counting joys

When the alarm went off, I was already exhausted. It was one of those days.

Several hours later, several loads of laundry had been cycled, lists of errands and to-dos and must-pack items had been made, the house had been pulled together after a very busy Sunday, the boys were dressed and even looking cute, and I’d found every return and receipt I needed. We all headed out to the van, got buckled in, and — nothing. The car wouldn’t start. As Ryan was discovering this fact, I tripped on an uneven brick and twisted my ankle (but did not drop the baby: points for me.)

I calmly collected the kids and got started on a Christmas craft instead.

Ha! Nope, that’s not true, actually.

I quietly got the kids out of the car and waved to Ryan as he set out (on foot) to work, but inside I was seething. I could tell a volcanic eruption was near. I was thinking something along the lines of, I don’t know WHOSE IDEA OF A JOKE THIS IS, BUT IT’S NOT FUNNY!!

I stood on the stoop with bags in hand, a three year old asking repeatedly, “What are we doing now, Mama?”, and a teething baby crying and clawing at my legs, and I suddenly remembered James 1.

Count it all joy…

And I know that a spoiled morning doesn’t compare with a lot of other trials and tribulations, not even close. But I do know that these everyday furnaces test us and try us and prepare us — if we let them.

Would I let it?

In tears, I managed to say, out loud, “Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to grow in patience and trust in You.”

(Naturally, Jameson asked who I was talking to, why I was crying, and when lunch would be ready. This is the current soundtrack of my life, and someday I’ll miss it.)

Since that morning crisis, the day has continued in the same pattern. (I was hoping that a quick response to the Holy Spirit’s promptings would usher me into a few hours of ease and happiness, but not this time, I guess.) William has cried all day. He pinches my skin when he nurses, and I’ve almost lost it a couple times. Jameson has been a peach, but an energetic one. None of my lists have been touched, and if that weren’t overwhelming enough, that awful devil has started in with nagging thoughts about how filthy the kitchen floor is and what a lousy housekeeper I am.

It’s that sort of day.

It feels unproductive. No, make that counterproductive.

But that’s not the whole story.

The Bible says that even this sort of day can be hugely productive, if I “let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

And so.

So I repent, repent, repent. I cry out for Jesus over and over and over. And I count even this crisis of the soul as joy, knowing that the testing of my faith produces endurance.

Some things just don’t come easy, but faith that endures is worth the pain.

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