Wonderful to Meet You, Joy

My husband rustles in the closet. I forbid my eyelids to lift, and I dive back into my dreams.

“If you get dressed and go vote with me, I’ll take you to breakfast.”

I whip off the covers and sit up.

“Bagelheads or McDonalds, whichever place you want to go.”

Bagel head’s glorious morning muffin is my favorite, but I love McDonald’s coffee. Time is important to Mike on a workday, plus a sausage biscuit sounds a whole lot better than our usual fare, so I announce, “McDonalds it is.”

We’re the first voters to arrive at our polls. We zip in and out. As we pull into the McDonald’s parking lot, my mouth waters over the thought of a decadent sausage biscuit. Cars in the drive-up window lane wrap around the building, and I deflate.

“Don’t worry, the line moves fast. Besides, we’re going inside to sit down and eat.”

I nod and unbuckle the seat belt. Inside, only one person stands at the counter, receiving his change. We place our order, and they hand us our coffees while we wait. And wait.

After ten minutes, Mike inquires about our order. They ran out of an ingredient in his breakfast burrito. We wait more.  After twenty minutes he says, “Let’s go.” He strides to the door, and I stumble after him. I guess I’m making breakfast after all.

After we eat a hasty meal, Mike leaves for work. I stare out the window and wash the breakfast dishes. At the rate I wipe the plates, I’ll still be at it until noon. I left my motivation at McDonald’s, along with a sausage biscuit in the queue.

“You know that you’re being ridiculous?” The Holy Spirit butts into my thoughts.

I sigh. “Yes, I know.”

“Count your blessings, count them one-by-one.” He sings a hymn I had refused to sing a few days prior, because I didn’t know it well and thought the tune droll. I can’t help but smirk at myself.

“All right. My not singing that song was stupid too. I am a spoiled, prideful person.”

“Yes, but I love you anyway.”

I try to sing the unfamiliar hymn but fail.

“How about I thank you for my blessings instead of singing? Thank you for Mike, who was willing to take me to breakfast. Thank you for the McDonald’s coffee.” I gain momentum. “Thank you that we had pineapple in the refrigerator. Thank you that I live in a country where votes hold equal power. Thank you for the green leaves singing in my backyard.”

The more I open my eyes to the abundance of God’s gifts surrounding me, the more my soul swells. I finish the dishes in a minute and bounce to the bedroom to make the bed and play with the cat who is going “under-cover.” 

The McDonalds episode happened a couple of days ago. Yesterday afternoon, when the bewitching hour struck at 5:00, and my blood sugar and pep dove through the floor, I heard the Holy Spirit hum that first line again. I still dragged through the kitchen cooking supper, but my attitude changed as I remembered the many presents God parachuted to me throughout the day.

The first line of the song, “Count your blessings, count them one-by-one,” continues to roll around my head. I don’t know the next line or the next, but the first line announces the message I need to hear and the act which I should take. The song reminds me of a lesson my Savior taught me back in college as I longed for my fiancé when we were separated through time and distance.

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright, I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

If I thank God when I don’t feel like it, when I’m exhausted or discouraged, and it’s a sacrifice to thank Him, He shows me His salvation. That salvation comes in the form of Joy, an unexpected but welcome friend. Joy doesn’t always dance within me. Sometimes she sings a simple, unassuming song. She may even hum in a minor key, yet, her melody almost always brings a new perspective and her cousin, Peace.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

8 thoughts on “Wonderful to Meet You, Joy”

  1. I did so enjoy reading this. It really made me think of all the blessings I have. No matter what goes on in my life, I always try to thank God for giving me one more day and for all that he has given me to make my life easier. The air that I breathe is one amazing gift because with my COPD, there are times that I struggle to breathe right but He always gives me what I need. He took my cancer from me and gave me heart issues which make me love him all the more. I believe He is working on giving my heart a nudge to soften it and mold it into the right kind of heart that I should have. Each day is a gift to me because it was never promised. Thank you, Suzy, for this blog that helped me to remember all the more that I need to be so thankful and happy for so many things and for so many reason. God bless you!!

  2. Well said. Hope deferred takes the wind out my sails too. About a year ago, life events left me drained of motivation and sent me searching. The Lord led me to Marla Cilley, aka The FlyLady: http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/who-is-flylady/. Her spirit of starting with cleaning your kitchen sink first is genius. A clean sink makes you want to do more – like clean the counters and take out the trash, etc. She balances that with encouraging others: Do what you can, when you can, even if for two minutes, setting goals that are reasonable but steering clear of perfection… all that helped me take the house from chaos to calm. I also learned a creative way to pray from her that was new to me. Pray the alphabet – so for instance – I praise God for who He is by following the alphabet. A Abba, B Blessed be Your name. C Creator. D Deliverer. E everlasting love. F forever faithful. G generous H Holy. I Intelligent… etc. Sometimes it seems that the Lord answers with what He loves – also through the alphabet. It is refreshing like drinking ice cold fresh squeezed lemonade in August.

    1. Ice cold lemonade in August…that sounds good in October! I love that she got her nickname from flyfishing. A patient fishing guide taught me how to fly fish in Alaska. Using a fly rod is a lot like dancing, if you’ve never done it. I’m not very skilled, but I can appreciate it done well and think the motion is beautiful.
      I love the “starting small.” Getting started is more than half the battle to getting going, it seems. Thank you for sharing about the Flylady!

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