Sunday, April 22, 2012

still choosing joy, or trying to

I recently got a Vizio tablet. Not quite an ipad, but it is somewhat similar, and does a lot of cool stuff, so I like it. I'm typing this post on my tablet, still trying to get used to the touch keyboard. It amazes me how kids today type so fast with just their thumbs.

Anyway, not what I wanted to write about. A couple weeks ago I wrote about choosing joy. Someone asked how I was doing with that; the answer is--not too bad.

I have been trying to keep the phrase "I choose joy" in the forefront. It often slips to the back of my mind, but it's never too far away.

I've had a few days when I've been tired and grumpy, and don't act very joyful, but I think I've been able to come back around better than I usually do.

I do feel like I'm more aware of the good and the positive. Of course the biggest thing in our lives right now is Jamie's cancer. She has had a rough week--very tired, nauseated, dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort. It's got her pretty down.

She has bounced back--went to Ashley's soccer games Friday and Saturday and out to dinner on Saturday. I am proud of how she fights to keep going.

Back to me (not to be self-centered, but it is my blog). It's strange being in this position--walking beside someone with cancer.

I think it's forced us to get along better. I try to be more patient, less reactive.

I think I have been looking for and noticing the things in our lives that do bring joy. When I simply stop and live in those moments, I do rejoice...

  • Jamie's treatment has made her more dependent on me. I think I've done a better job than usual of serving her, and she has been very grateful and patient with me.
  • The boys had their first T-Ball game last week. It was fantastic watching them get dressed in their uniforms, go out to the park, warm up, and play the game.  
  •  4 and 5 year-olds playing T-ball is an organizational mess, but it was beautiful. Both boys hit the ball well. One inning, Brady was on the pitching rubber and Cash played first. They made several good plays together. I was so proud and full of joy watching and cheering them.
  • On Sunday we went to the kids' cousin Ira's birthday party. It was a beautiful spring day, sunny, warm. Jamie was worn out but sat on the patio, ate, and watched the kids play. It was a great day. 
  • I had a blast watching Ashley play soccer. A few years ago I asked her coach to work with her on being more assertive/aggressive. Boy, did he. Now in high school, she is usually one the smaller players on the field, but is usually the toughest and most aggressive (in a good way).
  • Every night we read before bed. It used to be me reading stories to them; but now all three of us read--Brady reads incredibly, and Cash is learning more every day--I am so glad they both love to read
  •  One day I picked up the kids and we all went to dinner at Wendy's. It was so much fun just sitting there, laughing and talking while we ate. I got a frosty for the boys and me (Ashley had her own); we sat there taking turns with it; so much fun!

I have a friend (as we all do, or have) going through a divorce. My heart breaks when I talk to him. I cannot imagine going through that--not being able to read with and tuck in the boys each night. Not having those rare, precious moments with my daughter when she is no longer a crazy a teenager, but for a bit becomes my little girl again.

It has made me a little more aware lately of how special those little experiences are--each hug, each kiss, each conversation. Each opportunity to praise them and watch their joy and pride, knowing they have done well and Daddy is pleased.

I pray that I would better see and cherish those moments, and at the same time recognize that those moments are not just between my kids and me, they are also shared with our God, who loves us in a similar way, but bigger, stronger, perfectly.

There are still some situations (and people) that are frustrating in my life. Some things I'd like to change. But I'm trying to not let them bother me too much. Trying to not dwell on them, but turn my thoughts to the good, and beautiful, and encouraging.

With an amazing wife who is full of strength, and the three most beautiful, wonderful children in the world, it's not that hard to do.

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