“Joy. Unspeakable joy.
An overflowing well.
No tongue can tell.
Joy. Unspeakable joy.
Rises in my soul. Never lets me go.”
These were words that gripped me today at church as we sang Chris Tomlin’s rendition of Joy to the World. Words that have been playing in my mind throughout the day. The day started off with an a-w-e-s-o-m-e morning of praise at church. Wow. The music sounded so glorious. My heart was so full of joy. Tears of joy streamed down my face. And the sight of everyone holding a lit candle- pure awesomeness. The beautiful sparkles of the lighting up on the wall behind the stage. Oh, it was just a joy-filled moment for me.
And that came on the heels of a 6-hour amazing Christmas dinner evening with friends from college. An amazingly scrumptious roast filled our tummies. But more than that was the laughter. I seriously don’t think I’ve laughed that much and that hard for a reaaaaaaaally long time. My sides hurt. My tummy ached. My face ached. And this morning I was still exhausted. I laughed SO hard. Really really hard. Unspeakable joy.
This morning after that great church service we headed over to a Christmas tree lot. I had been in contact with an amazingly sweet woman who had asked if we could find families who would love to have the joy of a tree in their home but who otherwise would not have been able to have one. We picked up the 5 Christmas trees she hoped to bless families with this season. As Steve and I stood there in the parking lot talking with her, our kiddos were in the back seat of the truck with the windows rolled down, laughing their heads off at jokes and games they were playing in the car. We got into the truck only to find that they had tucked in our front seat belts all the way back by them. They were roooooooollllllling with laughter when we discovered their fun prank. Beautiful joy.
Then off we went to deliver the 5 trees. Tonight my heart was full to overflowing at the stories of families getting to enjoy each other’s company and decorating trees together. The joy of Christmas- beautiful. I was thankful for my patient children who had gone along for the two-hour process of picking up and delivering trees who could partake in that gift giving. I was grateful beyond words and fully aware of my lack of gratitude all these years past. I had never once thought or even considered that there are families who celebrate Christmas but need money to be spent on other things besides a tree. Why had I never thought of that? Today my eyes were opened and I realized that I have even more to be grateful for. Unspeakable joy.
The afternoon was all about the silence of naps. All four of us- Jacob, Natalie, Mama and Daddy. We each took a nap. The house was still. Charlie and Annie were even asleep on their doggy bed. That beautiful sound of stillness and sweet nothingness in the house was such an amazing gift to my ears today as I drifted off into sleep. Awwwww- sweet joy.
And then an evening of even more frolic. We headed over to a friend’s house. There we had dinner- a yummy chili with corn bread. And we led our kids through a science lesson as a part of a project they should be doing at home. Both of us, with our teacher backgrounds, were relishing the use of a K-W-L chart. So we started by asking our kids “What do you already know about water?” And then after filling up the whole K (Know) chart with everything they knew, we moved to the W chart for what they would like to know about water. The questions were: “Exactly how important is water? Where does water come from for a toilet? Where does that water go after?” And so began the exploration of all things regarding toilets. We watched a hilarious You Tube video about the invention of the toilet. Learned about Thomas Crapper who invented the flushing toilet. We had the kids take off the top of the water tank of the toilet and learn about its parts. Dripped water into the bowl. Poured a whole bucket into the bowl. They learned that we can flush simply by pouring a bucket of water in. Then learned how to siphon water from one container to another using plastic tubing. And that’s really when the hilarity began.
We had buckets, bowls, plastic tubing, food coloring……a waterfall of siphoned water going from one bowl to the next…..Steve on a step-stool holding the bowl as high as he could above his head to see how height of the water flow affected things…..the kids sucking on the plastic tubing and trying to time the release of their mouth before the siphoned water filled their mouth….and spitting water all over my shoes in the process. Seriously- all of that fun in the kitchen was the best part of the night for me. Lots of giggles. Lots of laughs. Tons of smiles. Unspeakable joy.
This has been an amazingly good weekend. Thank you Lord for joy.