Thursday, October 18, 2007

JOY!



My first dance leotard from beautiful dancer Anna G. at church!

This was the extent of our celebrating the Autumn Moon festival...looking at the beautiful full moon from our front porch!
This is me trying to be a professional photographer....HA!





"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." Eddie Cantor

From a very timely devotion given to me by Shalita:

The religious leaders of Jesus' day just didn't know what to make of this traveling rabbi who increasingly drew crowds everywhere He visited to teach. One of their main objections was the company He kept--"he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matt. 11:19). They did not like that He attended feasts and parties (Luke 5:33). He didn't make a show of fasting, praying, and giving--and in fact criticized the Pharisees for their grandiose public displays of piety (Matt. 23:13-33).

The reality is that Jesus did fast (Luke 4:2); He did pray with intensity (Mark 1:35); He did caution His disciples about their activities and priorities (Matt. 5:29, 6:1); but Jesus adamantly taught that life is wonderful and to be enjoyed: "The friends of the bridegroom do not give up eating while the bridegroom is still with them: (Mark 2:19).

In fact, in contrast to the doom and gloom teaching of His day, He says: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

All throughout Scripture, we are reminded--actually, we are commanded---to be joyful:
"Be joyful in the Lord your God" Joel 2:23
"Serve the Lord with joy; come before him with singing" Psalm 100:2
"In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" John 16:33
"Be full of joy in the Lord always" Phil. 4:4

It doesn't seem like we would need to be told to be joyful. And yet the human condition makes it very tempting for us to sink into ager, resentment, self-pity and complaining. Think of the people in your own life. How many are truly joyful?

One of the great gifts you can give to yourself--and your children--is the gift of joy. Ask God to plant the seeds of joy in your heart. And then determine to enjoy life to the fullest.

REAL LIFE APPLICATION (still part of this devotional)
Title: NASCAR Mama

"Mom, is this the week we race at Mr. Haynes's house?" Tyler, our eleven-year-old, popped his head around the door with an expectant grin on his face. With an impatient roar I fired back, "I hope not. Nothing ever gets done around here, and now this NASCAR fixation wrecks our Saturdays." Immediately Tyler's excitement fizzled. He walked away dejectedly.
My conscience nudged me, but I mentally defended my attitude. After all, I had returned to work to help resolve our family's debts, making time a precious commodity in our house. Besides it was my husband who had encouraged me to rejoin the work force, and my earning has partly bankrolled their NASCAR endeavors. The crush of work, school, home and carpool was wearing me out, and they didn't seem to care.
Still stewing, I worked through mounds of laundry, put together a Sunday school lesson, and cooked all at the same time. Grumbling, I watched as my husband and three boys loaded the go-cart onto his truck, laughing and talking.
"They have all the fun," I muttered. Why did they have it so easy? Didn't they understand how stressed I was trying to keep things together?
As the day wore on, all I could think about was how much I had to do--and how my husband and kids were off having a good time. Resentment began to bubble in my heart until finally, in exasperation, I drove down to the local dirt track to give them some racing cues they would never forget.
My Explorer bumped along our friend's driveway until the track came into view. What I saw made me pull over immediately. There on the track were the men in our neighborhood, having the time of their lives. These guys drove with abandon, their children cheering every lap.
My hardworking husband, who never asked for anything, was connecting with his sons and the other men. Wives and moms were present, enjoying conversation sights, and sounds. Taking in the scene, I slowly drove away.
I had neglected to report my need for maintenance to the crew. Instead of enjoying life with my boys, I'd gotten bogged down with tasks. I needed a break. I still had some things to do that afternoon, but decided I could probably wrap those up quickly and be ready to spend time with my guys when they returned home. We would all be winners today, and especially the next time around.
The day I resolved to take a much needed pit stop from the cares of life to enjoy the exhilarating race of life with my husband and kids was the day my burdens were lightened. And this mom who didn't know a spark plug from an exhaust pipe allowed racing to become a high octane fuel for joy my family.

Then the devotion asks some thought provoking questions:
"What are the cares of life that rob you of a sense of joy?" (Laine's answer: digging Legos out of Baby Alive's throat)
"What can you do to foster a spirit of joy in your life? (Laine's answer: GO TO THE BEACH!) We're going to have some joy at the beach, and we'll be back soon!!!!!!!!! No one ever said you can't recover from palate surgery in a condo on the beach!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ferrills!
Thank you so much for reminding us all that life is meant to be fun, and that we shouldn't get bogged down in the responsibilities of adulthood. Dust and cobwebs can wait - the pumpkin farm is calling...So glad you also have joy that you won't break down on the way to the beach! Gainesville is nice, but Gulf Shores gets my vote every time! Love to all,
Aunt Pearl

mommy24treasures said...

thank you for the wonderful devotional. I am going to print it out and study it. Your answer was so close to mine long ago when I had to make sure Sonja Lee and all the little people were in the right places every night! I am not quite as bad now, but still could use help.:) I hope Quan is recuping well. The pics are all wonderful. I love to come see your beautiful flock. Have fun at the beach. Sorry I won't see you at the zoo:(:(
Have fun fun fun everone!
Connie

Walker said...

