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Joy during the good, bad & ugly

I do not even remember how many times in the last few months someone has come to me and said this exact phrase “You seem so happy”… My response each time? “I am”!

I hear this phrase said with many different tones though, and I am going to just use my intuitive nature here to assume things under the surface of some of these comments…

Some women, speaking from a place of joy themselves will say it in a way that means, I see the change in you, I see the joy and I am so happy for you….

Others says it with a little bit of wonder as if, could it really be true that you are as happy as you appear?

Others say it with wistfulness in their voice, as if they are craving the joy that is exuding from me… I want you to know, whichever voice you have saying it, I love to hear it, and I love to hear how this blog has either emboldened you, encouraged you or shown you a different side of motherhood.

I am happy, but life is still hard, and I will never shy away from sharing the good, bad and ugly.

Last night my 3 year old woke up on every even hour… I got to see midnight, 2am, 4am – turned my 5:30am alarm off, saw 6am, went back to sleep and then woke up to 4 kids and a dog at 8:17am… apparently my daughter was having bad dreams that there were frogs in her bed? The last two wake up times were actually in MY bed so her dreams even followed her to my room. So, I woke up already WAY behind the 8 ball… You see, I had a plan for the day – I was going to get up, shower, make my self look fantastic – get the kids up and dressed in adorable clothes and then we were going to go to take pictures with Sunflowers at Center Grove Orchard today. But, none of the fantastic looking stuff happened, the kids wore very mismatched clothing and my hair got swept into a mom bun… This mom bun however happened after 2 kids laughed while the dog rolled around in my CLEAN laundry getting her hair all over it, and then the same dog ate the toddler poop out of a dirty diaper and smeared it on the carpet of MY ROOM! Needless to say the day did not start out as well as most Mondays do, and I say all of this to simply explain that my joy, my peace, my living in a state of rest does not mean that my life is easy, or that I no longer have things that make me want to pull my hair out… This morning was for sure one of those times when I wished I had someone else to call on to take over even just one of the gross tasks calling for my attention.

I don’t have anyone to depend on… I am the boss of my house and business, without me we wouldn’t eat, be educated or have a roof over our head… It’s a lot of pressure, and the pressure never gives up… But, I believe God uniquely gifted me for the tasks on my plate... He knew the temperment needed for all I have going on in my life and He gave me the tools I need to accomplish each thing to His glory... Even in the midst of having a lot of day in and day out pressure on me I can say I am in the most peaceful and joy filled time of my life. I am in a place of truly resting and depending on the Lord… No this doesn’t mean I don’t do the things that need to be done, it means I don’t carry the pressure of the outcome.

Will the studio be successful? Will we pay our bills? I can do all that I can to be wise, to support the 14 employees depending on me, and to create the best possible dance studio, but my own effort isn’t going to make it a success… God is. And if we have a downturn in our economy or if a tornado takes out our building, or if some other giant catastrophe happens – you know what? God is still in control and I can trust Him.

Will my kids be healthy? Will they be safe? Will they live with the trauma of a the single parent lifestyle? Will they love Jesus? Will they love each other? Will they still love me someday?? I can’t control these things. I can only do my best and then give all that stress and worry over to the one who created them in the first place.

Joy – true happiness – it doesn’t depend on your circumstances… You can’t live a perfect life if you tried, because at some point you are going to have to scrub poop off your floor too, or rewash all your clothes, or wake up in the night over and over and over… But in these times, you too can have joy – it Is a GIFT of the Holy Spirit and one you can simply ask for. Not sure how that works? Not sure how to have true Joy? I would love to chat more with you about it, or maybe these scriptures will take you one step closer to finding true and lasting joy for yourself.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

(We can trust God! He won't change or leave us or stop loving us ever!)

Sleeping in mommy's bed

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

(God is a much better parent than anyone is to their own children on earth - insert praise hands here - and He will give us the Holy Spirit if we just ask!)

"But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." Galatians 5:22-23 (The Message)

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