Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Complicated Joy

I have been considering that one of my goals for myself was to be more authentic in my writing. I am loving the Not Me Mondays and my thursday recipes. And both of these things are true to who I am. The "Not Me" format fits my sarcastic sense of humor quite well. And I love trying out new recipes and sharing when I find something easy that I like. But, the truth is, these things are just easier for me to write about than things that leave me feeling more vulnerable and exposed. I am going to try and remedy that today.

I find myself in one of the most difficult seasons of my life thus far. My marriage is hard. Our finances are strained. My brain is scattered. I am dissatisfied. Yet, simultaneously, I find myself in one of the most beautiful seasons of my life. My God is faithful. My children are amazing. My body, though tired, is healthy and strong. I am satisfied.

It seems that these two things could not co-exist. But, they do. And, I think this is true for many as I observe the lives of other moms around me. I think the fact is we live in difficult times. If you took a survey of a group of women I know, you would find many challenges: Children with chronic illnesses, special needs, a son taken to heaven, ill parents, difficult marriages, financial strains, work difficulties, strained family relationships, mental illness. At times, you can find any one of us looking tired and stressed- downright weary. But, each one laughs and loves and finds joy all around them.

As for me: sometimes, I have a real crab-fest. I find myself complaining much more than I like to admit. Some of my complaints are valid. Others are exaggerated by my pity party. But, each night when I look at my sleeping children I feel a check in my spirit. I am so blessed to be entrusted with these beautiful children. And I work really hard to raise them in such a way that pleases our Lord. (I don't always achieve it, but I work for it.) After a night of laughter with my husband, I am thankful that we made the covenant commitment to stick together even when it's difficult. For the past 12 months, when I am certain the money will run out, the Lord always provides a better way. And while my house feels out of control, I can keep in perspective that having a clean home is not going to make my family more complete. And that a clean house won't make a bit of difference eternally.

So, while I am not yet spiritually mature enough to say that I find joy in my suffering as Paul instructs, I feel as though I have reached a stage where I can find joy alongside my suffering.

I have complicated joy.
I am joyfully complicated.



  1. You guys are all in my prayers. I love that you are looking at the bright things when times are hard. Love you so much Aunt Dareth!!!

  2. Tears! You have said so well, how I often feel. Even when parts of my life seem so difficult, there is still so much happiness in other parts...all at the same time.

    Hugs to you and your struggles my friend!


  3. You are walking your faith out well, my friend. Praying and believing God alongside you.