LOL!!! Girl, you are Too funny! Poor Baby Alive.... ;0) Okay, you have paid me, I've got to go deposit the money. I tucked it away in my checkbook to deposit the next time I went to town & guess what .... ??? I forgot! Sorry. But, I did get it! Thanks!
The devotional is Gr8! I feel that way sometimes with Matt... he's an area director with FCA...so on MOST Friday nights he's at a FOOTBALL GAME SOMEWHERE, supporting and encouraging the coaches & players! I think it's great, but sometimes it leaves me at home with 3 kids...after being with them ALL DAY! Ekk! We've learned to adjust & sometimes we all go with him. Very Interesting night...but we're enjoying time together! Yall have FUN at the Beach!!!!
PS..how far are you from Bir. AL? We have some really close friends who live there.

The Young's said...

Wow Laine! What a great devotion! OH HOW I NEEDED TO HEAR IT!! It is so easy to get swallowed by the tasks for each day...and then get upset because you had to do them. At least it is for me. Anyway, thanks for sharing that!! I LOVE the pictures of the kids. They look great!!! You did a great job at trying to be a professional photographer. It's a beautiful picture of Kimmie!! Can't wait to see you guys in November!!! Have a great time at the beach!!
Love ya,
Buffi

Dollar General said...

I just had a dream today that we went to the beach with your family! I think it's a sign that we need to be there! HA! I was so excited b/c Jason and Rob went to throw frizbee together and they were getting along and getting to know each other! Isn't that so funny! I'm serious - I really did dream that!

wareaglefam said...

Thank you for the post...it has been so easy for me to "wallow" in the everyday, mundane tasks and to forget about the joy that my family brings to me each day. Your pictures were so cute, and I am looking forward to meeting the new "Bessie."
I am so jealous that you guys are going to the beach! We haven't been to the beach for a couple of years. I would love to go too!
Love to all,
Tracy

Green, Party of Four said...

Laine

Your posts always make me smile and think! I hope you guys have an awesome time at the beach. We just got back and the weather wasnt the best...but it didnt matter.......just ate more and shop more!!!!

Please let us know about your visit in November.

love
Connie

Jeff and Sonya Hodge said...

WONDERFUL post AGAIN!

Thanks for sharing!!! Please don't stop!

Sherri said...

I can attest to recovering from surgery at the beach! A few years ago, I unexpectedly had to have knee surgery, and we went to the beach shortly after that. That was one of the best beach trips ever!

Have a great week! We did last week!

Sherri

DeEtte said...

Oh - have fun at the beach! We just got back and had a blast. Your children look so JOYful!
Thanks for the great post!
DeEtte
(AND you did GREAT on the photo of Kimmie! Simply Beautiful!)

Jana said...

I LOVE this post!!! It's almost (almost, I said) as great as the photos, which I happen to adore. Enjoy your family, and thank for reminding us all to enjoy ours. Life is good.

jana

Lisa said...

Thank you for the post and reminding us what is important. I hope you enjoy your time at the beach. We will miss you at the zoo! Next time! I love the photos. You did a great job with the photos of Kimmie.

Mike and Barb said...

Yep, some days I wonder where the joy has gone *sigh*...
The pictures are beautiful - I mean the KIDS are ;-))
Have a great time at the beach...
someday, someday, someday, someday it will be us, too *chant*
Barb

Susan said...

Thanks for the devotion. It was just what I needed on a busy Monday morning! Enjoy all those babies while they are all still young. It only gets busier when half of them are teenagers! And harder to schedule weekends away at the beach! I hope you all had a blast!
Love ya bunches!
Susan

Journey to Lilly! said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks Laine for reminding me of what is really important in life. Life is so full of the "task of the day" I need to be reminded often of the precious things in life!! Life is Good!!

Enjoy the beach!

lv & blessings to you guys!
Kim

Family4Liv said...

Beach recuperation for the whole family, sounds perfect! I love, love kimmie in her little dance dress, looks like she is such a sweet heart! I hope you have great family time, I know all too well about getting to wrapped in daily chaos and not stopping to smell the roses so to speak! Thanks for this perspective.

The Blaszczynski Family said...

That was so needed in my life. I am definately the one lacking joy and need to work on that. We just got back from the beach and it was a truly needed "pit stop"! Hope you guys have a ball, we did.
Love,
Amanda

Southern Cheesehead said...

Ouch - my toes hurt from being stepped on (except in the enjoying Saturday sports...come on, it's still me ya know!).

thanks for the reminder...and for rubbing it in that you're getting to go to the beach! LOL

Jackson's first big school field trip is tomorrow - to the zoo - in the big school bus. Why am I nervous?! Remind me about needing to let go!!!

Trace Car Driver said...

that's good stuff... the pics, devo, everything!! hope ya'll had a refreshing and relaxing time at the beach!

Leigh said...

UNH! Do you even care that some of us are suffering withdrawal symptoms?! HELLO?!?!? UPDATE!!! It's not like you're busy or anything, GOSH! :)*