“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11
I’ve been busy lately with some changes to my life in general, changes at work, changes in seasons, changes in routines, changes in my children’s behavior, changes in new people coming into our life, changes in expectations for the future and plans. In the midst of all of those changes, God has given me a true peace as we have navigated some really turbulent waters. He has convicted me and asked me to act on things that required me to step out into that water with no life jacket. He has asked me to take my family out there with me. I don’t love change, I really don’t care for conflict, and I certainly don’t like risks, yet here we are.
All that to say, I don’t mean to be cryptic and there will be a bigger post soon to come, but I have been unable to think clearly about what or how to write because I fear my brain has been clogged with schedules and details and, honestly, FEAR and guilt. But in the midst of that I begin to be more aware of emerging from a fog of early motherhood, into a new stage where I am allowed to have hobbies that do not include my kids. I’m allowed to shower without an audience and potty with the door closed. I’m allowed to sneak away for a short trip and not feel guilty. My kids are okay and so am I.
Social media is simultaneously the most wonderful and most horrible thing for me. For someone with anxiety, social media can be a catalyst for worry and over-analysis. But when it comes to ideas and connecting to lots of people, for marketers, for sales, there is no better outlet. This week I found myself thinking a lot about all of the mom groups, blogs, posts, classes, books that I am a part of or contribute to. As moms we all struggle to be patient and kind, while sacrificing our very being at times for our children. We.Do.All.The.Things. and then we wake up after little sleep and do it all over again. It’s no wonder why social media is filled with quotes about how “my kids whine, I wine” or complaints about surviving until bedtime or leaving them home alone. Now hear me clearly, I realize that most of the quotes are ones that are only half meant serious. But those words can sting. Imagine growing up knowing your mom would rather do anything other than play with you, or sighing loudly when you speak to her, if she made jokes about how annoying or difficult you were. I don’t want to foster those insecurities in my children, they have enough to battle without me heaping burning coals on their heads.
Even further than that, mother, you were made in the image of God and you were given the blessing of precious little ones. They are your mission field. Stop acting so downtrodden and lets see if we can show others the hope we have in God for our future. Ladies are watching you, christian mother, there are women online who read your posts, do they see hope? do they see mercy and forgiveness when your children have a bad day or your husband comes home late? Do others see a bitter heart or a servants heart? What makes you stand out from the hopeless mothers online? I’m not advocating that you paint an untrue picture. I’m saying: FIND JOY.
Find Joy in your children. If you are on the struggle bus to Fussy Town, find something to laugh at. If theres a spill, don’t cry or yell. Use it as an excuse to put the babies in the bathtub to play. Take pictures of the happy times. Give yourself permission to play and tell others about it. I’m terrible at play, I have no imagination but I can make a funny voice or tell a joke while I read a book. I can sing a song while we clean. I’m great at making homemade playdoh and slime. Find your niche and do that thing with joy.
Find joy in Jesus. Read a verse, a story, listen to a christian podcast where they read the word of God to you EVERY DAY. Delight in God’s creation: get outside, take your kids outside and enjoy the backyard through their eyes. Look at all the amazing creatures there are just in the bug world, but also space, rock formation, plants. Fresh air is good for the spirit. Tell your kids how God made the dirt and the rocks, God made the beautiful butterfiles to be all different colors, God made the singing bird and the tadpoles in the stream. Talk to them and yourself about how smart God is and what a creative imagination God has. It’s hard not to have joy when you look beyond yourself to his great big creation.
Find Joy in a hobby or friendship or side hustle. Find a passion, get your creative juices going. Keep trying, if yoga ain’t your thing, try something else. KEEP TRYING all the things until you find IT!…The thing you are passionate about. And then make time to do it. Make your passion a priority each week so that you get filled back up and your mind gets to work. A busy thinking mind is the opposite of an idle mind. You know what they say about idle hands? Well an idle mind is the opposite of finding Joy…an idle mind compares, envies, lusts, and complains. A busy creative mind has only time for doing and finding and giving Joy.
And when you find your joy, please post about it…tell others about what helped you!…If it’s an exercise or fitness plan, if it’s a MLM side hustle job, if it’s a supplement or vitamin, if it’s painting, running, walking, blogging, writing, photography, a mission to promote awareness for a social issue, church work, volunteering, a part time job, a full time job, sewing, vinyl, etsy sales, baking, cooking, Bible study…..LADIES, there are so many things to do that surely you can find something you enjoy doing besides whining on social media.
So before you take it the wrong way, Here’s what I am really saying: Momming IS hard! “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. ” Colossians 1:10-11
Quit complaining and remember that we were all made to be servants of the one true king. SERVE your people and then refresh and then serve again. But “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15b