Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Choose JOY . . .

For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. Psalm 63:7

Today I am going to choose JOY.

Ever notice when you decide to make a conscious effort to be joyful life tends to go awry? Well, in case you haven't noticed, let me just warn you, going awry will probably happen. lol

For those who don't know, my husband, college daughter and I, all moved into our little RV home this past summer. For the most part, it has been a peaceful and even tranquil transition. Once I resolved to make the best of the situation and enjoy the perks, like a much smaller area to keep clean, (I don't even own a mop any more!), being able to sit outside in the mornings and have my devotional time looking at the water, and a host of other things, life really got much better.

Then winter happened. I know that may not be shocking to most people, but having lived in Mississippi for almost my whole life, winter is something that happens to the rest of the country, but not us. I mean, we have a really cold snap off and on, and occasionally it snows. But the next day it all melts, giving a concrete meaning to the term cold SNAP.

Unfortunately, like most of the eastern half of the country, winter in Mississippi has been a little weird this year. Frigid cold weather has rocked our southern world. And out little RV has rocked with it, with the wind, that is. So far we have invaded my parents' home now three different times. Christmas week we had an electrical circuit blow. On a Sunday. So we had no electricity. Then we forgot to leave the water running overnight during the first really cold front we had and woke up to no water. For three days. And last night at midnight we were gotten out of bed by a chirping sound that we finally identified as the LP gas monitor. We reset it twice to no avail. Then we got the manual out. The instructions were pretty severe. Turn off the gas, open all the windows, turn on all the exhaust fans, do not turn touch any light switches and exit the RV! So at 1:00 this morning we showed up at my parents' home to spend the night for the third time in a month.

As we were frantically trying to get dressed and grab what we had to have to leave the RV last night, visions of the RV exploding into flames and burning up were racing through my head. If there are two things I'm afraid of, fire and gas explosions would definitely be at the top of the list. I got a pretty sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it. Then as we drove away, the thought occurred to me that even if that happened after we left, that the three of us would not be in it! And I thanked God that we were safe. I was reminded of a friend from my youth whose house just burned. Her beautiful spirit of gratefulness for God's protection over her family in the middle of the night has been an inspiration to me. Even in her mourning the loss of pictures, family heirlooms, those treasured things that we pour so much of our lives into, she is able to praise our Father for his loving arms that kept them safe and woke them up in time to get out of their burning home. And I was humbled. Again.

So today I am going to choose JOY.

JOY for an annoying chirping sound that alerted us to danger.

JOY for knowing that a heavenly Father is watching over my family even when we aren't thinking about Him.

JOY for the everyday mundane things that I take for granted, like electricity, running water, heat when it's cold.

JOY for parents who are willing to open their home to us time and time again, even at 1:00 in the morning!

JOY for life itself.


Just one tiny little word.


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