See the first Fruit of the Spirit entry (and links to subsequent ones when they appear).
Joy is a marvelous gift of the Spirit for which to pray when you have young children at home! So many places in the Bible encourage/command believers to be joyful. I take comfort, though, that joy is indeed a fruit of the Spirit--something that will grow in us as we grow in Christ.
Not feeling joyful...
Sometimes, I don't always feel joyful, particularly when I'm cleaning up vomit (or worse), chasing a toddler who's running with any number of forbidden objects, or folding the nth load of laundry for the day. I've learned these past months that we can tell ourselves the same thing we tell our children: smile. Somehow, smiling or choosing to act joyfully when we may not feel joyful makes it easier to be joyful. I also try to remind myself that the very things I'm frustrated by frequently are caused by the very people I'm most thankful for--and I would much rather be cleaning up my precious baby's vomit than not have that same child in my life!
Pray for Joy
Pray for this fruit of the Spirit! I want our children to see joyful parents who delight in serving the Lord and one another, and so I pray that the Lord will make my heart thankful for all His many blessings and that He will enable me to rejoice in those same blessings. I bought my sister, Carrie, and myself a little day planner for this year that alludes to one of the best verses in the Bible to preach to yourself every morning (and to sing with your children):
"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
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