My church has a women's group that meets on Thursday mornings. It's called Generation to Generation (G2G), and it's awesome. We have a number of moms that attend, but it's not a moms' group. It's exactly what it sounds like - an opportunity for women at different stages in their journey to mentor, encourage, pray for, ask questions, get wisdom from another, etc..., as we study the Bible.
Usually someone brings a baked good or snack, but we don't have assigned days to do it. It's just pretty much if someone feels like it or has something left over. I really wanted to bring something, so today I brought banana bread. It was a new recipe I got from my friend Heather, so I was excited to try it out. And to my great joy, nobody else brought food, so it was great timing for my bananas to go "bad"!
We're fortunate to have childcare provided during the study, but sometimes the youngest kids stay with their moms. Today, one of the moms decided it was time for her 9-month-old to go in the nursery. Alas, it was not to be. Not 5 minutes in, Abigail was brought back in tears, and for good reason. One of the other dear, sweet, precious little girls had decided Abigail was so sweet, she wanted to taste her finger. So she bit her. (I don't really know what her motive was, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt!)
Soon, there were many more tears, from Abigail's mom and the other little girl and her mom. After lots of soothing and nursing and snacks and cuddling, Abigail (which means "source of joy" or "Father's joy" by the way) was back to her 4-teeth-smiling-self. The rest of us were smiling, too, as the other girl's mom had snuck out and brought back flowers, and had her daughter give them to the baby. I loved watching these mothers model repentance and forgiveness for their daughters. I wonder if Jesus saying we're to be like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven has a little to do with being able to quickly forget when someone else wrongs us.
You all might know that I'm not big on surprises. There are always exceptions, though. Today, on December 2, in near 40 degree weather, I found this growing outside my house.
I am not a great gardener, so we picked this type of rose bush because of its resilience. It blooms all summer and into the fall. But it hasn't bloomed in several weeks and this is the latest I've ever seen it pop one out. Roll your eyes and call me foolish if you want, but I think this is a special gift of my Father God's joy just for me!
Finally, I took great joy in the soup I made tonight. I've been taking a culinary skills class for the past few months, and even though I made a Walmart run today, I resisted satisfying my craving for soup with an easy-to-buy can and decided to make some. My mother-in-law (who was visiting last week) had saved and frozen the turkey carcass, suggesting I use it to make turkey soup. I'd never done that, but I figured with my newly acquired culinary skills, it shouldn't be too hard. And it wasn't. I boiled the bones to make stock, then I pulled all the good meat (4 cups worth!) off of the bones, roasted some veggies (to bring in an extra dose of flavor), threw in the noodles I made in pasta week, added some salt and pepper and voila! Turkey soup.
Why is this even significant? Three reasons (and three joys) as a matter of fact!
1) I have an awesome mother-in-law. Not because she saved the turkey bones, but because she is such an amazing person. She has one of the biggest servant's-hearts I've ever encountered and God is using her to teach me how to do that thing I'm not very good at: receiving. Plus, she raised the world's best man, which is a huge source of joy for me.
2) I got to experience the joy in the process. I usually want to skip the process and just get to the result, which is pretty impossible when it comes to cooking. And really everything else.
3) The reason I had noodles left over from the pasta class is because the chef didn't have enough marinara sauce for everyone to make the lasagna we were assigned. At the time, this was a point of frustration for me, even to the point where I almost cried (totally blaming that one on pregnancy!). But this is where my noodles were supposed to be used after all, so my mourning turned to joy!
Did you see, find, or remember any joys in your life today?