Joy vs. Reality?

J is for Jesus, our Savior and King

O is for other, [ insert rhyme which has escaped my mind ]

Y is for you.

- - Some church song sung too many times

"What did you read in your bible today."

"Nothing, but I read something which I'm trying to apply today."

To be exact, the book was by the Mally family, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. What struck me out was putting self last and others first.

Sure, Lord, I can glorify you with that.

Reality knocked on the door. My sister was sick and slept in until ten (for the sixth time that week).

"Bethany, will you please hang the laundry for Bailey?"

I can do lots of things for sisters, but hanging up laundry? First off, you have to be organized, you have to hang all the shirt on the last string, hang the unmentionables in the middle so the passerby won't see them, and hang another row of shirts to prevent the unsightly sight if you look out the window. I can and will do that on my laundry day, but heavens, my sister has been "sick" long enough.

"Sure." I said cheerfully. What a hypocrite.

I hung it up.

The rest of the day was great, everything went wonderful. Until it was time to babysit. I sat on the couch trying to memorize a very long package of paragraphs that I'd been working on all week.

I moved downstairs on the computer. For some reason my brother walks down and "really needs" the computer. Probably Marine stuff.

Alright. I trudge back upstairs. I sit down. I find my laptop, and began to memorize my lines (which really means, typing them over and over again until your fingers drop.)

I will mention it's hard to memorize when all the songs from The Prince of Egypt are blasting my eardrums out. Inwardly, I was boiling. Why can't my sick sister please shut off the music! Can't she see I'm memorizing. Outwardly, so suavely:

"Bailey can you please turn that down?"

She did. Phew. Seconds later, Caroline begins to try. I have to change her diaper and do her hair and calm her down and then back to the old washing board.

Daniel and Joshua start wrestling. It involves lots of screaming. I felt like my cool had lost it. Outwardly:

"Please go downstairs, it's hard to concentrate."

So sweet. They'd never guess.

Last straw, Caroline comes downstairs and has yet another bad diaper. Inwardly, I burst into tears, outwardly I was also close to tears. But I changed her diaper and her clothes. I sat down. That's when it blew, inwardly and outwardly. I can't do this! Worst of, I needed every memorized by the morrow and I wasn't near done.

Dear Lord! I'm doing this for You, why can't this just work out?

I sat down. I sighed, deeply. I decided to write it down in a fun font.

J o y is nice, but reality isn't. I can now look back and thank the Lord for the trial He sent me, whenever I change a diaper I can do it joyfully knowing that others are more important than myself. Wouldn't I love to sleep in? My sister would love it too. Let her skip the laundry for a day, she deserves a rest.

It hurts to serve other, and it pleases to serve yourself, but which is more edifying?


  1. Bethany! You have a new blog...I would have been on here sooner, but I didn't know you did! I was sitting in our room and my older sister, was like "Hey, Bethany! Did you know that Bethany has a new blog?!" I was so excited...to say the least!

    Bethany, this post was very convicting. And although the last sentence was short, it was one of the most convicting. Serving others is definitely more edifying even though very hard. "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many." Thank you for this post, my dear friend!


    Bethany Joy

  2. That can be so hard...I struggle with this too...But usually I'm probably not as "suave" and cool when I am agitated.

    I love you Bethany Grace, I'm praying for you!


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Maira Gall