Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Embrace The Joy At Home

Jackie and I just spent a week watching our three Lubbock grandboys, ages 1, 3 and 5. Ok, so we're exhausted, but it was great fun. The boys were boys but behaved wonderfully the whole time. Their parents have obviously done a lot right. Sure we had our moments and wondered how mom and dad actually keep up with the constant questions, activity and neediness that normal kids that age expend.

Sometimes we'd get them all into bed and quiet at night and we would just collapse.

And I was reminded of when we were those parents and had the daily, non-stop responsibility for our two. How did we do it?  I'm not sure other than by the grace of God.

But I wonder how many parents under the pressures of parenting their little ones, saying "no" fifty times a day and being worn out much of the time also miss the little joys along the way. Perhaps we need to laugh and giggle a little more in the middle of our kids immaturity, challenges and being prone to look at themselves first.

One day, Silas, the three-year-old, was jumping on the couch. So I said, "Silas, don't jump on the couch please."  To which he responded, "Don't watch me do it." It took everything I had in me at the time to not laugh and unintentionally condone his actions, but inside I was cracking up. Somehow there was joy in seeing that little mind at work.

Joy came when we picked out and then carved our not so exotic pumpkins. And more joy arrived the next morning when we got up in the dark and had lit the pumpkins for them in the dark. Joy came when they rode the swing or their scooters with all their might grinning from ear to ear.

Joy showed up when they got their favorite donut with sprinkles or made a simple tower out of blocks. Joy was there when the oldest began to read words he never thought he could read.

All those little things could have been missed if we'd only focused on the BIG stuff or been too busy being productive. 

And remember joy doesn't only come in the good moments.  Joy isn't just another version of being happy. Joy can also be the feeling we have when we see something great, some work of God, some specialness in the difficult times when life isn't going as we'd hoped. We can bring some joy to our kids when we love them anyway when they've messed up.

We can exude joy when we teach our kids important lessons through their mistakes. We can have joy when we see those little bodies and minds attach themselves to new little learning moments or special times that don't require a lot of fanfare, money or fame.

Find some joy at your house even if times are tough. It's there if we'll look for it.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.