the one where I choose joy in the new season

Recently, it seems like every time I take a photo of Eliza Jane I think to myself, “She just oozes joy.” It’s as if she can’t even help it. Despite restless nights, teething, or screwed up nap schedules, this tiny human is so full of joy. Currently, she is cutting teeth through her gums… If you’re reading this right now, then I guarantee you don’t remember the sensation that was brought upon by that daunting task. I can only image it being very unpleasant. Nevertheless, I look her in the eyes, tell her that I love her, and she just melts into a puddle of smiles. Everyday she is more fun and enjoyable to be around than the day before.

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I find myself envying this oozing joy that she displays. In her innocence, she isn’t overwhelmed with tragedies in the world around her. She doesn’t care if some other baby sleeps in a fancier crib than she does. She isn’t concerned with having the newest toy to play with (or chew on). She doesn’t compare her life to other tiny human lives. She knows that she is loved. She knows that when she doesn’t feel well, she can count on her mama to be there for her and to comfort her. She knows she is safe. Everything considered, she is content and happy with her simple, baby life.

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In the midst of all that life throws at us, it seems like we simply forget to stop and appreciate where we are and what we have. We are so busy wanting the newest toy, wishing we had more money, or looking for some form of recognition and approval from other imperfect humans, when ultimately none of that matters. Personally, I find myself being discontent where I am. I want to visit different places. I want to have new experiences. I want to see more things. While I don’t think that these are bad desires for me to have, I do find it unhealthy to constantly dwell on the dissatisfaction of living presently in my current state of being. I know there are many adventures that my little family will go on, but if I am so focused on what may come in the future, then I am failing to enjoy the season that I am living in right now. I’ve heard people say, “enjoy the journey,” but it seems to me that the “journey” is a season in and of itself – full of ups and downs and thrills and adventures. I don’t want to miss out on those things because I am too busy pouting about not yet taking the next step. I need to work on finding peace in the process. Finding joy in the journey. (didn’t even mean to be alliterate there, you’re welcome)

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Eliza doesn’t spend every waking hour dwelling on the fact that what is happening in her mouth (teething) sucks really badly right now. Instead, she chooses to focus on the fact that I will sing to her, tickle her, and cuddle her as much as she wants me to (probably more than she wants me to). That makes her happy. Just like my 7-month-old daughter chooses to focus her attentions on good things, I can choose to focus on the good things I have right now. I can choose joy in this season. I may not feel it or see it, but I can still choose it.

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So I’m welcoming fall, and with fall, I’m welcoming the process. The season of waiting, working, hoping, praying, and pursuing. I don’t want to allow the “in between” seasons to weigh me down, but rather I want to embrace those seasons as they come. There is a reason I woke up today. Right now, I am where I am for a purpose, even if it is for only a season. I don’t know when the seasons will change, what will come next, or how I am going to get there. But I know the One who does know all of those things. So I’m trying to embrace each and every day as it comes. One day at a time.

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Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Godโ€™s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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