Joy by Lunchtime

I am a planner…and a list-checker.  I find myself rushing through one thing to get to the next, as if I am racing the clock to finish everything I have planned before the sun sets on the day.  In some ways, it is good that I am self-motivated and get a lot done in a day.  But with four kids who don’t understand why they should move a little quicker, I am having to learn patience.  I am trying to do better at slowing down and enjoying each moment, but I have to confess, it is an effort.

So, when I postponed homeschool classes this morning and allowed my kitchen table to look like this instead, it was completely out of character for this type-A Mama…but for a good reason!

DSC_0744Hearts for Kids is a program sponsored by a local radio station who collects Valentine cards for children who will be in the hospital on Valentine’s Day.  Volunteers then visit the children on Valentine’s Day to show them a little love and present them with cards made by local families to brighten their day.

When I slowed down to consider those precious children who are on an extended stay in the hospital, suddenly getting a page of Math problems done didn’t seem so important this morning.  So I gathered my little ones and we made cards until lunchtime.

DSC_0751

DSC_0746

DSC_0747And as we worked, a funny thing happened.  Joy came!  Joy in seeing my little ones so excited to be doing something for others.

DSC_0749Joy in watching little hands working so diligently.

DSC_0750Joy in reading their words of encouragement

DSC_0748and love.

DSC_0761Joy can be elusive.  And it can sneak up on you when you aren’t expecting it.  That’s what happened to me this morning.  I am ashamed to admit it, but I started out thinking ‘we don’t really have time for this’ and ‘boy are we going to have a mess to clean up’.  But by lunchtime, my sweet kids had turned this basket of supplies

DSC_0760into a big ole pile of JOY!  And for that I am so grateful!

DSC_0763The next time I am tempted to run right past joy because I think I don’t have time or it might make a mess, I pray that the Spirit will remind me that joy wants to be found…I just have to slow down long enough to seek it.

If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  ~Philippians 2:1-4

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