Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bring on the JOY!

I have never been one to care what others think. Never. I do what I believe to be right and let the chips fall where they may. I am not a people pleaser. I've always spoken my mind and heart and never worried about what Susie or Jane were thinking. I do not conform to others images just so they will like me. What you see is what you get. Not that I have been insensitive to other's feelings but I just have never been one of those women that constantly worry about what others think. Until recently. I'm not sure what changed but man, this is stressful. I'm tired. I can't keep up.

I think it happened when P and L came to live with us and as silly as it sounds I wanted them to like me. I needed their MOM to like me. I wanted the social workers to like me and I wanted everyone to think we were doing the right thing. I wanted our family and friends to be comfortable with what we were doing so I worried about how happy we were, what kinds of family time we were having, how all five of them looked and felt and acted, how our marriage was holding up, worried about still staying active and involved in all the issues that matter to me, worried about maintaining friendships and lending a hand to others and appearing selfish and uncaring if I didn't and in the midst of all of the worrying about everyone else I forgot about me.

I have put on more weight adopting two children than I ever did pregnant with one. And any of you who have seem me pregnant knows that ain't pretty. I keep thinking that we have been at this now for eight months so why is it so chaotic and crazy NOW? Then I realized that we have been in survival mode. Now comes the hard part. Reorganizing as a family of seven. Getting in quality time with each child and allowing them to feel how truly unique, special and loved they are. Finding time as a couple in the midst of all these little people with all these needs. Making my own health and wellness a priority so I am able to be the mom and wife they need me to be.

It hit me last night while I was doing this new Bible study on Balance what it is that I've been missing. Let's be real honest, there isn't going to be a whole lot of 'me' time around here for awhile and taking care of me is going to have to look different than it did before. But what I am missing is JOY. I have completely forgotten to find JOY in what I'm doing. Things I used to find JOY in. JOY in serving. JOY in parenting. JOY in taking care of my family and husband. This sentence in the workbook just four pages into "Balance: At the speed of life: by Barb Folkerts jumped off the page at me.
" Maybe you're the frustrated one constantly going the extra mile, but receiving little joy from it." who me? next page: "trying desperately to carry out God's plan in my own strength?" you talking to me? Isn't our God so cool that He sends me exactly what I need in this study at this time in my life.

I have been walking around in the poisonous mindset that I have another pile of laundry to do and then I have to do dishes and fix dinner right after I finally get lunch cleaned up and I have homework to help with and little heinies to clean and hair to braid and on and on and on. I have been living for naptime and bedtime and missing all the JOY that comes in between. I have refused to be content with our choices and circumstance and I am so sorry that I've let it get to this. Today I am reclaiming my JOY in MY life. Not wishing for someone elses. I am reclaiming my JOY in my beautiful children and their loud rambunctious little selves. I am going to try to fine the JOY in each moment. I am going to find JOY in my home, not wish for something bigger and better. I am going to try with all my might to be content. Content with a house we're growing out of but thankful for a house. Content with my garage sale finds and hand me downs and thankful for friends and family's generosity. I am going to be content that I just don't measure up somedays. I am going to find JOY again. When I was in Africa, the children would say there 'JOY was in Jesus and their hope was in heaven.' I want to be like that.

The next few pages in the workbook set out the goals for the study. I got excited about this part. This study is an attempt at "clearing the clutter from our schedules that can cause us to miss the joy of God's plan for us." So sorry everybody, I'm gonna have to stop worrying about what ya'll think and keeping up with ya'll. I'm a seriously flawed momma who is trying her best to live her life for Jesus in a way that will honor HIM. Bring on the JOY!

6 comments:

darci said...

Hi, I popped on over here from steffany's blog. I so loved reading ths post, adn it spoke right ot my heart. I too have felt bogged down lately-and been realizing that I have allowed myself to stop choosing joy-and instead let the stress and drudgery (sometimes!) get to me. We are in the middle of some big huge stresses right now, and I know God is wanting to teach me to cling to Him, but not just cling to survive, but celebrate and truly have His joy! thanks for sharing. darci
(stay at home mom to three, waiting for two precious kiddos from ethiopia)
mhovdestad@hotmail.com

Ellie said...

So glad you were able to "hit the nail on the head"! I needed to read this! I can totally relate to "survival mode"... and even to gaining "pregnancy weight" with adoption!!!!

Beautiful Mess said...

I love when God meets us right where we are and feeds our soul with HIS breath over our life and allows us to recognize what we are missing.

So faithful! So encouraging! So amazing!

Praying JOY over you! Jen

As For Our House...We will serve the Lord. said...

Jen,
I loved this post. I can so easily fall into the trap of "living for naptime and bedtime" missing the JOY in between! You continue to bless me with your words!! And I needed to tell you that I literally laughed out loud when I read that your parents brought a roast to go with all your yummy food!!!!!! :) I was NOT expecting that. Very cute. Very random, indeed!

:)
Michelle

Handmsmom said...

So, what I get from this post is: It is time to step off the stressful tightrope and jump onto the fun trampoline with abandon? Wheeee! :-)

love said...

i've so been here....and it is easy to fall back into.

thanks for the reminder!