Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh Joy!

Yesterday was just a tough day! Jenna missed the bus - we couldn't find her shoes - her new shoes - because they were left outside by the trampoline in the rain, Abby had attitude issues, Annie was needy and didn't take a nap and Maren was fussy. Grant the laid back one was in the mix somewhere too. Mike got home from football late. We didn't eat dinner until 6:45 which is way too late when you want to get homework done and kids in bed early. I did 8 or 9 loads of laundry. Needless to say I didn't smile a lot.

A couple of weeks ago my mom was here and the little girls had doctors appointments. Afterwards we made the always popular and healthy stop at McDonalds. While we were there a family came in with five or six kids. The Mom was very cranky and looked like she was miserable. Maybe they were having the kind of day I had yesterday, but it was kind of a spectacle and I don't think she smiled once while they were there.

My Dad sends me all his weekly memos he sends to his staff and he'll be happy to know I actually do read them. In one he was talking about a guy he met that drives an airport shuttle. It may not be a dream job, but this guy had joy in his job and it was kind of contagious. Isn't that the way we should be about our job as moms - enthusiastically joyful? I don't want to be like the poor mom at McDonalds! It really is the best and most important job in the world and I don't want to do anything else. But most days it can feel like drudgery and torture. I will say that I would be a better mother if I didn't have to cook, clean and do laundry but those seem to come along with the job.

So I prayed for joy. Not that it will always be FUN, but that I will approach motherhood with a mission and joy that I'm doing something really important. Even when faced with large piles of laundry I need to remember that I'm serving an important need of my family.

I also wonder what kind of impact I can have for Christ when other people see me raising my kids and enjoying it! I need to let the joy and love of Christ pour through me and onto my family.

Yesterday, I walked out to the bus stop with Abby, Annie and Maren. It was nice to get out of the house and get some fresh air. The bus came and we walked along the road watching our neighbors horses, goats, cow and llamas (crazy animals!). I immediately relaxed and enjoyed watching the girls (ok - Grant didn't want to come with us and went home to play video games!) picking rocks, running, laughing - it was a great way to spend some of our afternoon hours.

Today I was intentional about spending time with Annie. We read many books including Goodnight Moon about 20 times. She loves to paint and draw which I realized by accident when she was trying to steal the stuff away from Abby while she worked on a little project for school. I need to slow down so we can do those kind of things together and THAT is where the joy comes for me.

I've been realizing that I am going to have 4 girls in the junior high and high school stage in a few years. That is a frightening thought to me. I have been dreading it already, complaining about it, telling people I will have to go on medication to cope (which may actually be true). But I think God showed me that is a bad approach. He has blessed us with 4 beautiful girls and each stage will have its challenges, but there will also be great things! They are such fun and unique kids why do I want to talk about them that way? That's not joyful at all. And I'm guessing that its probably not good if they were to pick up on that attitude either.

There will be bad days, temper tantrums, fights, messes and lots of unpleasant things ( did I mention I'm doing this all without the help of Diet Coke?) but ultimately it is such a blessing to be the one that is here with the kids during the good, the bad and the ugly!

Psalm 33:4-5

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

Proverbs 10:28
The Prospect of the righteous is joy,
but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Christy said...

Thanks! I needed that - it's been a crummy week here too.

Valorie said...

Thanks for that good reminder! Andrew is a very challenging child and we have had a rough couple of weeks with him. He literally wears us out. But I wouldn't have it any other way! I am so thankful God hand picked us to raise this wonderful child!

Rachel said...

I just discovered your blog and couldn't agree more with you about JOY--it is something I have to work on choosing every day, no matter the circumstances. Thank you for a helpful reminder!