. . . those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40: 31
Okay. I know this blog is about joy. But please indulge me for a bit. I will get to the joy. Right now I am just trying to get through the day. I know the joy will come. Wait on it, right?
Seventeen days into our move, and the house still has repairs needing to be done—not good. When we moved in, the air conditioner did not work. This is Houston! Once the gas was turned on, there was a leak. The garage door was stuck halfway up. We closed it for safety. We are waiting for the realtor to negotiate who will be responsible for what we are expecting to be done. We are grateful to have a pleasant realtor who is also patient as I send emails and text messages at 3:00 a.m. We are grateful that the space is safe and comfortable overall. We are grateful that we can still find enough clothes to wear (though too much remains in boxes). Okay, that may have been too much information, but I just needed to be honest!
Though I have read my Bible each morning over the past two weeks, it has been hard to fully hear what “thus saith the Lord.” I have had too many thoughts running through my head for God to get my attention. However, as I read the Exodus story, I can’t help but think about how the wilderness journey of the people of Israel feels familiar right now. As you know, they fled from Egypt pursued by Pharaoh and his men. God rescued them and with much gratitude and joy they continued their journey. Then they stopped expressing gratitude and joy and began grumbling. Grumbling became their way of life rather than gratitude and joy.
God finally got my attention. I was like the people of Israel: we were blessed to move into a comfortable and lovely house. But because everything wasn’t perfect, I was not grateful and joyous but grumbling, stressed, and anxious.
I have to wait to get the repairs done. I have to wait until we have time to put everything in its place. But it’s not the wait that is the problem; it is how I wait that makes the difference. I can live with joy as I “wait on the Lord,” or I can grumble and live with stress, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and irritability. I may have to wait for order to come to our home, but I don’t have to wait to feel joy. Here are five things to do while I wait for God to make everything right—or to have the serenity to accept things I cannot change.
- Read the Bible, inspirational resources, or funny stuff.
Reading my Bible reminds me I am not alone, that God is with me. The Bible also has many stories of people who were not perfect, yet still had God’s heart.
Yes, I was texting at 3:00 a.m. I’m not getting enough sleep, and I will give that more attention. More rest and more sleep help me be a nicer person.
I forget to eat when I have a lot going on. That is not good because I don’t think clearly and am more tired. Eating better helps me stay well.
I selected a neighborhood that is walkable to make it easier to stay well. But moving inside your home or at your desk will also help ease stress and improve mental health.
When I remember to show loving-kindness to myself, I can live more joyfully.
Whether you’re moving, negotiating a challenging relationship, or just experiencing the normal ups and downs of life, don’t just grumble. Follow practices that give you more joy.
The Joys I Have
- Acceptance of what I cannot change
- Eating healthy while waiting
- No health problems from gas leak