Consider it JOY

This verse from James keeps rearing it’s ugly head lately…

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials…”

I’m sorry. You want me to be joyful when I’m in the midst of a trial? This is how it has played out in my head today:

Threenager is being so disobedient, she’s been sent to her room three times already. Before 7am.

JOY.

Mama just wants to potty by herself, but can’t keep those pesky toddlers away.

JOY.

toddlers

Someone wants to pour that precious and expensive organic whole milk all by herself “because I’m a big girl!”, and it spills all over the floor.

JOY.

Butt wiping. JOY. Using the Nose Frida to suck boogers out of your toddler’s nose. JOY. Cleaning the floors for the umpteenth time. JOY.

When she falls and gets hurt after during the same thing you told her NOT to do eighteen times already.

toddler troubles

She says she wants blueberry pancakes. Then chocolate. No blueberry. No chocolate. No…

Locking the bathroom door because one girl likes to use the potty as a water table. Unlocking because one has to go potty. Locking again because of water table experiment. Unlocking for potty.

Four loads of laundry down and a new one is almost ready to go.

JOY. JOY. JOY. JOY.

You know that song “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. WHERE? Down in my heart to stay. And I’m so happy, so very happy…”

Yeah. Not buying it.

My name Hilary means cheerful. But there are many days that I have laughed at what a joke that is.

Cheerfulness doesn’t come easy to me.

Joy in the day to day life isn’t second nature.

I digress.

I’m learning a lot about choosing joy.

We all have choices each day. I can see each of those events as frustrations. They are trials preventing me from what I really want to do. They are setbacks. They are moments that anger me.

Or I could look at them from another direction: We have food. We have toys. We have running water. We have a beautiful home. Our girls are happy. Our girls are learning. They are growing. They laugh and smile and jump and play.

They find joy in the smallest things.

toddler workouts
So back to that verse: “consider it pure joy when you experience trials”.Trials are a part of life. They aren’t always a punishment for making bad choices.

They are given to us to build our character. To see how we react. To encourage us to rely on God. To draw closer to Him. To use His strength to get through them. To pray in the difficult moments. To pray in the happy moments. To be grateful for His faithfulness.

Now I’m not singing “Hallelujah” every time one of my girls tests me or I stand face to face in a trial. But I’m learning to count it ALL joy. And today, I’ve needed a lot more hands than I have to keep count of all the joy in my life.

toddler snuggles

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