This is a quote taken from a Beth Moore study on the "fruits of the spirit." Probably THE best study of the Bible that I've ever done. Part of her point was that we need to find joy in the little things as well as knowing that, as Christians, we will joyfully spend eternity in paradise with our God.
I also realize that we tend to be a little...maybe a lot...strict with our kids. That's not particulary a joyful process, though we hope it becomes joyful as they learn the joy of an obedient life. We want our boys to learn chivalry. We want our children to obey authority, to honor God in all their actions, to work to their full potential, to look to God for direction in their lives, to love others with agape (unconditional) love.
Then come those dreaded household rules like no running in the house, chew with your mouth closed, sit up at the table, tidy your toys. Oh, the joy in all of this! Sometimes we feel like dictators.
Then comes little Miss Jenna. The rules for her right now mostly fly out the window. She has enough to learn just coping with a new life. And with this, the rules have relaxed...and here comes the joy.
The joy in hearing our kids happily screaming and squealing as they chase their new sister through the house (Jenna screams the loudest!), the joy in relaxing table manners (after all...who can resist slurping noodles with their adorable sister or noisily slurping tea in the Chinese restaurant...hey...it's authentic!), the joy in watching the boys "argue" about who will help Jenna descend the stairs or buckle her carseat or lift her into the van. The joy of happy squeals as they pelt each other upstairs with socks and dancing to annoying...I mean sweet...children's music as they wiggle their little backsides (thank you for teaching us all this, Amarin)? The joy of hearing Jenna's laugh that sounds like she's hyperventilating. The joy in watching the boys vy for her attention by making silly faces. The joy of watching them all give each other hugs and kisses goodnight...more than they did before because now there's another little one to love on...hence, not getting to bed right on time. The joy of hearing "I love you" spontaneously from Jenna. The joy of looking into their rooms to see all FIVE of our children sleeping peacefully.
Joy. What a blessing.