Finding Pockets of Joy

Today is my birthday.

It’s funny how birthdays change as we get older, and even more so when we become parents with young children. Honestly? I kept forgetting my birthday was even coming! (If you would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have thought you were bat crap crazy by the way!) My expectations for huge birthday plans has dissipated and in it’s place I’ve found myself just looking for little spots of joy. Little things to be thankful for especially today.

Pockets of joy.

They may not be big or noteworthy, just pocket size most times, but worth noticing and smiling for.

A free coffee.

The sheer delight on my children’s faces as they sing happy birthday to me, with the littlest one forgetting some of the words.

The warm sun after days and weeks of gloom and rain.

Kids curled up “reading” new library books.

Chirping birds narrating my quiet time.

A three year old actually loving her dentist visit instead of the spastic, fear-filled reaction for which I was mentally preparing.

An arm around each kiddo as we read together, and the help of the eldest to turn the pages when necessary.

Amazing children’s literature.

The list could go on and on.

Today could have been easy for me to focus on all the negatives, or the things that have not gone as planned. But finding these pockets of joy today has rewired my thinking and my heart.

It’s only halfway over, my birthday that is, and already I call it wonderful.

The First Time

I never could quite grasp the concept of hearing God’s voice. I mean, I understood it in the biblical sense from many years of Sunday school, vacation bible school, church camps and more flannel graphs than I can remember. But I didn’t understand the HOW behind it.

(I’ve always been more of a HOW girl than a WHY…in case you were wondering…)

HOW did people hear God’s voice? What did it sound like? Was it an actual audible voice?
HOW did people know when it was God? 
HOW did it happen in our modern day society? OR did it at all?
And also how come it hadn’t happened to me? Or did I even want it to?

There are a lot of things in my past I have forgotten over time, or only reappear in my brain when something triggers a memory. But the first time I heard God’s voice, and what he asked of me, has never left my memory.

I wish I could tell you the details, but since it involves other people that it might possibly hurt to hear this, I can’t. 

Well I guess technically I COULD, but I’m not going to do so. I never want to cause someone else pain purposefully, and especially don’t plan to do that on the internet. I digress.

But what I can tell you is this. When God spoke, I knew with 100% certainty it was Him. It wasn’t a voice I heard through my ears, but an inner nudge to my heart. And it was a nudge that became so intense I could not ignore. 

He asked me to do something that seemed impossible and too painful to think about. But I also knew, truly knew, that this was God taking care of me. Protecting me. Bringing me back to Him. 

So I jumped. (Figuratively of course.)

And it was hard.

And it was painful.

But slowly, the healing I so desperately needed came.

And then one day, I had THE realization. 

I stopped and looked at where I was in my life, and saw how far God had brought me. My eyes were opened to how many wonderful things I would have missed had I ignored His persistent prompting. 

God had asked me to take a step.

Just one.

A really ridiculously hard one. But just one.

And it changed the entire trajectory of my life. No, really.

I’m not over-exaggerating. 

If you stop and look at my life now, where I am at, the people I’m surrounded by, the amazing man I get to call my husband, our crazy yet adorable kiddos, the church that changed my life…all of those things are directly tied back to that one moment.

That one moment where I chose to be brave and finally follow God’s prompting.

One moment can change your life. Especially if it’s a moment guided by God.

Give it a try sometime. Even if it’s hard or painful, it will be worth it. I’m living proof.