Joy is NOT Circumstantial

I have five children so my life is a little bit... chaotic, you know, in a happy, loud, crazy kind of way.  A friend of mine called and said she knew it was short notice but wanted to know if she could pop by for a visit.  "Of course you can sweetie, come on over, we are here."

As I hung up the phone I surveyed the scene... dirty breakfast dishes were still on the table, Rice Krispies were crunched up under the table, I was dressed but my hair was all askew since I had not had a chance to comb it out yet, one child was running around in a diaper waiting to be changed and I was nursing the baby.  A pile of laundry was in the corner waiting to be folded and an army of Fischer Price Little People were lined up as a tripping hazard in the middle of the sitting area.  My friend was due to arrive in about ten minutes.

*Deep breath*

Yes, I am a bit OCD.  I like to have things in their place and I like for people to have a good impression of me.  I want my home to be a sanctuary to others and I just don't know if stepping on Rice Krispies,  tripping over Little People, and being greeted by a crazy haired Momma = soothing.

I began to panic and then I remembered, she is not coming to see my house, she is coming to see me.

So, I quickly rinsed my hair, plopped the dirty dishes on the counter and called the rest good.

Vintage Picture of a Cute Baby Boy About to Wash Himself with a Basin and Pitcher of Water
We sat outside for a while before entering the house and talking about the ups and downs of being a Momma.  We drank tea, nursed our babies, changed diapers and let life unfold around us.  And as we were talking her eyes scanned the room and I thought "I hope she doesn't notice the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling, or the dust on the mantle, or the cat hair I can see on the back of the recliner or...."  She looked at me and smiled and said  "Your home is so peaceful".

I exhaled and thanked her.

After she left I sat and thought on why I get so worked up over things... things that don't even matter.  I had a wonderful visit with my friend - we had encouraged each other, shared our struggles and joys, and I could have missed out on it if I had said "no this is not a good time" for fear of my home not being perfect.

It was such a boost to my spirit to know that peace does not = a perfect home or calm,quiet children.  My friend did not see the pile of shoes by the door, or the diapers that needed to be folded.  She did not flinch at the excited children who loved on her little baby, or the few temper tantrums that occurred while she was here. Instead she saw the joy of the Lord in the midst of my crazy, messy, beautiful life.

JOY cannot be taken from us because it is not circumstantial. 
Joy comes from Jesus... He is the JOY Giver.

Can I get an Amen?

Learning to let go,

What brings you joy?