Friday, November 14, 2014

Some days...





This is the day that the Lord has made! I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!! Right??

Ummm...well...in a perfect world and walking only in the spirit, I would be joyful and give thanks ALWAYS....BUT....

some days....I just can't...or I feel like I can't....

some days are sooooo hard. They seem to never end, and I seem to totally lack joy....and yet....I know that this is our mission field, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what the Lord has called us to do....

so why??  

why are some days so incredibly hard that I can't wait for them to end? If each day is a gift from the Lord...then I need to remember that, and NOT reject the gift because something doesn't go as I thought or as I planned it to go.

seriously......since we started this latest journey with the Lord 2 years and one month ago, it seems that NOTHING has gone according to what we expecxted or thought...and yet....we know that God is still in control! We know that! We believe that! 

And yet...I lack joy at times when I know that I need to dig deep and find it! When I know that God is the only one that I can get that joy from...NOT any human being...I know that! I believe that...and yet...

some days are just sooooo hard......

BUT...I'm learning to look for and celebrate the  bright spots. There are ALWAYS bright spots...

Let me tell you about a few!!

Recently my older children were in a play, and one famiy came over to help one of my daughters work on her lines. They had NEVER been to my house before! They'd met the kids, but never been to our house. So....they came over at a moments notice...No time to really get ready for them to arrive. 


our home is super active and can be VERY loud. They came over, stayed for a few hours and left. I thought to my self....ummm...well...that could have gone better...and was a bit busy beating myself up for this and that about the visit. The next day, I saw the Mom at the play, and she said...."Oh Mary...we had the BEST time at your house yesterday. There was soooo much peace and love there, I couldn't believe it! I've not experienced that in a long time! I went home and told my husband ALL about it! "



Seriously?? Are you sure you were at MY house....really??? I thought...Hmmm...am I my own worst enemy? YES!!! I am!! She wanted to come over again and have dinner and visit and learn how we can be soooo organized, etc. I was soooo humbled and blessed by her comments to me! Wow! That was a bright spot on a very hard day! You must know, too, that this was the  morning I loaded up all of the little kids and went to see the play! Whenever we go anywhere now, it's an event! So it was stresful getting them all there on time and being quiet and getting seated. It was sooooo hard!!! So I thanked God for that bright spot! And trust me...I've been able to go back to that and remind myself of that when it happens again on...some days....

and you know what?? Truly...lately...some days....are MOST days it seems! .....and yet......we forge ahead. Some days it truly comes down to taking the next right step and doing the next right thing...

If I don't start my day in God's word....that's a problem, a problem for sure for me and the rest of my precious family...and so I'm striving to do that every day! 

So the yesterday we went to the dentist. 8 of the 9 kiddos had appointments and so we loaded up and headed out very early yesterday morning for the one hour long plus ride to our beloved pediatric dentist who has watched over the years our family grow from 2 biological children to  the 10 children we have now. They cried with us when Zoey died! Anyway.....It was sooo hard to get everyone together and in the van and such....anyway...you get the point...so we got there one minute before our appointment...(it seems that we can not get anywhere early these days...) and we filed in...I'd like to say orderly, and quietly but ummmm...anyway...we filed in, checked in and prepared to wait to be called. This woman came over to me and said..."Can I ask you a question?"  "How is it that you came upon having all of these children with you? Do you do daycare or what?"...and I told her....."These are all of my kids, and they are all adopted!"...

She then got tears in her eyes and said..."Oh, God bless you! I was adopted, and I'm so thankful that you are willing to invest in all of these kids! You are an angel of the largest kind!"...and she hugged and hugged me. Well...I wasn't expecting that, that's for sure! But you know what...some days....no matter how things start out and no matter how I'm feeling, I still need to be shining God's light to others, and you know what?? This woman and her son saw the Love of God displayed in our family, inspite of me! And inspite of my attitude on the way to the appointment!!

Oh God ....are there times when I block you love and light with my lack of joy? Oh dear God...I'm sooooo sorry! Please forgive me! And so this precious woman at the dentist was a bright spot from God just for me!! And trust me...when JoyAnna was screaming in pain from her legs, and Rosie was in a fit and screaming on the van ride back to our home later that day...I clung to this bright spot, that was just for me! 

I just recently read that where there is joy, there is always gratitude! That's truly the key! And so the hymn Count Your Blessings has become my mantra these days....every day.....especially this verse:

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by!

Count Your Blessings name them one by one!
Count your blessings see what God has done!
Count you blessings, name them one by one! 
Count your many blessings and see what God has done! 
And so that is precisely what I will do...not just some days....but ALL days...will you join me??

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

Oh thank you Mary. I feel exactly the same way many days. I ask myself, why, when I have been so blessed and am surrounded by love; the love He graciously gave me with each child he put on our hearts, why do I sometimes feel like I am soooo tired, so worn out, even feeling like a failure and I don't want to or feel I can't share these feeling because we got exactly what we asked for. We ARE so blessed, so why am I complaining? But your blog said it all. I am only human and on those days when I am changing Sarah's clothes because she has vomited in the car for the 3rd or 4th time on the way to a doctors appt., which she has a lot of...or when we are ALWAYS late. When we file into church, late and I am soaked in sweat and ready to nap; and I only have 4 children at home. I look at what you do and what God has helped me with and I find strength...and even more important, patience. Sometimes I forget to be patient with myself. I forget to give myself a break and just lighten up on me. Things get so hectic at times I forget to remember and see the joy. Thank you for reminding me that I am human and with God's help I will get through each day and yes, even laugh and love each day. Even when the days seem to run one right into the other...one step in the right direction at a time. Love to you and your wonderful family and know that this someone thinks you are amazing too.

Winslow Gang said...

Thank you Stephanie!! I really appreciate your honesty!! Transparency is sooooo important!! Keep in touch!!

Emily S. said...

Oh, Mary, this encouraged me so much! I was especially fighting for joy on Thursday evening, prayed for help, and God helped me start counting my blessings. He met me. I don't have any children, but I battle a chronic illness, and so have challenges of a different kind. I am so blessed by your family! Thank you for sharing your heart! Much love and many hugs!!

Winslow Gang said...

Hi Emily! Thank you for commenting! I really appreciate your transparency and I love that you have been counting your blessings! Yay!!! I'm blessed by you, too! Love you! M

K said...

It sounds like there are so many of us in the same boat! There have been a few days last month where, when I went to bed I started crying because I knew I'd have to get up the next day and keep going. But... as you said, there are bright spots and reasons for joy and gratitude every day, and sometimes a friend or stranger can say or do something to lift us right up.

Emily S. said...

Thank you, Mary! Those are very sweet words! And, yes, I totally agree K: we have all been in the same boat! Isn't the community of believers so amazing?!