Finding Joy in the Midst of Life's Circumstances {Book Club: Chapter 2}

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As moms we can lose our joy without even realizing it.  It is a slow fade.  As the dishes pile up and the laundry multiplies, day after day goes by and grows into year after year.  Before we know it we can look back and wonder where time went, and if we aren’t careful we can miss it altogether.

But I know that it isn’t just the mundane daily tasks that can get to us. It is the trials of life added to everything else that can wear us out.  There is a season of about 6 years of my life that I can look back at and know it was a REALLY hard time. I am certain that the reason it was really hard, wasn’t  because I was taking care of my little ones.  It was hard because I experienced miscarriage after miscarriage during that time, which clouded my whole view.  Don’t get me wrong. I believe mothering is hard, but I think the circumstances of life make it much harder.

After this particular hard season of my life I remember my usual joyful self feeling burned out and uncharacteristically down.  It took time, but as I turned my focus from myself to Him, God brought joy back to my heart.

In Chapter 2 of her book, Dancing with My Father, I love how Sally Clarkson points to a time like this in her own life and the realization she came to:

He (God) missed the “me” of the old days, when I so freely loved him, believed in miracles, and was filled with hope and joy.” He instructed me to “remember from where you have fallen.”

I needed to look back and remember who I was before my trials. I needed to find my joy not in my circumstances, but in God.

As we look at the life of David in the Bible, we see a man who was “stuck” in his circumstances, and chose to fully embrace where he found himself.  He entered into that time and focused not on what surrounded him, but WHO surrounded him.  He chose to keep his eyes on God. I have often wondered why God would call David a “man after His own heart” when David had so blatantly sinned against Him.  As I look at the life of David, the consistent detail is that he sought to find his strength and joy from God alone.

In Psalm 16:11 David writes,

“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

David knew where to find true joy….in God’s presence.

“As David had a different heart, one that saw God every day, that praised and worshiped God without the pretense of religion but from the heart in sincerity and humility, so I needed my heart to be. I wanted to be like David, to get rid of pretense and performance. But to do that, I had to look at my heart and ask, Have I become bitter, railing sometimes against what has happened in my life, and shut God out? Is my heart like that of David; humble, thankful, worshipful? …. If David was right to declare of God “in Your presence is fullness of joy” and “in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” then that was where I needed to find it---in His presence. So my search for joy started with learning to experience God’s presence, to see the facets of his reality every day.” – Sally Clarkson

Friend where are you finding your joy today?  Have circumstances and obstacles turned your heart from Him and the joy that comes from His presence?  Please share your thoughts in the comments. We would love to hear from you. Also take a few minutes to watch Sally's video below and be encouraged my friend!

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Don't miss this powerful encouragement from Sally as we look at Chapter 2 of Dancing with My Father.