That isn't to say there isn't still stress, but it is less and it is manageable and we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Plus, who doesn't have some stress in their lives? If I woke to find I had absolutely no stress in my life I would probably come to the conclusion that I was dead. In this life there will always be tension because there is always a fight between good and evil going on around us. But we can have joy anyway because we know who will win that fight. We trust Him to take care of us as we walk the hard roads.
So we have joy as John continues with school. After a rough start to his academic career at the University of Minnesota lasts fall, his winter/spring semester has gone much better, back on track. That said we are going to look at him possibly transferring to a smaller school next fall. There are pros and cons to making a move with only 1 year left until graduation. We are also considering slowing down his progress a little next year to ease the schedule. He is either looking at 2 very challenging semesters until graduation or 3 doable semesters. And then on to grad school! We are calling this the half way point of our education journey and we feel more committed to it now than when we started. We also have joy because this is the first semester since he started we did not have one of those overwhelmed break down fights where we wonder if this is all really worth it. We are working together now and becoming comfortable with the craziness of our lives.
We have joy because I am busy with work. Both my part time self-storage job and my real estate are keeping me on my toes. As much as I still lament the loss of days spent in my pj's until noon doing housework, writing blog posts and chatting with friends, I am enjoying the challenge of my days and learning a new routine.
We have joy because Isabelle has joy. She is a happy kid enthusiastic about life. She does have wild hormonal mood swings to keep us alert but overall she is fun and joyful. I enjoy spending time with her. It is interesting to raise a second child. Jake and I were so much a like we had a very comfortable, easy relationship and I always felt like I understood him. Isabelle is totally different and I practically never feel like I understand her, but it is so fun to be with her, to listen and figure her out. I am learning to encourage, motivate and love her in a way she understands and appreciates. Parenting is challenging but an invigorating challenge. And as our life has been insane and our time together limited I am often surprised by how much she does love us and wants to spend time with us. We are blessed by her presence in our life.
Mostly I have joy because each morning I get up and seek the Lord. He directs my thoughts and my path, gives me strength and peace. It is a habit developed over many years that I guard tightly because without it my days just aren't the same.
Ps 59:16-17But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.
O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.