Truth is, I have a lot of those moments.
Yet, seldom do I enjoy those moments.
I often will be thinking about the next days plans or checking my business emails or annoyed that everyone is goofing off when we could be getting things done. Rarely or rather not enough do I just sit and enjoy.
Man am I missing out on life.
Don't Miss the Moment?
One day as Jesus sat amongst his friends' house where Mary and Martha lived, Martha too got ornery, just as I often do, with Mary, because Mary was not helping out, but instead sat at Jesus' feet. What did Jesus say in response?
Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." He made it clear that Mary chose the better choice. Was Mary being idle? Definitely not! Martha was worried about stuff that could wait. Nothing was pressing or needed at that very moment. Jesus said so, except spending time with the man who was going to be taken away from then.
When we look at the bible, we need to make sure we look at it as a whole. One part does not negate another, but rather makes the message more clear. When we are sitting and listening to our children, we ARE working. We are working to build their hearts, their minds, their souls. The laundry does need tended to, but not at the expense of the kids. They will only be in our home a short time. We only have so many years to raise them in the way they should go. If the laundry can wait, and is not needed right then, choose the better choice if it is offered to you.
Choosing Happiness: Thanksgiving and Joy
So how can we make sure we don't miss those moments?
By choosing your perspective. In James 1:2, it says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds." Again God says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice," in Philippians 4:4. There are countless more verses where God instructs us to be thankful, rejoice, show joy. Obviously if joy was just a feeling as happiness is often viewed, then we could not just switch it on or off nor would God instruct us to feel that way. Instead it is a choice. We find joy by choosing it. We may choose to see the good side of all circumstances. We may choose to be thankful, as we are instructed to. But it's a choice, a daily choice. By seeing the positives, we then are able to see those moments where we can truly just enjoy our kids.
Grief and Joy Coexist
Maybe you found out you miscarried that sweet baby you had dreams of growing up with their sibling. Maybe your sweet grandmother passed away. Maybe you just got a diagnose you don't know how to process. There are a million reasons to grieve, some big, some small, but all very valid. Just because you can find joy in the small things, does not make the grief any less valid or the object you are grieving any less important.
Life is hard, and joy is a practiced behavior. It's easier to make it through these hard times, if you have chosen to find joy in the mundane. So how do you find joy in the mundane?
5 Secrets to Finding Joy
- Compliment your child - by praising them, you yourself have to (a) find something to be thankful for in them and (b) focus on it. Plus, they too, will find joy.
- Fake it, till you make it - It has been proven that a smile will release endorphins, which actually improves your mood. So there is scientific evidence for faking it until you make it.
- Rest - Sometimes the best way to recognize what you are thankful for is to rest. Truly rest, not watching TV, not on your phone, not checking Facebook, but rest and observe your surroundings.
- Share a memory - Often sharing fond memories with our kids not only cause them to feel closer to us, but also causes us to naturally feel thankful for the good things we have had.
- Say thank you and mean it - Too often when a child does a good deed, we may say reflexively say thank you. I encourage you to next time they help you with a chore, say thank you, but be wary of just saying the words. Thank God in your heart as well.