Returning to joy

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I’m not sure if it’s just that the threes have been hard, or the new baby + mice + moving situation was hard on the girls, but I found myself gritting my teeth and pushing through a lot of days this winter, spring and summer. Everything is so emotional. 

After a few months of roller coaster days, I found myself closer to survival mode sometimes than really digging prayerfully into the season and flourishing.

That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed the girls at all; but I have fallen into the habit of letting their emotional ups and downs determine my response to them,  instead of grounding myself in the unchanging joy the Lord provides.

Once I realized that, though, suddenly little sparks of joy and whimsy began to show up again in unexpected moments. With a fresh eye for the grace that’s daily extended to me, I’ve been more able to laugh at the absurdity of preschooler behavior, more able to enjoy my kids even on tantrum-y days.

I can see now how several things I read and learned this summer have been refining my heart. My friend Grace wrote about motherhood as vocation recently– those were words I really needed to hear. I keep going back to Jen Wilkin’s post reminding moms that our kids’ behavior isn’t personal.

And I have seen so many encouraging Instagram posts, actually, from friends talking about how much they’re enjoying their kids. What a refreshing thing to see; it’s been a really sweet check on my own heart to witness from afar so many friends finding joy in their lives with little ones who aren’t always easy to care for day in and day out.

Since we moved so recently, I have just one new friend here so far, but I know in-person community is better even than really encouraging online interactions. I’m excited to start a new Bible study soon and get into small groups at our new church. But in the meantime, thank the Lord for my faraway friends!

Of course, having my mom, grandma and sisters-in-law all nearby has been an opportunity for other perspectives on parenting, too. I still can hardly believe we get to live so close to family.

I’m really thankful as summer comes to a close that I will be able to go into a long wet fall with strong community and a more joyful perspective.  Having little kids isn’t always easy, but it’s good. 

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2 thoughts on “Returning to joy

  1. Love your words, your love of God and your family, and your genuine willingness to learn and grow from the challenges of mothering three little people. You are a strong and beautiful mommy and talented writer. Keep up the good work of sharing your heart.

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