Melanie —  September 6, 2008

I’ve had a frustrating couple of days. Nothing serious has happened . . . just a bunch of little annoying things that have gotten me down. Ever since we’ve returned from Europe, we’ve been really tired and a little low. Anyway, I had someone tell me yesterday, “Don’t let Satan steal your joy.” I have not been able to get that phrase out of my mind. In thinking about it, I have been very joyless lately. Just focused on the stuff that annoys me or even discourages me and forgetting all the millions of reasons I have for joy. I determined this morning that I want to try to cultivate more joy in my life and let the Lord teach me to be more joyful. The girls and I wrote out and decorated some verse cards for our dining room wall yesterday. One was Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Another was I Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Help me God to obey and so create more joy in our home.

So, tonight was actually a really joyful night for us. Peter and I were treated to a “show” from the girls. Very cute and very funny. Hard to really describe but imagine the girls all dressed up, Hannah leading the parade, Aliyah trying to follow as best she can with a shy grin and tongue halfway out in concentration. They did a play and dances set to chanting music. The first number was “We love scho-ool, scho-ool, scho-ool. We love scho-ool, yes we do!” It went on and on ending with Peter and I laughing til our sides hurt. Hannah remarked that the ending wasn’t supposed to be so giggly, but that it was OK. Phew, the audience wasn’t in too much trouble. The last part was them choosing wedding clothes for Aliyah who was the bride. The whole time Joel was floating in and out of the scenes, at one point with a flowery tiara on his head. With three sisters, it’s bound to happen!

A few funnies from Mariah at dinner time . . . we have been going through a book on manners with the kids and were talking about manners while riding in the car. I asked if any of them could think of any other good car manners. Mariah said, “I know one. Don’t hang your head out the window cause a lion might eat you up!” That sparked a discussion about how to act on safaris – Daddy, the experienced safari man, gave all the rules! Later on, Mariah came in with Peter’s Kenyan hat on and I remarked that she looked like a cowgirl. She said, “Joel is my favorite cowboy.” I asked why and she answered, “Because he wears a pineapple-colored shirt.” Huh? I love asking her questions about the things she says because you get such funny answers!

Peter and I are going to have a much needed evening together now. He came back this afternoon from being at a friend’s wedding in Bristol yesterday. He said he is really glad he’s not speaking tomorrow as he is feeling pretty rough with a bad cold. I guess God knew he’d need a break this weekend. It feels like November here with the heavy rain and winds we’ve been having. But we are grateful for a warm house to by cozy in. Pray with us for joy! If you have any things you like to do to stimulate joy in your life, I’d love to hear them.