Count it All Joy

January 21, 2012

There is something beautiful that is learned throughout parenthood. As the years pass by you learn James 1:2-4 intimately.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

{James 1:2-4 ESV} {emphasis mine}

Those first few years when you’re struggling just to change diapers can tear you down. You’re balancing being an adequate spouse and a decent parent. And let’s not forget all the new mommy friends you feel you must appease at playgroups. You’re learning that it’s not all about you. That now you have a small life to take care of. Becoming a servant of God to a helpless little child is very humbling. And can be frustrating. But we need to remember, remember, remember James.

Count it all joy…

There was a time in our marriage when we had a couple small children and lots of friends with young ones also. Yet we stood out like a sore thumb. Every. Single. Friend we had had either lost a child or had a child with a lifelong disease. And I was so incredibly blessed by just knowing them. What they may not know is they were able to minister to me by the way they were living. They were able to count it all joy. They knew how quickly life can be taken away or how quickly news from a doctor can turn your life upside down. And because of the crosses they had to carry I was encouraged to “count it all joy”.

I am not here to discourage you. To make you feel like you have to do it all. No. Christ is the only One who can do all things and through Him we can, also. We are to trust that it is all for Him and not for our glory. If your child is acting up in a store then that is an opportunity for you to minister to your child. Not to roll your eyes and get upset. How you interact with your little one that day may encourage another passerby. Though you may think that person is staring at you for being a ‘bad mom’ or a ‘pushover’. Please don’t worry about what they think. Worry about what God thinks. Worry about how your words and actions will effect your child. Fill their ears with grace, not with anger.

I’m not perfect at this. I get angry. Yet I know that God has chiseled away a heart that was extremely more callous than it is now. Each moment we have to choose to not take for granted. Choose to be fully there. Fully present. Immerse yourself in what God wants you to do and not what the world wants you to do or what you want to do. Pray for a changed heart to be more like His.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
{James 1:5 ESV}

When an older woman tells me to ‘enjoy every moment’ I am encouraged and reminded. That sweet older woman has regrets. I have no doubt she dreams of being a young mother again. Wishing there were moments she could re-do. At the end we all will have regrets. But minimize those regrets now by not standing by and allowing these precious moments to pass by right under your nose. “Count it all joy…” Write it down. Write so that when you’re older you can pass on your wisdom to your children and to other young mothers. So that you can laugh at the memories you made. So that you can go back and read how awesome young motherhood was. The laughter and the hardships. Because when you look back you’re going to miss those times you were walking through a store with three children hanging off the cart, one trailing behind and one eating all the puffs from the new container you just picked from the shelf. You’ll glance over and see a young mother aggravated with her children and you’ll want to encourage her because you love her and don’t want her to carry regret. You’ll tell her to “Count it all joy…”

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 ESV}



Posts Google+