As I’ve said before, I love Mondays.  There is just something relaxing and refreshing about a new week.  My parents took my older two boys from Thursday until Sunday of last week.  As always, they had a wonderful time and we were glad to get them back and spend time with them last night.  Joshua, my five year old, had been complaining of an ear ache while at my parents’.  They assumed it was probably a result of being out in the cold all weekend (they had a neighborhood block party and my dad took the boys hunting).  Joshua was in pretty good spirits last night and I had him lie down on the couch with sweet oil in his ear for about 30 minutes.  Thats an old remedy I got from my mother-in-law.  Well, Joshua woke up sometime in the middle of the night (I didn’t even look at the clock) because he had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t make it in time.  When he came to tell me he had peed on the bathroom floor, he was burning up with a fever.  I’m a firm believer that fevers are our bodies way of fighting off what doesn’t belong, so I only give medicine for fevers when my child is really uncomfortable, hurting, or the fever reaches 105 (believe it or not, we’ve had fevers at or above 105 three or four times).  Anyways, Joshua being sick changes the course of our day.  We normally have a relaxing morning on Mondays.  The boys eat breakfast, watch cartoons and play out back while I do housework, then Joshua goes to piano lessons at 11:00.  After piano, we run errands and go home to have lunch.  The day flies by after that.  Very rarely do I have a day of nothingness.  What is a day of ‘nothingness’, you might ask?  I would consider that a day when I don’t have an agenda, I don’t have a big to-do list, I may not even leave the house, and I would likely spend most of the day just chilling out with my kids.  You would think that a stay-at-home mom would have days like this quite often, but for me, that is just not the case.  However, I am going to make a conscious choice to have a day of nothingness today.  I really missed my boys while they were gone, and I even “let the house go” a little because I went to Atlanta on Saturday and didn’t get back until late.  We need a day of true rest.  I still plan to change all the bed sheets and do the dishes in the kitchen, but everything else that I would normally do on a Monday will wait until the boys go to bed tonight, or maybe even tomorrow.  As much as I love cleaning and having my house in order, I recognize the importance of letting it all go in order to do the truly important things, such as spending quality time with my children.  It is so important for us as women, to set the mood in our house.  The old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”, is completely true.  If I choose joy when I open my eyes in the morning, if I make a conscious decision to ‘count it all joy’, as we’re instructed to do in James 1:2, then 9 times out of 10, we have a great day in our home.  I don’t always feel happy and joyful, but so much of that is a matter of my heart.  My pastor recently said, “It’s much easier to act your way into a feeling than it is to feel your way into an action.”  I will never have a joyful spirit if I simply sit back and continue to yell at the kids, fuss about my husband, and whine about the budget.  I can, however, be thankful that I have three beautiful healthy children, a loving husband that treasures his role in our home, and enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table.  Have you ever noticed that the poorest people you know are sometimes the happiest?  Or how about the opposite, when the wealthiest people you know are also the most unhappy?  It is a matter of the heart.  Are you choosing to dwell on the little things that you may or may not have the power to change, or are you choosing to acknowledge all the blessings in your life and choose joy and thanksgiving?  I challenge you to expect to have a GREAT week, regardless of what you have planned or what you expect might happen.  Choose joy!  Remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for.  Purpose to have a great week and a merry heart.  

Have a BLESSED week!