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Stealing my Joy

The One Word at a Time carnival topic today is joy......I am putting my twist on it and sharing when it feels like joy is being stolen from you. I am sharing a post from last October......because I feel I am sort of in the same place right now with my life and the busyness of it all. Like a repeat offender.

You see, our goals are set to glorify God in all that we do ( our plans with new renovation, our little farm, homeschooling, etc).......but sometimes we can focus so much getting closer to Him, those very same efforts are separating us from Him.

Keepin' it real......I am guilty as charged.

And without Him, what good is all of this?

(make sure you stop on over at Bridget's place where so many share their great thoughts on joy today, as well)

Stop the Ride, I'm Gonna Puke
(orig. posted 10.22.09)

Nice title, huh?

Well that kinda sums up how I have been feeling.....I feel like I am on this never-ending spinning ride at one of those carnivals and there is a freaky transient guy, with no teeth and bad skin, who is running the ride who refuses to stop it. Or wait, was that a dream I had? Regardless.....I do feel that I am on the not-so-merry-go-round of chronic activity lately.

(just for the record, I do not go on those creaky carnival rides, in fact I stay clear of them because I always think about how they totally do not use all the proper nuts and bolts to put them together. I mean, think about it.....how many times are those death traps erected and taken down??? Surely a few screws and thingamajigs get lost during their travels and it probably is too much work to find a replacement.....anyway, for the record, I avoid carnival rides and the sometime strange people running them. *hopefully not offending any of the non-creepy traveling carnival entrepreneurs who might be reading this.....or people who know/love them)

So, my life is whirling by me these past few weeks and I just want need to slow.it.down. I want need peace. I want need my joy back.

Sure, we've been busy with Homecoming, Hunter's birthday, searching for documents to finish up our re-fi, new additions to our herd, and homeschooling events. And btw, who-ever thinks that homeschoolers have no social interaction should come and hang out with us because we have hardly been home with all the events we've been involved in lately.

Another thing that is keeping us busy is the onset of fall....which in New England means winter is like... next week. I think that is why New England people are known to be uptight and always in a rush....it's because we try to cram in everything while we have a glimpse of enjoyable weather because we know that our summers are getting shorter and there is less time/light on our side to get whatever we want to get done, done. Our weather is very unpredictable and that also gives that feeling of no control. So everyone is in a tizzy to either squeeze/cram in whatever you need to do because tomorrow might be a washout. For example.....today is nice....it's 65 degrees and clear. Tomorrow might hit close to 70. But last week we had four days of rain, frost on the early morning ground and even snow on Sunday.

But it's not only us North Eastern people, it's everywhere in the US (and the world). We are living in a world of "rush". We feel the need to do everything as fast as possible so we can get to the next duty on our list. We ship Federal Express, we eat fast food and we use instant messaging.

anyway....I am at a point where the hectic schedule is becoming a total drag to me. I am in dire need of some down time. I am scurrying around so much during the day that I am passing out as soon as I am in a horizontal position. I am missing out on the wind-down time with Josh. The time where he and I connect, talk about random stuff.......reconnect after the world/family/etc has kept us apart.

But most importantly......I am in dire need of my wind-down time with God. I need to push aside all the busyness and make the time for Him. I am guilty of only giving Him the leftovers, if anything, these past few weeks. I am spinning my wheels and most of time, I end up dizzy from the chaos.

Sure, I thank Him and give Him the glory for the blessings He is pouring on us....but I have not been still or quiet enough to just talk with Him....or better yet, listen to what He wants me to hear/know. I've talked before about how I need help staying still.....and I fear that I am on a path lately that isn't keeping God at the forefront. And that scares me, because I know that I need Him in everything I do. I need Him to keep me focused. I need Him to help me make decisions based on His word and wisdom. I need Him to be by my side in my daily walk. How can I have Him so close and influential, if I am keeping pushing Him back in my list of things to do?

It's like that line in a song by Casting Crowns, Slow Fade: "people never crumble in a day". I am afraid that I am getting caught up in what appears to be important, and putting off what is the most important. And by the time I am really needing to rest physically and mentally in Him......I am so wiped out and drained, that I put it off til the next day. Unfortunately, even with good intentions, it doesn't come to pass and the next morning, I foolishly (and wearily) jump right back on the hamster wheel and spin back into another rat-race of a day.

Sometimes, I try to justify it all and tell myself, "it's not like I am turning my back on God, He knows I love Him".....but am I deceiving myself into thinking that these small stumblings cannot easily turn into a huge disaster?

Maybe it's because I am selfishly taking for granted that God will be there whenever I get to Him, He is available 24/7, and/or I don't need to make an appointment.

Not cool.

