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Joyful Relationshps

Joyful Relationship: A Look At Everyday Joy

community family life framed in joy savor beauty

My family just wrapped up the semester. Whew! The sigh of relief is big, audible, and hard-earned. Our oldest son now has three college courses under his belt as a Junior in High School, and we managed to balance a hybrid of homeschool, online school, and in-person classes. It’s been a wee bit crazy around here. Relate? 

Some days I just managed to get through the day with enough energy to do, well, nothing. 

Seeing the Joy in Relationships 

Right now I am cozied up in a sweet little Airbnb in the middle of nowhere. The cows and I are communing together in quiet and solitude. Man, did I need this! However, as I reflect on our semester, I see the gifts God gave us in this season. One of those gifts was relationships. 

I’ve talked about how joy is a person before. While Christ is the source of our spiritual joy, He also gives us community with one another. Relationships strengthen us, give us courage, and provide joy in difficult seasons. They can also be terribly hard. We all know this.

In our home of two teenagers and a tween, life is full of busy schedules, long nights, roller-coaster moods, hard conversations, and well, a lot of laughter. I love my people, but I’m here in the middle of nowhere because I also needed a break from my people. In missing them today, I find that one of our greatest joys in life is riding out the hard waves with those we love. When I drive home tomorrow, I’ll be ready to dive in again – come rain or shine. There is joy in relationships. 

Today, I offer you a simple glimpse into the practical joy of relationships. The vignette you are about to read is true and short. On a Saturday when we would have liked to be playing, resting, or pretty much anything other than doing homework, homework ruled the house. To encourage my son, I took my computer into the room with him and began typing away. 

At the end of the day, we both got our work done, and we did it together.

That’s life. That’s a relationship. That’s joy. 

A Short Story of Joy 

The hum of the computer matched the quiet buzz of thoughts in my mind. Like a tiny tap dancer, my fingers drummed a beat on the keys. Restless energy radiated off of my work partner, a 16-year-old young man, struggling to tackle the mountain of homework accumulated over the week. We were both overcoming personal resistance to work.

I’d be proud of us, except the battle rages on. Video games, time to bask in the sun, a game with my daughter, and a phone call lure me to drop the ball. I won’t. He needs me here. Tap, tap, tap.  

My son grabs his phone. Again. “Stay focused!” I call across the table. 

Grumpily, “Music, Mom.” He chooses his current study playlist, country today, and dips his head to type. 

Tap, tap, tap. (I can actually hear the frustration in his tapping.) 

Upstairs the enthusiastic voice of our youngest child echoes around my husband. The constant chatter fills the air and my heart. Duck hunting is on the agenda tomorrow, and he hopes to shoot his first duck. A slight squeeze of my heart reminds me that I am both proud of him and disgusted by the practice. 

And the dance of the keys continues.  

The hum in my mind switches gears, and thoughts string together more cohesively. The noise of the world outside, the unknown future, the ache in my bones, and the perpetual weariness that plagues my soul fade into the background. 

The white screen fills with beautiful black shapes that move in time to my dancing fingers. And just like that, I paint with words the complexities of a mind -the gift of thought. With words, God spoke the universe into existence. I am not a master artist like my Creator, yet He has bestowed on me the gift of thought, creativity, words, expression. 

So, I tap, tap, tap. 

I gaze across the table at my son. His head bobs in time to the music, his fingers dance across the keys more lightly now, and I am proud of us at this moment. We are putting to use these blessed gifts from God: our minds, our time, our ability to work. I love him so. 

Tap-a-tap, tappity tap, tap, tap.  

We dance together. 

Finding Joy in Relationships 

What hard roads are you walking? Who walks with you?  

Find them and give them a hug. Call them and tell them you love them. Write a note to thank them for their presence in your life. Choose to forgive them for their insensitive words. And keep fighting for time with them. 

Relationships are a gift from God that weaves joy into our lives.

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