. To parent as you parent. And to walk in joy as you have said I can do through the joy of You…though I will face trial, never once allowing the enemy to snare my steps. Lord, I love you and I thank you so much for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me. Help me to know how to best bring forth fruit from Your havest in my life. You are an amazing God.
I love you.