“Rejoice evermore” (I Thess 5:16). Such a short verse but such a difficult one to do. Us, mommas are very busy people with very busy lives. Do we even have time to rejoice?
I have found that we often get so caught up in the daily grind that we miss opportunities to rejoice in our daily lives. We tend to spend our days reacting rather than rejoicing! Everyday our lives present opportunities to find joy. It is much easier to find things to complain about and worry about. But complaining and worrying are joy robbers. When we are doing these things we are focusing on the negative and sad things in the situations in our lives.
How do we find joy and reasons to rejoice? We need to change our focus and we need to slow down. Checking off things on a to-do list is important as we go about our days but not at the sacrifice of missing joy. We need to “stop and smell the roses”. We need to stop and appreciate our children’s chatter, smiles and giggles. We need to enjoy the bird’s singing, holding our husband’s hand, the warmth of the sun or the patter of the rain. Maybe all of our “to-dos” won’t get done but the dirty dishes, the dirty floor will still be there tomorrow. But those small moments of life, those “precious gem” moments are sometimes just that moments. Times that you can never get back once they are gone.
We also have to curb our tendency to worry so much. God says, “Sufficient onto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt. 6:34b) We need to focus on the day we are currently in. Be present. Yesterday is over and who knows (except for God) what tomorrow will bring. Don’t let worrying over yesterday and tomorrow rob you of the joy of today.
Worrying will not change anything. The best thing to do with our worries and concerns is to pray them away. We have a heavenly Father who cares for us and our families and wants us to depend on Him for the concerns of our lives not constantly worrying over them.
Let’s spend our days finding “joy in the journey”. Let’s look for it in God’s magnificent creation, in our daily devotions with Him, in the gift of our marriages and children. Rejoicing requires thoughtfulness and mindfulness of the blessings we have. It requires time from the fast paced lives we often lead. Slow down. Pay attention. Find the joy, the laundry can wait.
Jennifer Hanley is a Christian stay at home wife to Brian and a mom. She has 3 daughters ages, 15, 20, and 25. She lives in NJ and currently has started a blog of her own at www.bloominginthetwilight.com