Or I could call this one, “Changing my words.” Either way, it works just fine.
I was challenged yesterday in church to change the way I’m thinking about some things. The fact is, I’m a good teacher. I love the challenge that some days of teaching can give me. But I’d rather be teaching in some other format. As a substitute, I get in the classroom and do it well, to the best of my ability, but if you ask me if I want to be a substitute for the rest of me life, the answer would be a quick “no.” I’ve hesitated in saying anything about this because I have a good job that is fairly easy, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful.
But what I love to be is a mom to my family. When I get up at 4:45 am, start looking for jobs, and find one, it does a couple of things to me. First, I miss family time in the morning with my kids. I LOVE starting my day around the table, reading to them from the Bible and Narnia series. I love being able to make them breakfast, and then take them to school. I find some of our best teaching moments have occurred around the breakfast table. Teaching is taking that time away from me because I have to be gone usually before they even wake up, and I haven’t figured out how or where to make that time up. When I get home each day I give all that I have to being mom, which means oftentimes the house gets ignored. I don’t like a cluttered house, but when I work and then give all that I have to my kids and still don’t get enough sleep, I simply can’t keep up on the housework. My insides, for some reason, start to feel undone when my house is a mess. I’d love to say that I can do it all, but I just can’t. I don’t have the energy I used to. I push myself beyond what I can do already, and at times it feels like it’s killing me inside. It feels like I’m pouring out, pouring out, pouring out….without anything pouring in.
This life right now feels scattered and undone, and it seems that I’ve allowed it to steal my joy. The “happenings” in life have affected my “happiness.”
So, my challenge to myself is….to fight for joy again. I’m not talking about being depressed….I’m not there. I just need to find that balance of gratefulness and joy in all that I’m doing, regardless of if it’s what I want to be doing or not.
My pastor yesterday said it this way. “If your child is in danger, you would fight tooth and nail to save her. Same with anyone important to you. So is your joy so unimportant to your life that your willing to just roll over and let it go away? Stand up and fight for the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God! Plant your feet, dig in, go to battle, and stop letting the happenings of your life steal your joy!”
I guess where it starts for me is to stop saying, “I hate this” about how life is right now. When I use those words, it is adding fuel to the fire, and will likely make things worse. That’s my first stop in changing my words, and fighting for joy.
The second is to start looking again at the blessings given each day.
This is hard for me right now. My insides don’t want to accept that there might be a blessing in me leaving the house before the kids even get up.
This is going to be a fight.
But, God’s got us here in this season for a reason. It’s not outside of his plan and purpose for our lives. He’s still got it under control. He hears my groanings and my cries. He has not turned his back on us.
So…..I guess it’s time to plant my feet, and start fighting for joy.
One step and one day at a time.