The Gypsy Mama’s writing prompt for today’s Five Minute Friday is Joy. Five minutes, no editing. Here goes.

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The last thing I feel right now is joy.

I’m frustrated because we, I mean I, screwed up our budget, and I’m stressed about it. I’m angry, honestly, with my failure. Which makes me extra-short with the kids, impatient, the opposite of gentle (rough?), and grumpy. I’m not joyful.

But I can choose joy. It’s a choice. It may not feel particularly joyful, and the irony is not lost on me that my name is Joy and so often I don’t feel it at all.

The moments that I do choose it are sweet. The hours in the middle of the night when a child is sick and just wants me to stay with them for awhile… I can either fuss and grumble and resent every second of lost sleep, or I can choose joy. I can soak up the time with one of them when it’s quiet and they want to cuddle. I can pray for them, and I can pray for the friends and family who are aching and hurting.

I can choose to face a month with a budget shortfall as a challenge to rise up to, not as a burden to bear or a mantle of shame. I can get creative and it can be the prompt to clear out more things we don’t need that someone else could. Craigslist, here I come!

I may not feel especially happy about what’s going on in our lives at any given moment, but that’s the weird thing. Joy doesn’t always feel happy. It isn’t all perky and giggly. Joy, to me, is a deep-down gut-level peace and positive attitude… it’s a confidence in God’s redeeming power in everything.

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My son’s first post is up today on Stuff Kids Write. He doesn’t particularly enjoy writing, but apparently when faced with an extreme circumstance, the words start pouring out. *grin*

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Life: unmasked buttonDon’t forget the life:unmasked weekly link-up right here. Post your life:unmasked post (video, photo, poetry, or prose) any time and come back on Wednesday to link up (I will try to get the post and linky up by 7:30am EDT). The first week was amazing. Did you read all the breathtaking posts? Take some time this weekend to visit a few of these brave writers and thank them for daring to write unmasked.

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