Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Consider it pure joy.....

When things go our way, when they unfold exactly as we had planned, we feel a sense of satisfaction, we feel victorious and accomplished, sometimes joy.

When things deviate from the plan, when hitches happen, and things go off course, we tend to feel disappointed, deflated, or defeated. And when our plans are derailed, it's easy to wallow and lament and mourn over our hopes for what we wanted, rather then make good use of what we ended up with.

I'm struggling with this concept greatly while we're here on vacation. It seems to me it's been calamity after calamity since we departed from home. It has not been at all the idylic, relaxing, fun filled holiday, but rather it's been filled with stress, illness, and bad weather.

We arrived on Thursday, we got lost on the way to the vacation house, stress (and it's cold)...

Friday, we grocery shopped and laid low, nothing bad, just nothing good either (it's still cold)...

Saturday, my mom and sister left for home because my sister was sick and needed to go home (cold)...

Sunday we went to Gatorland, had fun mostly, had lunch at McDonalds on the way home, made a delicious homemade pasta dinner, enjoyed a good visit with family, went to bed feeling vaguely unwell, and spent the entire night throwing up. I never throw up. Only when pregnant, and only once per pregnancy, so this is a particularly cruel form of torture for me.

Monday, it's a beautiful day, absolutely gorgeous, and we're doing Disney today, but Elvis and I feel horrible. I can't eat a thing, I can't walk 10 feet without having to sit down, but we try and tough it out. Elvis's sister and her husband take Avery on a handful of rides before we have to call it quits and leave after just 3 hours at the park. I feel guilty and sad for ruining this day for my kids.

Tuesday, this brings us to today, and I feel slightly improved, but it's grey and raining out and not a good day to go anywhere. If I feel a bit better later we may go to Target or WalMart, maybe Cracker Barrel if I'm feeling really adventerous, but otherwise we're laying low again.

It's not been what we hoped for, or planned for. It's been disappointing, and at times really upsetting, it's not been a dream vacaton by any means, but, it's our vacation.

James 1:2-4 says....
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds. Take your struggles and disappointments and be joyful for them, because they test tyour faith and make you able to persevere. Let this experience work on you, and test and strengthen you, so that you can be mature and complete and not lacking anything.

Can I take joy in the circumstances of our vacation that have disappointed me? Can I be happy inspite of being unwell and having our plans derailed? Can I view them as trials of my faith and as building blocks to make be better able to persevere? Can I view all the little hitches as learning experiences? Can I trust that God is using them all for our good?

Sure. I just need to overcome one big obstacle. Me.

I need to overcome my human need to rationalize and wonder why?

I need to get over my need to control and manipulate every situation to suit me.

I need to stop thinking that my world and my life should revolve around my wishes and my wants.

It's not all about me.

Sure we planned to go on vacation and be in Florida at this time, but God's plans override our own and He is working in our lives, no matter where we are or what we want to be doing while He does it.

So, if I can get used to the idea, that I'm not in charge, that I'm not the director of this movie, or the conductor of this train (or whatever metaphor you prefer), then I can give control over to God and let Him work all things for our Good. And I can take joy in, and celebrate the trials we face, that serve to build character and strengthen us. And in time, I can see the good they do, each hardship brings about something positive as a result.

When Kerry and my mom had to leave, we were so emotionally effected by it, that we actually cried and hugged and said "I love you" to each other, which may seem pretty insignificant to many, but for us, for our family, that's a big deal. It was an emotional outpouring that we just don't do, not because we don't feel it but because we're not good at showing it. And even though it's sad that Kerry was sick and that they had to leave, and I wish they could have stayed, we got to share and show some love that we may not have otherwise, and our relationships may have all been strengthened just a bit by that unfortunate circumstance.

I haven't figured out what's good about being sick, or about cutting Disney short, but I'm confidant that in time God will reveal what His purpose for these things were. I'm still dwelling on letting my kids down, and on disappointing them by ruining the day they were looking forward to the most, but I'm trying to get past that. I'm not in control, I can only do my best with what we're given, and I think I did that.

We have two days left of our vacation, and I'm praying that they're good ones. I'm praying for good weather and for good health, but most of all, I'm praying for the ability to take whatever we're given and make it good for the sake of Elvis and the kids, so that they can go home and feel like they had a good time away, so that we can look back at our trip fondly, and so we can laugh about the trials we faced while we were here.

Afterall, this time in itself is an incredible blessing.

We're all here together, away from the snow and the cold of Ontario's winter, away from the demands of work.

We're sharing this time with our family, members from both sides.

We're staying in a fantastic vacation house, with all the comforts of home and all the luxuries a vacation brings.

We've had some fun, and more to come.

When we were at our sickest, we had family to rally together and care for our kids when we couldn't, and they cared for us too.

We've had a break from the every day.

And we've learned our capacity to endure under pressure, and we're learning to make the best of what God gifts us with, because that's all we can do.

I want to learn to be joyful and grateful, even if what I get is not what I expected, it's always more then I deserve.



Joy said...

In Dec my family had a vacation that didn't go as I would like. I was looking fwd to getting out of the cold and into some warm sunshine. Wouldn't you know it was the week this city got rain, hadn't rain almost the whole year! I was SOO disappointed, I cried!! Several times! lol I could feel in my heart I should have the attitude you posted but sadly I didn't. I had trouble with giving up control that week ;) and more then likely missed out on things I could of learned from Him.

Post a Comment