So, we are nearing the end of day 2 and I have some successes to report, as well as my first Joyfulness Confession. We'll begin with the confession so I can end this post on a positive note :)
Joy-Confession #1: This process of joy is a difficult one and already I have to confess and repent of some less-than-joyful attitudes through the last two days. My temper has been shorter than necessary and my general disposition much more melancholy than one would label as "joyful." This is partly due to not following through with my resolution to "go to bed earlier" and partly due to an internal pity-party I allowed entrance to my heart (a not so attractive bad habit!). I allowed myself to dwell on minor frustrations both yesterday and today that sucked the joy from me, and in turn, my household. I also stayed up much too late last night reading a new book, setting me up for absolute exhaustion today, a state in which I do not function well (hence the resolution to get myself to bed earlier). So, there is my honest confession of joylessness - written out plainly for all to read (how embarrassing, but necessary for accountability).
Now on to some joyful sucesses!
First, I am pleased to report the creative activities with Kaidyn have been going well. I admit I was not very excited to this among my first month of resolutions as I expected it to be one of the more difficult ones to keep as it would require some definite thought and motivation. But we have had 2 creative successes thus far, raising the level of joy in our home already! Sunday night I introduced Kaidyn to a long-standing Franzen family tradition of indoor picnics. We laid out a blanket in the living room, put out some PB&J, apple slices and cookies (a simpler picnic fare than the usual Franzen picnic), and enjoyed eating and laughing together right there in the middle of the floor! Kaidyn had a blast! Them tonight, after a very lazy day, I broke out the playdough for the first time. After a number of war iva against eating the strange white stuff I laid out in front of him, Kaidyn warily began to squish and pull apart and generally "play" with the dough. Creative success #2.
It's funny how such simple creativity can redeem seemingly depressing days of joylessness into exciting moments of family fun! It wasn't easy, by any means. But with some determination, breathless prayers of confession, and seeking a joy from the only One who can provide joy out of sorrow, both days were redeemed of my feeble attempts at joy. And I would say days 1 & 2 have been successes in The Joyfulness Encounter, defintwly by God's grace and not my less-than-successful attempts!
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!"
Psalm 30:11-12 (emphasis added)