This is a guest post from Tiffany from Outmatched Mama
The mountain of laundry that has toppled off of the couch onto the floor is the straw that broke the tired mama's back. The complaining begins. The dishes are disgusting, there's nothing to eat. The kids are very dirty, and the dogs sorta stink. Oh, and did I mention we are late to co-op? And I can't stand being late!
Grump. Grump. GRIPE!
"Mommy, are you tired? Mommy are you sad?"
No one's shoes are on. Sister's teeth aren't brushed. The baby is screaming. I am too tired for this. My joy feels like it never existed in the first place. A content heart is nowhere to be found.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds... James 1:2
Surely when Paul said to count it ALL joy, he didn't mean MY circumstance. He couldn't possibly know what kind of chaos ensues in this place I call home - 900 square feet, three children, two dogs, and one unhappy mother. He surely didn't know how exhausted I am every day!
But the Lord is faithful to call me out of my ungratefulness. He loves me too much to leave me grumbling.
I turn on the radio to drown out the grouchy children that I am too numb to deal with. On comes a sweet mama, who is talking about how much she loves doing her children's laundry. She even calls it "laundry love." (Say what!?) My ears are instantly perked. It's not possible that someone enjoys doing laundry. It is a chore that we are all doomed to perform. Up goes the volume and the surrounding sounds quiet down to hear.
Turns out this lady really did love doing her family's laundry. She cherished every moment she could spend loving her children by providing them with clean clothes. You see, she felt this way because she didn't know how many more days she would get to spend scaling laundry mountain to serve her babies and her husband whom she was still very much in love with.
She was dying of cancer. Terminally ill. Nothing left to do but write letters to her children, and to her husband's future wife - whom she prayed diligently for - hoping that her young children would get to grow up with a mommy, even if it couldn't be her.
This breaks me. The fullness of my selfish sin is brought in the light of His holiness. My ungrateful heart weeps for His mercy and forgiveness. How ungrateful I have been!
The blessings that were right in front of my face all through my griping become apparent. My beautiful children and husband. The blessing of having an abundance of clothes to wear that create laundry. I can throw these clothes into a machine to wash for me. The blessing of getting to eat food that we always have available, on dishes abounding. I don't have to go to bed tonight wondering if it is the last time I get to do my children's laundry.
I get to teach them today. I get to brush their teeth, and kiss them goodnight - all without worrying if they will have their mommy in the morning. How ungrateful I have been!
I begin to thank Him for every blessing no matter how small, and my heart swells with joy. Count it ALL joy. Count it ALL joy. Consider it pure joy. There is too much to thank Him for. Too many blessings! I could do nothing but thank Him. I will do nothing but thank Him.
@@In order to count it all joy, you have to COUNT. @@
I am reminded to thank Him in ALL things. A thankful heart is what is best for me, and brings Him glory.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
When you are counting, joy becomes a choice you make instead of something that your circumstances can steal from you.
I wish I could say that I awake every day, bursting forth in joy and am a joy to those around me always! But alas, I am an outmatched mama who's ever abundant weakness allows God's power to be perfected. But I wake up each day determined to count. Gratefulness, for this abundant trial filled life He has given - a life we never were entitled to, and grace we NEVER deserved enable our hearts to birth joy.
He gives us everlasting joy even among the trials, because we know where our hope and our help come from. We also can stand on His promise that the trial (or every day, daunting, laundry covered, bone tired, trials) won't last forever. Joy is coming! Though the sorrow may last through the night, JOY comes in the morning.
Though the weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalms 30:5
Start your day knowing that you are outmatched, but focusing on continually seek Him. And don't forget to count.
Joy is a choice you make each day, mama!
Only a grateful heart, joy can fill. Out of a joy filled heart, no circumstance can steal.
Tiffany is an outmatched mama to three crazy amazing kiddoes, Jesus follower, homeschooler, and blogger. Her goal is to encourage and equip mamas like you to be the women God created them to be. Check out her FREE two week Bible Study for busy mamas - get into the Word even in your busiest season of life!
How do you make sure you are counting your joy?