August 28, 2010

remembering joy.

yesterday i had time to be.
and i remembered...

God is good.
Life is good.
Men are that they might have joy.
He wants us to be happy.

Somehow, amidst our month long vacation I forgot.

having 6 kids is hard.
babies are hard.
school aged kids are hard.
tweenagers are hard.
being married is hard.
not feeling good is hard.
cooking, cleaning, laundry... hard.
worrying about money is hard.
being in school is hard.
being in the car for 22 hours is hard.
staying with another family is hard.
(even if you have GREAT friends and GREAT family).
summer is hard.
swimming and packing and planning and constantly doing is hard.
being with people all the time is hard (for me).
back to school planning is hard.
calming the chaos, answering with a soft answer, teaching principles, corralling the energy, etc., etc.,
yes.  this is the life i CHOOSE.
yes.  this is the life i LOVE (most of the time).
but it is still HARD much of the time.

Life seemed hard.
God seemed harsh.
I measured my days by the hours of sleep i wasn't getting, the number of times my children disobeyed and the countdown- till i was in my own home.
My prayers had become obligations or blank pleas for help...
"please help me be enough..."
but deep down i felt ALONE.
alone and inadequate.
i felt God looking at me and shaking His head...
i could hear His whisper...
"Oh Jen.  BUCK UP."
i KNEW He would not take away the hard.
sometimes regular life is just hard.
and so i trudged on.
my strength- my endurance- my hard work...
a little resentful.
very tired.
i wasn't in a BAD place, just distant and ALONE.

yesterday i was reminded,
and i repented.
my idea of God, of Christ was mistaken.

yes.  He wants us to grow.  but, amidst our growing He blesses us.
He isn't just "cheering us on from the sidelines"
He is watching, He is waiting, He is calling us to come to Him.
He holds water... pure water of peace and joy.
He wants us to come and drink and find REST...
even during the game.
His yoke is easy and His burden is LIGHT.

But, I think I just get so busy, and so distracted, and so tired that i forget to STOP and find REST.

i forgot joy.

Yesterday, i was born again, again.
i remembered that He is real.
and, He is my SAVIOR.
everyday, every moment.
i remembered and i drank HIS peace.
i let myself feast and be filled.
and... i didn't clean my house yet.
peace and joy amidst the chaos.
how i have missed Him.

"ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is PRESERVING you from day to day, by LENDING you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even SUPPORTING you from one moment to another..."  Mosiah 2:21

This is my Savior.
He preserves me from day to day
He lends me breath
He supports me from moment to moment

He calls to me...
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I SHALL GIVE THEE REST... ye SHALL find REST for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-30

this is for ME.
this is for YOU.
He will give us REST.
it's NOT EARNED, it's GIVEN...
because HE is good enough.
because HE loves perfectly.
because HE promised.
because HE is mercy and grace.
and all i need to do is REMEMBER Him and COME to Him.
psalms 16:11...  isaiah 50:11... John 16:20... doctrine and covenants 101:36... John 14:27...  John 15:11... John 17:13... Eph 2:14... isaiah 48:22... doctrine and covenants 121:7

I had a friend who said once, "I know God is talking to me when I learn something that I didn't know before."
That is how he recognized when the Spirit was talking to him.

I can add my testimony to this.
I know God is real.  I know Christ is my Savior because yesterday, he took my cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, martyr of a spirit and he gave me peace and joy.
Peace and Joy that i could not find on my own.
It was a gift.
It was real.  It was miraculous.  It was life changing.
I pray I will remember.
and come again and again to the living water
"whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."  john 4:14

i guess the moral of my story is...
If you are constantly RUNNING, don't forget to be continually DRINKING.
peace and joy.
it's free.
nope, not free. 
paid for... and waiting for pick up.

ps.  sometimes i smile at my religious posts.
you see, in general, Mormons are private religious worshipers.
perhaps it is just tradition, perhaps it is the fear of being judged, perhaps it is the feeling that to openly talk about what is dear to your heart somehow cheapens the experience.
i have learned much from my sweet, texas, Christian friends.
they testify openly, and i love it.
and so, i have become more like them.
in my Mormon way.


Kerri said...

Wow, this is such a sweet and tender post. I loved every bit of it. I'm feeling reborn lately as well, and I'm amazed by the grace and peace there is in hard times when we allow Christ's sacrifice to work in our lives.

Thank you for being willing to put personal things out there to teach the rest of us.

Rachel Ure said...

loveyour "bold" mormony religious posts.
by-the-way. yester day i heard this coming form my laundry room:
"ribbit, ribbit, does anyone love me ribbit ribbit sure i am an ugly frog but my family couldn't have forgotten me?"

Teachinfourth said...

Some good points and advice that I think many people could relate to…I know that I can relate to a few of them.


Rebekah said...

Time to add drinking to my running, eh?
Loved:"paid for...ready for pick-up."
Thanks, jen.

The Tremendous Thomas Family said...

Oh Jen your posts always put things into perspective for me and I really really appreciate it! Time to go get a drink:)

Reenie's World said...

Thank you for this. My feelings were all just laid out here by you. I am grateful for your words and reminders. A testament to me that the Lord is mindful of everyone, and can touch one soul by words from another.

Amen, amen, amen.

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