Wrapped Up With Joy

Aaaah. The Three Months of Joy. Officially over. Now we can look to the promise of spring and "blooming where we're planted". haha

You know, focusing on joy doesn't necessarily make you joyful. I found {during these past three months} that the more you focus on something, the more you feel its absence. I feel like I've grown a lot. But some of the growing was painful.

Coming out on the other side is a stronger, more aware human being who has a better understanding of real joy. And the ability to be both realistic and optimistic when faced with real life challenges.

MY A-HA WEEK: No emergencies. I hadn't thought about this before. My response to life was always "fix people's problems as immediately and as completely as I can". And "can't play until all the work is done". That created a TON of emergencies for me -- beginning the moment I got out of bed there were immediate demands.

Fold the laundry. Pick up dirty clothes off the floor. Wipe off the counters. Empty the dishwasher. Change the diaper. Wash the child. Feed the child. OK. You get the idea.

And then I feel like such a failure when I try my best {to feed the child} and things don't go as planned.

Young one didn't like his celery and lettuce infested egg-salad-sandwich.
The Point: These things are all necessary. But they are not EMERGENCIES. I can eat a bowl of cereal and then clean up the kitchen. If need be, the laundry and mess can stay for a few more hours while we get some fresh air and sunshine. The change in me is that I'm doing the things that matter most -- rather than trying to do all the things. I am not supermom. But I am a good mom. Better for this new understanding.


It's OK to be me. I may not be good at some kinds of crafts. That's OK. Someone else will pick up the slack. I'll do what I'm good at.

It's a village. Neighbors and friends have a big part to play in the success of raising our kids. We need them. Mom can step back, let another relationship blossom, and have some time for herself.

Not caring so much about what other people will think. I'm unique. I like who I am.

Losing the guilt. The kids will be fine while I get these dishes washed. They will also be fine while I blow-dry my hair. They can play outside while I read a book. {I'm still learning -- it's even hard to type these words out -- false guilt is a ferocious creature.}

Much of this learning has been inspired by my book-reading during these three months -- "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids" provided so much truth to add to my journey toward joy. 

I feel real joy -- at 5 o'clock in the morning when I'm up and reading and getting ready for Jazzercise. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon when I'm chasing the kids around the kitchen and getting food on the stove for supper. And all the times in between when I know I'm doing the most important things -- and not worrying so much about all the rest.

*pretty little bow*

Thanks for reading.

--One Thousand Gifts--
15. Morning darkness and solitude
16. The feeling of new understanding
17. Leg hugs
18. Hula hoops all over the living room floor
19. Tiny tomato seedlings bravely pushing up above the moist soil
20. Fresh snow {in the mountains}