When I began this blog back in July, 2011, I had one purpose: To honestly share with others my Mothering journey, ever pointing to Jesus as the source of my strength and love in the midst of the chaos.. My husband looked through my first couple of posts and asked, "are you sure you want people to know how hard Mothering has been for you?"
"Yes," was my answer, " because it's equally hard for the majority of moms out there... but no body admits it. I want to admit it to the ladies in my sphere of influence, so that together we can look to Jesus to infuse our troubled times of parenting with His Patience, Grace, and Love." But it starts with sharing our weaknesses with one another.
And so that is what I have attempted to do these past couple of months.
Looking back over the course of my musings I have to ask, "how am I doing? Am I sharing honestly, ever pointing to Jesus?" I think I have been. At least I've tried. But something has been missing, I'm aware. Three little letters, comprising one big word... JOY!
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
( Philippians 2:17-18 )
Sisters, this is the component I tend to miss out on: Gladness and joy while serving my little men.
Paul here is talking to the church in Philippi, his Spiritual children... but the message is much the same for us and our children. ...Even if I am all poured out, like a spent cup of water, (refreshing others around me) I am glad and express JOY with those I am serving. So that they too can have JOY and express it to me!
When our home lacks joy, there's only one place to look: The mirror. I am the mother, the blessed servant of our family, the heart of our home. And if i cannot find and express the joy or pouring myself out for them each day, then joy will cease flowing in our midst.
I do not like doing laundry, it's true. And the never ending dishes and meals and correction leaves me all spilled out at times.... but still I must find the reason to rejoice with my family and with you all. That they, and you too, might be glad and rejoice with me.
But how do we find the JOY when we've spilled out until we're dry, bone-dry? I think the secret comes from displacing emotions. I recently read a blog post at GraceFullMama.com where she quoted this wonderful gem:
Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and I choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!”- Ann Voskamp
So what can I displace to make room for Joy?
I think it comes down to self-love. When we are weary we are aware of our own self; poured out and dry. But if I can turn my eyes outward, upon the ones who are soaking wet and sloshing through the service and sacrifice of my love, I can rejoice that they are not parched but are growing in the faith. And because I dismount self-love and my weary self-focus, then I can fully mount up upon the joy of knowing they have received the outpouring of my love. And in turn, they will share their joy with me.
It is my hope that I will grow to be a mother (and a writer) who displaces grumbling with thanksgiving, self-love with others-centered love, weariness with the refreshing that can only come from Him. It is my prayer today that as I "rejoice with all of you, that you too should be glad and rejoice with me."
How about you? Comment below if you desire to be glad in your mothering. Let's encourage one another in this together. Joy is contagious. Joy is the answer. Let's dismount all that stands in our way, throw off the sins that so easily entangle us, and mount up upon His wings and be glad.