Yesterday was a horrible day. Early in the morning, my daughter began crying out for help. She screamed in pain, doubled over and turned ashen grey. After hours at the ER, the problem resolved and I was able to bring my baby girl back home. As soon as we were home, I received a call that my dad was at the hospital, horribly sick and being admitted. My stress meter went up, up, up. Then, my sweet James came to me and said he was feeling angry, unbalanced and like he needed to punch a wall. Knowing that James’ bipolar was spinning up broke my heart for him. Still, with the events of the day, knowing he was cycling tipped me even a little more over the edge. After all, Philip is losing his job, and that stress alone can be rough. Compounded by the rest the day brought, life felt a little unbearable.
So, after James was a little more settled, and Faith was quietly working on her homework I looked at Phillip and said, “When it rains it pours. Let’s jump in some mud puddles!” Phillip looked perplexed at first but soon understood where I was going.
You see, when the storm clouds of life roll in and all you see is rain pouring down sometimes the best choice is to take an emotional break from the storm to jump in what I call figurative mud puddles. Laugh, dance, sing or explore. Hope, dream, play, and remember times of joy from the past. Do whatever it takes to remind your soul of the wonder of the world and joy of living life to the full.
Looking for Mud Puddles
We couldn’t go out last night because we’re saving every penny right now but we could watch a movie together. So, we got on Hulu and chose to watch about the worst movie we’ve ever seen. The acting was bad, the plot was horrible the climax both ridiculous and uninspiring; yet it was exactly what I needed. We laughed so hard together that tears streamed down my face and my stomach hurt. It was a moment of bliss on a day that was filled with hurt, disappointment and deep, heartbreaking concern. It was a moment filled with God’s grace and grown by the knowledge of the truth, that no matter what the circumstance, he is always by our side. It was a moment in the storm where our souls were refreshed even though our circumstances didn’t change. It is evidence that our circumstances do not have to control our mood. Rather our hope in God stabilizes and directs it regardless of what is going on all around.
Today, my daughter Faith is doing better but Dad is still in the hospital not doing well at all. James is doing OK, but the reality of his struggle with bipolar goes on. Phillip is still losing his job and all the stress that comes with that remains. Yet, our hearts are a bit lighter because of our time dancing, laughing and simply being child like in mud puddles found in spite of life’s storm.
I can’t help but imagine the Lord watching us yesterday with great delight as we found happiness and joy when discouraging circumstances were all around. Today, I can’t help but reflect on Zephaniah 3:17
For the Lord your God is living among you He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[b]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
I know one things for sure. Without the Lord walking life with us and without his unfailing love calming our fears we never could find one single mud puddle to dance in. He is our rock, our hope and our lasting inspiration for joy when our hearts are often filled with sorrow. He is the reason we have hope and I am so incredibly grateful he calls me his own.