Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sunday mornings are typically filled with "hurry-ups" and "aren't you ready yets" as we struggle to get all 9 of us out the door with everyone having their hair brushed out, clean clothes on and shoes on their feet matching the left to the right. (The struggle is real. lol) We rush everyone around all morning, rush to get to church, rush to get kids checked in for children's church and finally a rush to get our seat in the sanctuary. It's really not a lot of fun. And some Sunday mornings when I am the first to get up, I'm already dreading getting everyone ready and heading off to church. I love Sunday morning services, I can't wait for it to roll around each week. But, the getting ready part...I have come to loathe it. It would be so much easier, and waaaaaaaay less stressful, to just stay home. And that's how that guy satan often gets us to sin...find the easy way. Satan has a way of stealing our joy in situations so that we will look for the easy route to take the next time.

I just recently read a new book from Max Lucado called Before Amen. I really loved it! He talks about going through life with a grateful heart. And I love what he says here:
Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems. (Lucado, 82)

It's pretty much impossible to have a grateful heart and have room for satan to steal your joy. Satan is the biggest thief around! He steals joy...often because we miss the blessings around us. The best way to get rid of a bad mood is to name things that you are grateful for in your life. "Before Amen," also talks about finding something from every letter of the alphabet that you are thankful for in your life (Lucado, 80). That's 26 things to be thankful for...imagine how many times you can go through the alphabet! In doing an activity such as this, you've made it impossible for satan to be a thief to you.
So a couple of Sundays ago I declared that satan was NOT going to steal my joy that day. I was not going to head off for worship with frustration and annoyance in my heart. I said (out loud), "Satan will not steal my joy." And I followed up with something that I was grateful for. There was plenty for me to be annoyed about that of our chickens had not gotten put away the night before and I looked out the window to see that our outside dog was "playing" with the chicken by tossing her up in the air and dragging her around the yard, my 9yo was in tears because the chicken didn't make it through the "playtime" with the dog, breakfast was spilled on the floor, little girls couldn't find their shoes, and my shower was ice cold!!!!! Satan was working overtime in our house that morning. But, before the chaos had erupted that morning, I had already determined that he wasn't going to steal my joy. I found gratefulness in Amazing grace, Bagels for breakfast, Church time that day, Dogs to love on, Each of my children, Faith, God, my Husband's willingness to take care of the lifeless chicken, Iced coffee, Jamming to "This is the Stuff," Kindness from my children to the one who was upset, Love filled home, Mom as my title, Not being grouchy, Optimistic attitudes, Playful moments, Quiet time earlier that morning, Remembering to laugh, my Stubbornness that joy would not be stolen, Time together as a family, Utter silliness that morning, Victory over satan, Wrestling, eXcitement for church, Yummy coffee, Zaney little personalities running all around me.
When we enter a time of worship and fellowship, it shouldn't be in a bad mood. I'm tired of getting to church in a huff. I'm tired of feeling grouchy before I leave for church. I'm tired of not enjoying those moments together as a family. And in each of those statements there is one common theme...choice. I choose all those behaviors. I do so because I allow satan to do what he is so good at, steal from me. I'm working so hard at staying focused on being genuinely grateful and shutting down satan before he gets a foothold on my day. I have a long ways to go, but I'm hiding away tools in my heart that God has provided to use against that thief. I will choose thankfulness over impatience. I will choose gratitude over annoyance. And I will remember that God is in control.


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