Sunday, July 31, 2011

Live the Journey

I have been enjoying the most freedom-filled's almost beyond words!  It's the annual Grandkids' Weekend at my parents' place, where they are currently playing hosts to 5 wonderful children, ages 2 to 10.  My sister and I wanted to be near in case the little ones needed us, so we decided to take a room in a lovely retreat centre about 20 minutes away from all the fun in Avondale.  And what a place!  We're the only guests here, and have been served and pampered and fed to our hearts' content - it's been wonderful!  And the talking!  My sister and I have not had more than an hour together, sans children, in 10 years!  A sister is like a best friend, only better because of all the shared history. :)  We've been enjoying a weekend of reminiscing down various memory lanes, as well as thoroughly discussing our present joys and struggles, and sharing our hopes for the future.  My sister is a very wise woman, and I can't begin to describe all that I've learned from her, this weekend alone!  But as we've been talking, a few patterns have emerged that I think relate to this quest for (the) real joy that I'm on...

Forgiveness and release: Everyone and their dog has issues that stem from childhood, it's unavoidable.  Unless we learn differently, we tend to persist in these patterns of behaviour right up into adulthood.  An important step on the great and glorious path to freedom is recognizing the roots of those issues, laying it all on the cross, forgiving those involved that need forgiving and releasing them from further blame/responsibility for our misery, habit, issue, etc...  There comes a time in each person's life when, regardless of our past, we need to assume responsibility for our own actions and reactions.  Forgiveness and release are beautiful things...

Life is a journey: This may be obvious, but a startling realization dawned on me the other day.  I discovered a lie that was affecting how I reacted to my circumstances, buried so deeply that I was practically unaware of it.  Particularly in my marriage, but also in many other areas, I'd subconsciously been working, praying, trying, striving to get to a point where I could breathe a sigh of relief and say, "Ahhhh, we've arrived...  From now on, this will be pure bliss!"  It's pretty clear to me now that this will never be the case and is actually not the goal at all!  I've constantly found myself working towards that, thinking we'd arrived, enjoying the few days/hours/moments of bliss, then being completely disillusioned when something happened (I think it's called life?) to interrupt the bliss and feeling slapped in the face when reality set in.  It's sort of like when Peter and James and John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus.  After Jesus had blazed glory, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Him.  Peter, likely totally blown away, wanted to stay put there on the mountain top, offered to build shelters for Jesus and Moses and Elijah so they could all stay and soak in the splendour a while longer.  But that wasn't the plan; they were soon on their way back down the mountain, back to the realities of itinerant ministry.  Mountain top experiences are wonderful, necessary even, but not where the real journey takes place.  The real goal is growth, growing in grace and truth and trust and acceptance and love and understanding and perspective and patience. 

This has been a real revelation for me; a significant clue to changing the way I react to my circumstances.  And that's the goal, essentially what growth is; we very rarely can change either our circumstances or other people. (Believe me, I've tried!) :)   I'm so thankful for the gift that this weekend has been!  Thanks for letting me share it with you!  May you know real joy today!


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey- we DO learn most from the things we hate enduring....or the things we complain the most about.

    I lived a life of striving- but I am finding freedom. The Scandalous Love sermon series by Greg Boyd was life-changing. The Holy Spirit really spoke to me through this man. Check it out at you can download the complete series for free.

    Keep sharing! Angie M

  2. The "perfect" moment is incredibly elusive for a reason - we won't see it this side of eternity. Most of us (including myself) have not yet learned to be content no matter what our circumstances are. I'm glad you got to spend a weekend unwinding, unloading, refreshing and catching up.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Joy. I'm so glad you & your sister got the weekend away, sans kids! As much as we love our kids we all need adult time. I have yet to leave Caleb overnight. I know I need to soon.

    Love ya,

  4. Sounds like you had a great time. Sisters are the best!! They accept you for who you are.

    Life is a challenge. Marriage is hard. Glad you had some you time and some reflection time. That always helps!!