Today as I was sitting on the couch, my toddler sat next to me brushing her "Barbar's" (Barbie's) hair. My oldest was sitting at my feet strumming on her ukulele singing everything from "Over the Rainbow" to "Riptide." My dogs were crowding me off the couch, and my husband sat on the rocker listening to her sing. It's moments like that, that I wish I could freeze. During those hard moments of being a mom, you wish you could just conjure up in your brain that very moment so you remember it is all worth it.
Truth is, I have a lot of those moments.
Yet, seldom do I enjoy those moments.
I often will be thinking about the next days plans or checking my business emails or annoyed that everyone is goofing off when we could be getting things done. Rarely or rather not enough do I just sit and enjoy.
Man am I missing out on life.
Don't Miss the Moment?
When looking to Proverbs 31, you'll notice that the perfect wife and perfect mother is not to be idle. Yet, isn't sitting in that chair idleness? Of course not!
One day as Jesus sat amongst his friends' house where Mary and Martha lived, Martha too got ornery, just as I often do, with Mary, because Mary was not helping out, but instead sat at Jesus' feet. What did Jesus say in response?
Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." He made it clear that Mary chose the better choice. Was Mary being idle? Definitely not! Martha was worried about stuff that could wait. Nothing was pressing or needed at that very moment. Jesus said so, except spending time with the man who was going to be taken away from then.
When we look at the bible, we need to make sure we look at it as a whole. One part does not negate another, but rather makes the message more clear. When we are sitting and listening to our children, we ARE working. We are working to build their hearts, their minds, their souls. The laundry does need tended to, but not at the expense of the kids. They will only be in our home a short time. We only have so many years to raise them in the way they should go. If the laundry can wait, and is not needed right then, choose the better choice if it is offered to you.
Choosing Happiness: Thanksgiving and Joy
Often our mommy minds are going a million miles a minute, and we miss those moments because of the two hundred and ten things going on simultaneously. We may not even realize when we have missed an opportunity due to the hustle and bustle of the day.
So how can we make sure we don't miss those moments?
By choosing your perspective. In James 1:2, it says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds." Again God says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice," in Philippians 4:4. There are countless more verses where God instructs us to be thankful, rejoice, show joy. Obviously if joy was just a feeling as happiness is often viewed, then we could not just switch it on or off nor would God instruct us to feel that way. Instead it is a choice. We find joy by choosing it. We may choose to see the good side of all circumstances. We may choose to be thankful, as we are instructed to. But it's a choice, a daily choice. By seeing the positives, we then are able to see those moments where we can truly just enjoy our kids.
Grief and Joy Coexist
God knows we are going to have hardships and heart aches when finding joy is not as simple as putting our mind to it. He recognizes that when He says, "Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief." (Proverbs 14:13)
Maybe you found out you miscarried that sweet baby you had dreams of growing up with their sibling. Maybe your sweet grandmother passed away. Maybe you just got a diagnose you don't know how to process. There are a million reasons to grieve, some big, some small, but all very valid. Just because you can find joy in the small things, does not make the grief any less valid or the object you are grieving any less important.
Life is hard, and joy is a practiced behavior. It's easier to make it through these hard times, if you have chosen to find joy in the mundane. So how do you find joy in the mundane?
5 Secrets to Finding Joy
Life is hard. Yet, joy is a choice. It's not always going to be easy. It's not always going to feel natural, but if we daily choose to look to God and thank Him for what He has given us, that is the only way we can truly find joy in motherhood.
After six years of infertility, she was blessed with the adoption of her oldest daughter who now is a teenager. Six years later, she finally became a mother a second time, this time with a baby through a donated egg and ivf. Throughout that time, she fostered nine babies and toddlers, met wonderful women who helped her grow, and learned to rely on Jesus. She started this blog with the hope that she could share her joy, experience, and willingness to grow with others, whether they battle infertility, toddlers, or teens.