Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finding The Rhythm of Joy


Can I share a secret?

stock images
After a decade of moving to gospel music, it's hard to keep a polka beat. 
Last month I'd taken my wonderful in-laws to the Corrigan Senior Center's music fest. A gracious older man, Joe, danced me across the floor.
Going from Kirk Franklin's funk to Barefoot Becky's perky polkas, I needed to follow a new beat. 
All around me people spun to the music.
Joy surrounded me. I needed to catch the rhythm.

Much like a precious young woman I mentored.
She and her husband, both military, downsized to a small apartment right before his overseas duty tour. She was left stateside to handle a full time job, their newborn, and her step-son.

courtesy of debspoons @
One evening I went to over to help. She turned to me in desperation and said, "I'm up with the baby all night, work all day, then come home to cook and clean and take care of the kids.
When's it my turn?"

I looked into her exhausted, tear-streaked face and answered,


She jerked to attention like a marionette in the hands of a demented puppeteer. She gestured to the piles of laundry and dirty dishes and said, "Ms. Jeanie, you gotta be kidding me."

I put my arms around her and shared the hard-won wisdom I'd learned through years of difficulties:
"You're not joyful BECAUSE of the mess, but You can find joy IN SPITE OF IT."

She seemed skeptical at first, but eventually weariness won out. She counceled with our pastor, Ramona Smith of Bible Truth Ministries, and received wisdom.

For instance, this new mom thought she needed to hold her baby whenever the child was awake. Also, she started asking her church family for help.

Here's a tip for everyone: Don't go it alone. The Lone Ranger wouldn't have gotten far without Tonto.

In Nehemiah 8:10 the people heard,
"...Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

We need to learn to dance to a new beat, to connect with the rhythm of joy.
Instead of complaining about the dirty dishes, thank God for the food.
Instead of complaining about the job, thank God you have a way to provide.

I'm not saying to stay in rotten situations.
I'm saying we need to live in joy as we pray and press our way out of those situations.

So whether you're clapping to a 1-3 beat or a 2-4, keep on singing, keep on praising, keep on dancing to the rhythm of joy.
If you feel so overwhelmed you don't believe things will ever get better, write me. I'll pray for you, and do my best to show you how to connect with joy.

1 comment:

  1. Pressing On in Prayer...Praising. while Singing & Dancing!