Wednesday, December 8, 2010

... with joy

We started a new tradition this year.  We're celebrating Advent each Sunday with candles and a short bible reading.  Its something my family did when I was growing up {and still does} and now we're teaching our children about this season of expectancy... of hope to be revealed in Christ's birth at Christmas.  Its a nice slowing of pace and remembrance of what this season truly means.  Even well-meaning Christians get caught up in the shopping, and wrapping, and lights.

But lest you think we are all candles and spirituality in our house, let me give you a little insight into what had taken place that day...

This was, quite possibly, one of my worst days as a mother to date... I decided to start potty training Charlie and it wasn't going well.  I felt like I had spent the day cleaning up mess after mess and growing more and more agitated with him, to the point of losing my patience in a way that I never had before.  Norah was feeling neglected most of the day and in her own way, was letting me hear about it.  Naps had not gone well, dinner was waaaay late (and too spicy- see the glasses?  I got poblano juice in my eyes- not fun!!).  It was one of those days.

 I don't think I got a shower that day.  And, yeah, that's probably poop on my arm {didn't even notice that until I saw this}.  I was tired, I was cranky, I was complaining.

 And then Paul read the verse.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

We looked at each other across the table.   For a moment, we set aside our 'light and momentary troubles' and thought about Jesus' joy in His obedience to the Father.  We decided to look for ways to find joy in Christ this week.  We prayed.  Charlie got to blow out the candle.

And then we went back to our lives... clearing dishes, bathing children, cleaning up {yet another} accident, picking up toys.  And I still had that poop on my arm.  

But in my heart there was a reminder, that this isn't it.  There is more to come... because of our Savior, who for the joy set before Him, suffered for my sin- my complaints, my worries, my loss of patience, my pride.  

He endured it all that we may know the One who sent Him.

  Thank you, Jesus.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."  
Heb 8:11-12

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Carol said...

Thanks for reminding me...there is more to come... because of our Savior, who for the joy set before Him, suffered for my sin- my complaints, my worries, my loss of patience, my pride.
I needed to read that - after the day I had at school.
Thanks again,

Megan Lagoy said...

This is an awesome post. Thank you.

Just Us said...

thank you for sharing this. i needed this more than you can imagine. although there are no little ones at the peterson household, we have shared the stress and frustration of life this week too. what a great tradition to be apart of. i love you guys- and thanks again for the reminder!

Teri Dufilho said...

I love love love this post Bethany..... I love your Advent devotionals....what a rich heritage from your family!.... how awesome that because of Jesus, there is JOY set before all of us, because he endured our shame, our sins..... I too, will look daily for the joy that I have in Jesus......yesterday in my Sunday School room, I was hanging 24 big paper bells with a different name for Jesus on each one, and it filled me with such JOY, because as I hung each one, I praised Him for being "the Lamb of God....the Prince of Peace....the Truth....the Bread of Life.....Redeemer..... Emmanuel....etc"...... i'm thinking that another way I can prepare my heart each year for Christmas, is to dwell on a different name for Him daily during December..... thanks for this post!.....what an awesome reminder to be still so that we may know Him!

Uncanny Colleen said...

Such a sweet and candid post. I don't remember who I heard say this, but I have clung to it like Linus' blanket! "It's the days that are long, but the years fly by." Too true! Your concerted effort to establish the reason for this season will have MAJOR payoffs in the future. (Isaiah 54:13)

I loved your post! - From one 'pooped' mommy to another!