Where Is My Joy?

Life to the full“Oh Mum I’m so tired and grumpy,” she said with eyelids heavy and voice slow. “My class was sooooo long today.”

Not true.  Her tumbling class is always the same length. And for the record, she loves her tumbling class.  At least, she used to.  But lately she’s been less eager in class.  And emotionally ragged when we leave.  She’s been lacking her usual joy and bounce.  I’m pretty sure I know why.

The kids have been delaying and fighting bedtime for the past month.  Enticed by Summer’s early dawns and late sunsets, they are getting two to three hours less sleep every night.  Not awesome for them.  Not awesome for us.  And, it turns out, not awesome for her opinion of tumbling.

Sweet daughter, you are tired.  And it’s affecting your view of things.  You are feeling stretched and stressed.  You are functioning on fumes.  In your tiredness you are feeling lethargic, easily irritated, and increasingly overwhelmed.  Your perspective is warped.  Your ability to enjoy life has been capped.  Baby, I know it’s hard to believe but tumbling hasn’t changed.  You have.

And there it is.  A lesson from God for me through my kids.  Again.

When parts of life become less enjoyable, who do we blame?  How quickly do we judge things, people, events, circumstances as being substandard, unenjoyable, and faulty when the problem is actually with us?

How common it is for humans to become jaded and unimpressed.  It seems that within us all grows a creature of dissatisfaction.  It eats away at our joys and skews our perceptions.  It robs us the joy of simple pleasures.  It leaves us as unimpressed critics of the lives we used to love. Like Anton Ego, in Ratatouille.

And our joy dries up.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. (John 10:10 NLT)

Her loss of joy of tumbling is making me ask myself: What have I lost joy for?
Her warped perception is making me ask: What have I unfairly judged?
Their avoidance of sleep is making me ask: What am I avoiding that is desperately needed in my life?

I cannot force them to get more sleep.  But I can work on my own attitude.  Selah. 😉

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