Brad, Emery and I go to a fabulous life-giving, Jesus-following, encouraging church called CrossRoads Fellowship in Odessa, TX. We are blessed to GET to serve there. And I don't know why they let me, but just about every other week they hand me a microphone and allow me to have the platform to talk to the people. I stand on the platform/stage (whatever you're comfortable calling it) and I "Welcome" the people and sometimes I have the privilege of leading the talk that occurs during our offering. Today I got to do the Welcome AND the offering talk. And it was a packed house!
So I Welcomed the people. I encouraged them in their giving (yay to you who are obediently giving of your tithes!! GO YOU! God will honor it!!!! Keep going! Keep giving!). But then I also introduced the new sermon series...one of my favorite books of the Bible: Philippians. We are calling the series: #happy.
Because the book of Philippians is all about JOY!!!
So I "RAW RAWed" Philippians. I cheered in my heart while encouraging everyone, all 2,000 of them, to read this short book and engage with us in this idea of joy and happiness.
And then I flipping LOST MY EVER LOVING JOY ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (those are furious exclamation marks)
Let me break it down: Came home, changed into comfy clothes, went to lunch with a whiney 4 year old. During lunch, said whiney 4 year old turns into tiny terrorist who kidnaps lunch and holds it hostage while sobbing and spitting grilled cheese out for everyone's viewing pleasure.
Mom and Dad move quickly to place the tiny terrorist in restraints (the car seat) and get her to a place where no innocent bystanders could be injured, insulted or witness any further torture of her parents.
We came home. We were not laughing.
The day did NOT get better. I repeat, it did NOT get better.
We fought for a nap but did not win.
We had the battle of "I'm taking away ALL OF YOUR Descendants dolls for a week."
There was weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We fought valiantly for joy and happiness but in the end we died on the hill called, "You are so mean to me! I want a new family. Can I have my dolls back?"
Mom and Dad held it together for most of the day. But then lost the battle and turned on each other.
Finally we laid the day to rest when I put the exhausted and over-stimulated child to bed at 7:00pm. She was snoring at 7:06pm.
I fell into bed and looked at Brad and said to him the last thing I said to Emery as she fell asleep, "I'm sorry for today. Please forgive me. God tells us that His mercies are new everyday. I need a new chance tomorrow. Will you give me a new chance tomorrow?"
And my sweet and loving husband said, "Yes, babe. Will you forgive me for today and give me a new chance tomorrow?"
Yes, baby, yes I will.
So I stood at church in front of a couple of thousand of people and I preached joy and happiness. And then I lost ALL my joy and all my happiness and all my cool.
But I did not lose all God's mercy.
It's going to be brand new tomorrow.
So tonight as I go to bed to watch "Downton Abbey" and then drift off to sleep, I may not know what tomorrow holds but I know WHO holds my tomorrow...and I know that He promises new mercy for me there.
And new mercy for you, too.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His mercies (compassions) never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
"Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel." Philippians 1:12