Reflections

So today was my birthday. I knew that it was going to be a pretty normal day. My husband had to work his full-time job today and his part-time job tonight. Ryan still had school and karate. Meals still had to be made and regular chores around the house still needed to be done. We celebrated with my in-laws this past Saturday and my husband is going to take me out this weekend (he even lined up the babysitter!). So I told myself several times not to expect much of this day. I even told my husband that I was just going to pretend that Saturday was my birthday. That would have been a great plan if my dumb little brain had stuck with it! But no, I had to wake up hoping for one little thing. When it didn’t happen, I let it steal my joy. And from that moment, every little thing that didn’t go quite the way I wanted was just another nail in the coffin. All I could see was:

  • the one thing I wanted and didn’t have
  • nothing that I wanted for breakfast in the house
  • my hurting ankle (I rolled it at work earlier this week and it’s turning out to be worse than I thought)
  • stormy weather
  • the computer not working quite right

And the list of all the little things goes on! (Meanwhile there are thousands of people in Haiti still waiting for food, water, and medical attention.) So while my perspective was still completely self-centered, I sought to find my joy. In all the wrong places. A computer game, friends, a fictional book, and finally a movie. While I was in my agitated, hurt state, I went to my iTunes and synced the Hannah Montana movie to my iPod. (Yes, I’m admitting it! I like to watch Hannah. Mostly the first two seasons and the movie. I’m not so impressed with this last season.) I didn’t watch it right away, though. I picked up a few things, then sat down to decide what to do next. This was about 3:30 this afternoon and I finally listened to the Spirit prompting me to seek the Lord. From the time I awoke disappointed this morning, I had the thought in my mind that I should seek Him. But I ignored it. For hours upon hours! But when I finally poured out my heart to Him and confessed my selfishness, my pride, and my idolatry, He restored my joy immediately!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

God is everywhere all the time. Technically we are always in His presence. But He will allow His presence to be unfelt, unrealized. When we choose to walk in sin, we alienate ourselves from the Holy One. Though His Spirit still lives in the believer, we will not feel that way. We will not experience His joy and peace when we walk the path of darkness. And that is exactly what I did today. I allowed the enemy to sneak in and steal my joy. In my heart, I ran from His presence, and so I had no joy.

The really sad thing is that I wasn’t seeing His grace in my life! I received so many warm wishes for this day from people who love me enough to want to bless me. Ryan, who has been having some difficulty lately had a GREAT day at school! My husband, who I thought I wouldn’t see at all today, managed to come home for a few minutes with some cake for the boys and I to share to celebrate the day. And much more!

But isn’t it wonderful that God draws us back to Himself? I could still be wallowing here in self-pity. Instead, I lost all desire to watch Hannah (not even one second of it!) and instead found myself singing praises and making the most of the day. And God, in His abundant grace, didn’t leave me feeling guilty or needing further restitution. Instead, He just increased His blessings! Ryan had an amazing night at karate. I’ve never seen him do so well! Both boys were well behaved most of the night. I got to talk to my mom and sister on the phone. Chris stopped by again while he had a short break after a pizza delivery! Dinner (due to changed plans earlier this week) just needed to be heated — very little preparation. Many, many more friends made their well-wishes for my birthday known. And I got to talk to a sweet friend on Facebook chat that I have been missing.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

Ephesians 1:3

Yes, He has blessed me spiritually with eternal life, peace, joy, faith, and much, much more! And He has blessed me physically as well. Prayerfully, my life and attitude will better reflect that in the days to come! Of course, now I want to dance in worship to Him, but the ankle is hindering that desire. So I will have to dance in my heart and mind before the might King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

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