At the beginning of 2020 I took the word ‘Joy’ to be my word of the year. I’m not one for giving years a name, if I was I could happily call every year ‘Mars bar’ or ‘Creme Egg’
Claiming 2020 to be the year of Joy was always going to be a bold move. As with all these things once you expect rain and take an umbrella the sun shines, so expecting joy to arrive was guaranteed to bring a downpour of un-joyful, painful, pretty hard things to bear, why on earth isn’t this storm over yet? kind of stuff.
2019 ended on a few precarious notes and almost in a bid to steer life’s ‘bad things that happen’ away I, bold as ever and filled with the gift of faith (which can be annoying and I wonder if perhaps I was in the toilet when God was giving out the cool gifts like prophesy and tongues?) because despite any situation I will cheer on faith like a fat man crossing the finishing line hence needing to proclaim Joy!
The first thing to go was the car. It dribbled itself into the driveway after a daring road trip home from church where I made each child in turn pray to Jesus to get us home safely. It worked, Jesus heard our plea. Alas the car was never to rev again. The green machine was no-more. I went in one last time to retrieve my personals and I was glad to smell again the cat pee from the dying cat we had to send to the vets in 2019 had reared it’s scented head one last time. I was going to miss the memories.
After more prayer from each child and one month later we received a new-to-us car! And while it was a car to get us through the next season I’m sorry to say it’s barely lasted that. The exhaust has inexplicably dropped and I now sound like one of those boy racers I hear late at night, all noise and no bite. The noise is so loud the children and I have to take an involuntary vow of silence on every car trip. Still the joy is, we get to travel together, and the prayer life is flourishing.
Every journey has a chance for joy. Sure some days you’re gonna face-smash into a brick wall or fall down a pot hole but the opportunity to share the hilarious tale lies with you. Take this morning for example. Listening to the heavy rain outside knowing I and four children have to venture into it to drop two of them off filled me with sheer joy (lie) yet the actual joy was found in wearing wet gear and being able to stomp through every puddle. (Simple things) Yes I was jeered at for wearing wet pants by other mums but at least I was dry, and smiling.
So too this lesson ends, find joy in every road life leads you on and you too can look like an eager plonker in a down pour but at least you’ll have a smile on your face and a story to tell.