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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sustaining Joy

It is easy to write about events in our life and substantially easier to write about exciting news, triumphs, and successes. Much more of real life happens for us in the in-between time; when the days seem a little longer and the road a little less scenic. It is important to me to include blogs like this because this is where we are the majority of the time! It is easy in these times to wonder if anything of any significance is happening anywhere. The past week has felt this way~ We have just kept putting one foot in front of the other. We have felt more significantly that our time here is already fleeting. I think it has been difficult to take full advantage of Philly. It is much larger than any city we've ever lived in and the suburbs more segmented. All the while, much is happening. Micah just completed more tasks on his to-do list for CFA. The boys just grew a centimeter and came to understand a little more about life. Elijah can almost do a cartwheel and Andrew has decided he prefers showers to baths:) By God's grace, I just moved a little closer to more fully internalizing how good He is through some "happenstance (to me)" experience. There is a lot of joy to be found with a right perspective and thankful hearts. We are still so grateful for this opportunity and look for ways to make our time here more than a blip on our family timeline.

One thing about finding joy both in the significant and mundane things in life for me is the temptation to use those to try and maintain sustaining joy. It is weeks like last that proves to me that I must have another plan- or trust God’s plan. Temporal good things while momentarily satisfying are fleeting. I am learning by God’s grace that lasting, persevering joy has to come from somewhere else. If you haven't heard the song C.S. Lewis Song by Brooke Fraser, it is excellent in communicating, as Lewis did, that…

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here.

But as the song eloquently states to balance the truth about our hopeful future- and now I am paraphrasing the lyrics - but while we are here, we are made to live, love, and to know God. Life is but a breath that we must breathe before it vanishes. But we with all creation groan for the hope that is to come.

In thinking on this theme I was recently struck by the lines from Psalm 16:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

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

Joys can be found in life but much of it is difficult, uncertain, and many times seemingly mundane. Although I cannot always see them, the lines are falling for me in pleasant places, are providentially ordered, and provide me with a beautiful inheritance. The culmination of all the promises of God offers among so many other things justice, peace, and rest and in His presence, I will find fullness of joy. It won’t be the kind of joy that ends as soon as I forget to remember a milestone or good gift, but promises to carry me through ordinary days.


Jaime said...

Thanks for the encouraging post! It was what I needed today. Also, I had to smile at the shower instead of baths for Andrew...Emie started that about a year ago and now I can never convince her to jump in the bath with Lily to get them over with together. Plus, she wants to stand under the water FOREVER! So, I'm sure our water bill is much higher. It's almost sad, though, that they're growing up so fast!!! Miss you all.

Anonymous said...

There is a Soverign Grace Church there in Philly its called Grace Bibe Church... Here is their website...

Amber Nichols

P.s Could you email me your email again My Email deleted a bunch of Emails and yours was one of them so I can not respond back to your last email.

Anna M said...

Thank you for sharing this, Tiffany. So good of you to write about true day-to-day things...and with your inspiring words, it's truly uplifting. Thanks!