I happened upon two blog posts this morning. They were both written in the last few days. They were both about puking kids.
I’m not really sure why I clicked them, to be honest. In my newly wedded, childless bliss, I’ve been less and less thrilled about Mom Blogs. I used to really look forward to being a Mom, and thought I’d have a hard time with Eric’s “let’s wait 3-5 years” proposal. I’d read lots of these posts, loved talking to my friends about their kids’ milestones, and I’ve seen The Business of Being Born three times. But as I settle into married life, It’s nearly impossible to imagine being one of those puke-picker-uppers myself. I can’t begin to fathom the way our cozy, romantic life will be interrupted by kids.
So I only clicked on these links because I love both writers, and I thought I could learn something from some great writers and mentors to file away in my “Kids One Day, But Not Today” drawer. But as I read them, I found much more.
Both of these women were grudgingly working the thankless job of “puke manager” over the past few weeks, and lived to write about it. Within their stories about whining and sick kids, they asked a Big Universal Life Question that I’ve been asking a lot lately: WHERE is the joy in this?!
Early this morning, before making my rounds of the blogosphere, I was led early to Psalm 37 (today’s Responsorial Psalm in the Catholic liturgical calendar, which–by the way–has provided me a new daily discipline I’ve taken up and really enjoyed. You can find them and follow along here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings).
Psalm 37 is all about finding joy in the everyday. It’s not just about us finding joy, but totally exclaiming that God will bring us great joy every day! In the last week, the Catholic readings have reiterated the covenant God has made with us. I’ve been reading reminders from the Apostle Paul to the Jewish Hebrew Christians about God’s new promise of freedom over their lives. I’ve been reading psalms that are praising the coming covenant, reconciling God and His People.
I read the daily readings that tell me some kind of promise is over my life. I’m only here reading because I’ve won a small battle against a wintertime depression that has been heavily keeping me emotionally isolated for the last few weeks. I sit here reading, as the dread creeps up as the time passes, bringing me closer to another long day at a grueling job I really don’t love. I read, and I ask God those very same Big Questions Sarah & Leah are asking. **(SIDENOTE! I just realized! Sarah & Leah are two incredible self-sacrificing women of the Bible, too! They can be found in Genesis in pretty grueling situations, trusting God to come through on his promises for their life when they are barren and hopeless. Spoiler alert: He does and they become the matriarchs of the Jewish nation, and integral to the story of our faith. MIND BLOWN!!!! Anyway…)**
I keep asking:
“What EXACTLY does this promise mean for me? My situation sucks! WHERE is the promise? WHERE is my joy? WHERE are You, God?”
Both of these bloggers were full of answers for me today. So was Psalm 37.
Leah Archibald asks why it all feels like suffering sometimes, and she wagers that finding joy and gratitude in some really beyond-her-control crappy moments can make life feel a lot better.
Sarah Bessey finds full, meaningful, lasting, lifelong love in the ordinary, mundane and sometimes grueling parts of life. The night may bring puke, but joy comes in the morning.
And in Psalm 37, God makes a lot of promises.
He says we will:
live safely and prosper,
be fed in security,
be granted our hearts’ true desire,
be given direction,
never be abandoned,
and he will make our righteousness shine like the dawn.
He says, if we commit to him our way, he will come through. He will act, and he will rescue us. This isn’t an ultimatum. This isn’t the prosperity gospel. This isn’t a pastor saying if you just keep coming to church every week and quit smoking, you’ll start making more money. This is the covenant. This is the promise of everything God truly has to offer us. This is the fullness of life. This is the Good News.
This is a promise to those of us stuck in bed, look to me. I will give you refuge.
This is a promise to those of us trapped in our jobs, look to me. I will give you your hearts’ desire.
This is a promise to those of us cleaning up puke, look to me. I will never let you fall.
I think the Good News–the best news— is that in these mundane, boring or downright awful moments, we will know true, unspeakable joy.
Thanks to Sarah Bessey & Leah Archibald for sharing your love, thoughts, and words with us.
Thanks to my sister-in-law Rachel for having such a cute baby and letting me share her little face that will surely help God bring even more joy into the world.