It could have annoyed me. The squealing, the dawdling, the giggling. I could have let it get to me. Had my children been the culprits and my attitude gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, it most certainly would have.
But it was me. Me! Squealing. Dawdling. Giggling. With one of my very dearest friends. And then we added another friend to the mix and it escalated.
Time to myself is a rarity and a gift. Literally. A birthday gift. A night away. Without the "office." I love my job, but everyone needs a moment to give your brain a break from responsibilities. Even homemakers.
So there we were doing all those things that girls a fraction of our age do, and loving it. And after our stay, right after the magnetic plastic keys were placed at the front desk, I turned around and saw her.
My aunt. From Chicago (which was hours and hours away from the hotel, by the way.) I called her name. She turned, did a double take.
Then came the shriek. The scream. The unavoidable utterance that disregarded the dozen or so other people in the room. We used our outside voices.
Hugsscreamsquestions! "What are you doing here?! This is SO WEIRD!"
My uncle and cousins joined in. It just so happened we were in the same city (2+ hours from my home), same hotel, on the same night. And had our schedules been off even 10 minutes we wouldn't have ever known it had happened. Thanks, God. Still thanks. You're the best.
Introductions were made with my friend. More hugs. Goodbyes. And I climbed in the truck high on love.
Driving home I thought that's gotta be what heaven is like. Enjoying our friendship and freedom, and then screaming. Uninhibited shouts of joy! Imagine joining our brothers and sisters in eternity and all the shouting. What a party!
The thing I tend to forget is that the party starts here. Shouting for joy happens here. Happens now. No amount of junk the devil throws at us will quiet the joy and freedom we have received in Jesus. That's where satan trips us up. If he can quiet the true joy of believers, he can drown it out in the tears and murderous threats of hatred. When thanksgiving remains at a dull roar the lies of hopelessness flood our ears.
The reality is there is necessary grief at times. But there is necessary thanksgiving at all times.
I am too often silent. I feel it in my bones. The guilt of rejoicing in the small while others are in pain. The lies crowding my senses until thankfulness is not even a memory.
But the Bible repeatedly tells us to use our outside voices. All the time. Sometimes we need permission. Whether you need it or not- here it is. Boast in who your God is. Boast in His love. His power. His resurrection. His goodness. It is your privilege. Your gift.
Let's get noisy, people! Praying your joy is raucous today. Raucous!
Linking up with the beautiful and busy Simply Beth again today!
If you are looking for a soundtrack for your joy, either to inspire it or reflect it, may I suggest the newest album from Rend Collective? It is raucous in the best possible way.