Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Fighting for Joy

It all went downhill at Wal-Mart

My intentions were to stop in quickly and buy the plants, and then get home and plant them. I figured the whole process from parking at Wal-Mart to cleaning the dirt under my nails would take an hour, maybe and hour and a half tops.

First of all, can I just remind you all of my extreme dislike for gardening? Well, an update from that post- we did indeed grass seed the entire garden. It made me quite happy. Unfortunately, I still have a few flower beds that needed attention. If I could get away with not touching them I would, but I learned last year that flower beds also grow weeds really well, and having that in front of your house is slightly embarrassing.

I started asking around- looking for the easiest thing to plant. We have two flower beds in the front, one under the kitchen window in the back, and then one along the garage in the back yard. All I wanted were a few shrubs. No pretty flowers - just dirt and a few shrubs all in a nice neat row. My mother in law suggested Hosta, and my Mom agreed that they are easy to grow, so I was set. Off to Wal-Mart to buy 8 hosta plants (3 in both beds in the front, and 2 in the back) and 4 strawberry plants (to go beside the garage- there were already a few raspberry plants, so I figured I could handle it)

Here's where it went downhill. I was reading the labels on the plants and it turns out hostas need shade. And the front of my house gets full sun. Crap. Now I have to read ALL the labels on ALL the plants and choose a new shrub that likes sun. To make a very long story short (and a long time standing in the garden centre) I had a bit of trouble, but after nearly an hour I was home with my shrubs. Don't ask me what they are. They have pink flowers and they like sun. Good enough. Oh, and two hostas for the back where it's shady.

Now I am home and have every intention of planting these dumb plants as fast as my hands will allow. I'm pretty annoyed by my experience at Wal-Mart, and it's hot, and I have no bug spray. My Dad was there and attempted to be helpful.... which was met only with my annoyance at the entire situation (Sorry again Dad!!) By the end of it all, everything was planted, but I was pretty dang pissed off at.... well..... I'm not sure what. But man, was I pissed. I had SEVEN new mosquito bites, and had somehow cut my hand.

Of course, in hindsight it makes a pretty funny story. I mean, really? I was acting a little ridiculous. And each time I went to tell it, (in great detail) I found the same thing spilling out of my mouth. "You know, I just had a really bad day..."

But wait a minute. No I didn't. Actually, up until the moment I stepped into Wal-Mart I had been having a wonderful day. It was a Sunday, and after a soul filling, heart felt worship service I was taken out for lunch by three young women whom I have loved and mentored for the past four years. They took me for  a delicious dim sum lunch as a thank you for being their youth leader, and then each handed me a handwritten letter of gratitude as we parted ways. To call that a bad day dishonors the greatness that it really was, because friends, it was really great.

What happened with the flower beds cannot and did not cancel out the good in that day. Why then, did it feel like it? Why was the negative all I could think about? This isn't an isolated experience- I don't know about you, but I know I have had this feeling many times. You'll be having a great day, and then something will happen (say, a fight with your spouse) and all of a sudden you think "Really? But I was having such a great day!" As though the fight has now canceled out all that good.

Well I think that's a load of crap. Our joy is being stolen from us, and we need to fight for it. This probably looks different for everyone, but for me it means disagreeing with the lie that my day is ruined. This lie is whispered into our ears in our vulnerable moments of frustration, anxiety, sadness... you name it. Any opportunity the enemy has to twist something that is good, and bringing glory to God, he'll take it.

Quite frankly, I'm a little sick of it. I'm choosing to fight. A daily prayer of putting on the Armor of God to start, and then also inviting the Holy Spirit into each day - asking for Him to highlight for me the moments when I am experiencing an attack from the enemy so that I can properly defend myself with prayer. In all of this I keep reminding myself that the joy of the Lord is my strength, and so my best defense is to experience the joy as it comes. Live in it. Drink it up. All the while praising the One who created me and the things and people that bring me joy. Amen!

Linking with Emily at Imperfect prose today...

Like what you've read? Aside from following this blog via Bloglovin (button below), you can follow me on Facebook, as well as subscribe by email (Top left of this page) so you never miss a post!
Follow on Bloglovin

Thanks for stopping by :)



  1. Have you ever read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts? the whole book is based on the idea of gratitude and thankfulness, and what joy really is all about... Reading it inspired me to keep a gratitude journal, which definitely helps me remember that life is good, and I am blessed :)

    1. Hi Rebekkah,
      You know I started it, but didn't finish it. Silly I know! I think I got the jist of it though- such a beautiful insight into gratitude. I read Ann's blog regularly and have been SO moved by her recent trip to Africa (definitely contributed to my last post!!)
      Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by!

  2. Dear Rebekkah,
    Hello! I enjoyed reading your post and I totally agree with you that joy is something to fight for. Not easy to do! I have three boys that I want desperately to love with the love of Jesus in me and yet it is a rare day that I have not gotten frustrated and exasperated and very grumpy!
    Ann Voskamp, on her blog, had a series of posts called "why the fight for joy is worth it" I really was blessed by her writing and you might like it to.
    Hope your plants are doing okay!
    Bless you,

    1. Hi Susan,
      I started reading Ann's blog not too long ago but I'm not sure I saw that series. I will definitely take a look. Thank you so much! The plants are doing fairly well... check back for a follow up post on them and how I was able to find joy in gardening (Crazy, I know!)

  3. Amen Melissa! I'm joining you in this! Clinging to the joy of the Lord which is my strength... thank you for your honesty and transparency friend. e.