Pick Up Joy
Have you thought about the difference between joy and happiness?
Happiness is the reaction to something great.
For a Christian, joy is the product of Someone great. You can have joy even when your life is in shambles and you are facing an uncertain future. Because you know WHO has your future in His hands.
Let’s face it. There are plenty of happy moments in homeschooling. There is something euphoric about celebrating a learning victory alongside your child. Or those unhurried moments over a breakfast of muffins and tea. And the wonder of learning about hammerhead sharks or tornado alley is unmet. (Or was this just in my house?)
Then there are those UNhappy moments. Your son has forgotten all the steps for solving a word problem…even though he had seemingly mastered it weeks before. All you can manage for breakfast is cold pizza and maybe a half a cup of cheerios because you need to get to the grocery store. OR your preschoolers have made a fort with every available article of clothing (clean or otherwise) in the living room. And your precious mother-in-law pops in for a quick visit.
Of course, those moments are overwhelming…but mostly temporary.
What about those unhappy seasons of unfortunate events? A scary health diagnosis. A loss of income. A child with a learning challenge that never seems to progress.
My family experienced all of those and more during our homeschool journey. I had to learn that my joy could not be found in what I was experiencing or even what I could see.
I believe joy is a CHOICE. We can set it aside. We can neglect to pick it up. We can let the cares of life smother that joy.
And this isn’t a one-time choice. It is an everyday choice. We have to invite God into our lives daily and then thank Him. Thank Him for His grace. Thank Him for the privilege to call Him Father. Thank Him for the blessings of your children and your spouse. Thank Him for the absolute honor and opportunity to homeschool.
Fill your days with grace. Soak up His word. Your feelings might not fall in line. There will be some days that you are merely acting from obedience. But God knows your heart. He sees you.
Choosing joy means that you are trusting in His plan and His purpose, despite what you see around you. He understands your frustration and your heartache. And His promises are true. He will never leave you or forsake you.
You can have true joy in your suffering and in your sorrow.
Here is one last thing to consider. When you choose to pick up joy each day, you are teaching something more precious than algebra to your children. And that’s something for us all to think about.
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.