Sometimes joy and thankfulness find themselves mixed with conflicting emotions. Joy can meld with pain or discomfort, creating a concoction that is confusing to life’s tastebuds. Each tries to overpower the taste of the other, and the success of the dish is determined only by the person eating it.

Sometimes you’ll gasp at the decimal number on the grocery store check-out screen. How is it possible for this few groceries to cost THAT much?!

Sometimes you’ll splurge on a $15 bag of healthy raw pecans, only to absentmindedly and accidentally burn them to a black crisp in the oven. Yep, the WHOLE bag of them.

Sometimes you’ll get frustrated at your sweet precious children and hear words coming out of your mouth that you know should not reside in your heart. But they do sometimes, and sometimes it’s ugly.

Sometimes your daughter’s eighth birthday creeps up on you, and you realize you have nothing planned, and only a handful of days to do so.

Sometimes your best friend, who also happens to be your sister, finds the love of her life and prepares to move to a nearby town once they’re married. While you’re wildly happy for her, you already miss her terribly.

Sometimes you will wonder if date night with your spouse will ever happen again on any sort of semi-regular basis.

Sometimes both of your feet ache for months on end, even after weeks of physical therapy. You’ll go back to the foot doctor, only to find that you may have a nerve condition that would require surgery.

Sometimes your aforementioned foot doctor will tell you that you need $400 orthodic shoe inserts that your insurance will most likely not cover. Even if you strangely wanted to wear said inserts (that would make you feel like an old woman anyway), your bank account would rudely disagree.

Sometimes your children will ask if your family can get a dog or a baby sister. You’ll give a sheepish reply about discussing it at another time, while you secretly wonder if your exhausted self could even sustain the life of another living thing under your roof.

Sometimes the dish you’re served will taste like it’s been seasoned with extra joy. Sometimes it will taste bitter. Today, my stomach feels like it has eaten a few bitter side dishes with my meal. But, I know the perfect seasoning to combat bitterness…

Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in HIM!”

So today I’m CHOOSING to move past that bitter taste and season my meal with goodness from God’s Word. My life is sovereignly overlooked by a God who loves me dearly. He knows what is best. He knows what I need. Even if I don’t like the way it tastes, I know it’s good and necessary for my growth.

You know how you tell your children to just try one bite of a meal they’re not sure they’ll like? You tell them not to say they don’t like it until they’ve tried it. I’m trying a few bites of things I’m not sure I’ll like. Who knows, maybe the taste will grow on me?