Excitement is diluted by nervousness. Joy is tainted by others' disapproval. Even anger is usually marinating in guilt.
There was a moment during this whole moving process when we had the opportunity to be very excited. Jared told me he was scared to get attached to the house and feel excited when we didn't know if the deal would go through.
On that particular day I was able to respond by telling Jared to give all the way into the joy and excitement. I knew there would be hard days ahead, and I wanted us to enjoy that one moment of pure happiness. I openly admit that the rest of the moving process was filled with mixed emotions, and I didn't have any other days filled with pure joy or excitement.
But now I've identified this struggle and can work on separating out my negative and positive emotions.
Yesterday was an amazing day. I'm talking zippity-do-da good. The boys could not have done any better for their first day of school. This mama could not be more pleased.
That's reason for celebration. For joy. For pure joy.
I walked into church last night just as the music was starting. The first song was:
I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heartI felt it. I did want to rejoice. Rejoice and not anticipate what School Day #2 might hold. Rejoice and not think about everything that isn't perfect in my world.
I will enter His courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for He has made me glad
As I gave into my desire to rejoice and celebrate what God had done for us that day, the next song began:
This is the day (this is the day)Yes. God did handcraft that day for us. He prepared my boys for school and helped my heart cope with my babies being away from me. He gave me plenty of reasons to rejoice.
That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made)
I will rejoice (I will rejoice)
And be glad in it (and be glad in it)
The last song proclaimed:
Bless the LordAll that is within me. All. For just a moment my brain tried to tell me that this was just one good day. Certainly there will be a day when the teacher will pull me aside and tell me that Griffin didn't participate or had a meltdown or struggled with some activity.
Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Praise His holy name
But I still heard God whispering that he wanted me to praise him for the good he had done on this important day. Offer him pure praise, uninhibited by anticipation or anxiety or worries about struggles affecting all my friends and family members.
It is possible to focus my thoughts on what is going well and focus my spirit on praising God. There's time later to plead with God, tell him about my heartaches, beg him to help the people close to me, etc. None of that has to crowd out the praise and rejoicing.
So that's the newest lesson God is teaching me. I'm grateful to hear from God and to know that he is working on me, even if it means retraining myself to operate differently.
I'm purely grateful.