Lately, I am rushing around, sometimes with white knuckles on the steering wheel making sure I get the kids to the football game in time, race in the store before it closes or drop off that package at the post office. Our whiteboard on the fridge has a full schedule of everyone's appointments because we all know my brain is on overdrive and I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, nevermind remember who needs to be picked up/dropped off when or where. (I won't admit about forgetting to pick up G at the skate park last week......uh, I guess I just did. Thankfully he is almost 18, has a cell phone to remind me......and is forgiving)

Even now.......as I am typing this away......I am feeling guilty because I could be using this time to spend some quiet time with God. I will say that I started this post in the wee hours of this morning and have been popping on and off, adding a few paragraphs,(and also deleting many that have gone WAY off topic.....I know you find that hard to believe)
So, we are in between lessons...it is now 1:21 and the kids are having lunch. I am justifying tip tapping away on the keyboard instead of sneaking in my room for some one on one with The One because I figure the kids will be busting in my room within minutes. So, why should I even attempt it now? (ouch, that was raw truth.....but hey, I am keeping it real!)

...but that is not the point, or an excuse. The point is......I have NO excuse. I should have/could have done it this morning. I should have given God His sacred portion of my time before anything/anyone got some. I know the intention behind my blog is to share/shout about how much I love Jesus.......but guess what? I think that sometimes I am so busy about God's business that I am leaving Him out.


So today, my prayer is that I slow down and start making the time for God. I pray that I can put Him first before any/all appointments for the day. He is far more important than anything that I make appointments for or scramble through the day to do. I want to give Him my "first fruits"....not my weary leftovers. He is worthy of my best and I need to let Him know that. I want to slow down, to be still, to make room in my busy life....for Him. Because I know when I start my day with Him, there is peace and joy......and it will sustain me through my day.

Peace and love~


Angela said...

I do start my days each morning with the Lord before I do anything else. I'm finding though I need to work on this time since the joy of the moment with Him is trying to be stolen from me also. To slow down in my time as I spent sitting at His feet, instead of trying to rush my 'visit' with Him..sigh.

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Thanks for the reminder Michelle. Right now I am feeling sort of like this. I had a conference I attended last week, have several appointments already scheduled, a lunch appointment, an orthodontist appt on Friday at 7:00 (my day off) and then on to the hospital for someone's surgery, two weddings this month..whew I am making myself tired just writing this. That is not all the other stuff I have to include also. My down time is on my bicycle and that has been missing. I go home at night and look at it on the rack and say, "tomorrow, old friend, you and I will find time." But then it is gone. I will make time today (weather permitting) to spend with my old friend. Thanks for the reminder. LOL

Bill (cycleguy) said...

BTW: I do have my Quiet time very early in the morning so I at least get that in but even then it is sometimes like rote. Not good.

Joyce said...

'repeat offender'...guilty here too!

Thanks for this reminder...if I want joy in my life I need to spend time with the One who brings it!

JC Dude said...

There so many "Joy Stealers" out there! Thanks for sharing your heart and reminder.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7

God Bless!

alicia said...

Very much guilty as charged here. I can completely understand how you said "I'll just be interrupted so why bother starting" I know its wrong, and its sad how some days the most important thing in my life is what I decide can be set aside until I have time. Thankfully our God doesn't set us aside until He decides He has time for us.
Thanks for the reminder!

Kristina P. said...

I can so relate. I feel like I am cosntantly on the move, I don't have enough time to breathe and reflect.

Russell Holloway said...

Slowwwww Down *Michelle* ... :-) Staying off that hamster wheel is a hobby of mine, too. Thank you for your post, and blog ... :-)

Bina said...

I remember this post...and I am still convicted as I read it again, which goes to show you aren't the only one who hasn't moved too far :)

I have missed you...am glad to be back here again :)

jasonS said...

Last week, we had a church retreat to pray and worship and seek God. It was so needed & so powerful! I agree with you heartily. Thanks...

Anonymous said...

"And without Him, what good is all of this?"

that's the part that stood out for me.

photogr said...

I guess I am more fortunate than most. I am retired and my part time 60 hour a week job demands a great deal of my attention. However, it does not stop me from having quiet time and speaking to the Lord or Holy Spirit many times during the day or evening if only to say "Hello, I am thinking of you." Yep, I do get in a few prayers for others too.

Glynn said...

You're telling a lot of our stories here. Thanks for the (re)post.

Tricia said...

I will pray for you that God gives you the desire of your heart. Thanks for being so very real.

Anonymous said...

Ok my sistah... thanks for this much needed reminder.

btw... my daughter ended up getting whiplash and went through months of pain and tests after riding one of those wonderful carnival roller-coasters. Beware! hehe

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen my friend! I try to have quiet time in the morning. But sometimes the day gets away from me. Thank you for keeping it real and reminding us where we should get our strength and joy for the day!

caryjo said...

I try... but my mind is always whipping around. I do read the Word usually... but praying and quiet time? EHH! They so often end up being done while I'm falling asleep. The best "visit" time I have with the Lord is when He sends me on a day-long or otherwise drive [no passengers]. I sing, pray, holler, listen to CDs with Word or teaching, and sing and pray some more. Unfortunately, that isn't happening as often as it did for several years. AND, in your case, you still have the young 'uns, which is not the case with me. I'm leaving on a trip the end of May, will be gone a week, and am looking forward to the quiet time and the hang-out-few-phone-calls-no-interruptions-time. Can hardly wait!

sanjeet said...

There so many "Joy Stealers" out there! Thanks for sharing your heart and reminder.
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prashant said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and reminder.
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