The Lord has encouraged me to write about joy for a long time. I am finally obedient to His call! That alone is reason for rejoicing. I have realized that although parenting is serious work, it requires a certain amount of levity. Or perhaps it is because parenting is such serious work, one requires humor to not go completely insane in the midst of things.
By the way, I am an expert on the subject of insanity. As a former psychiatrist, I am now dedicating my life to the flip-side of mental illness. I want to help people live with mental wellness. I want everyone to experience the joy that comes from living with joy.
As a Christian, I believe that the ultimate source of joy is faith in Jesus Christ. Improving my spiritual life has made such a difference in my parenting aptitude and attitude that I have started sharing some of my discoveries with other parents who come to me for advice. Praise God, I have been able to help many and I want to share the benefits of my mistakes with others.
Joy is a choice and an attitude. It takes a conscious decision to live a joyful life and particularly to parent with joy. But the rewards are substantial, for our very life and health of ourselves and our families depends on our level of joy. Joyful parenting is especially important (and beneficial) in though times. (and when you live with a toddler, as I do, everyday can seem like a tough time- as I am writing this blog my 1-year old just put a DVD in the VCR and my 4-year old is running around yelling "Never, never, never, never do that again" and the 1-year old is running from him laughing).
I better go deal with this situation. I will leave you with a brief devotional.
Help me to realize the importance of joy in my life. Keep me open to learning more about joy and how I can bring more joy into my life and into the life of my family. Lord, your Word says "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it". Today, if I feel that I have nothing else to be joyful about, I will rejoice in the day that God has made and try to find something good in God's creation today.