Sunday, January 29, 2017

Focus on Joy

This blog is not grandiose or eloquent.
Most of the time, my posts don't have a lot of thought and effort put into them.
It is merely a chronicle of the joy I find in our day-to-day life--in the "plain and simple" things.
Keeping this blog helps me focus on joy,
and reading posts from days and years past reinforces the positive in my life.

The other day, I read a post from a friend on Instagram.
Her words resonated with me and struck a chord deep within me.
They seemed to me to demonstrate exactly what my purpose is in keeping this blog,
so with her permission, I'm sharing them with all of you:

The past month, I've struggled finding the joy in motherhood.
My children have been inconvenient, frustrating, demanding, and exhausting.
There are nights I cried to B and the Lord that I felt I'd lost my identity and what makes me- me.

What am I?

I am a broken record that reminds over and over and over again that hands are not for wiping boogers, stickers are not for walls, and waiting is not a good idea when you need to go potty.
I am a wash cloth, decorated with peanut butter, boogers, and toothpaste.
I am a referee, a laundromat, a dishwasher, and Google...asked all day why we have to wear seatbelts, when snack time is, and where to find missing toys and shoes that are needed IMMEDIATELY.

My time is not my own...except maybe when I lock myself in the bathroom (yep).
My hands, feet, arms, and legs are used primarily for a sole purpose-to nurture 3 little human beings.
And as I explain my woes to a listening ear, GUILT creeps in and the defeating, self-destructive habit to COMPARE my motherhood to another's rears its ugly head.
Phrases such as "I'm not good enough," or "Why can't I be more _____?" slip through my lips, with a final, resonating, "I am not feeling joy as a mom."

A couple weeks later, I'm reading Russell M. Nelson's talk "Joy and Spiritual Survival" (read it!) while refereeing breakfast. As I read these words, "Joy is POWERFUL and FOCUSING on joy brings God's power into our lives," my first instinct was to roll my eyes, but I highlighted the phrase and addressed it over and over in my mind.
Remembering something in Relief Society to keep a journal of daily miracles, I decided to be experimental.
I would jot down anything my children did during the day that made me feel, even slightly, joyful.
So, I carried my little green notebook with me everywhere, writing and recording--
"Finn wanted to hold my hand into the kitchen."
"Liam gave Kate a hug."
At the end of ONE day, the level of fulfillment I felt was amazing.
I laughed easier.
I was softer.
More "Yays!" Less "Nays."
And for the first time in weeks, my motherhood was feeling joyful.
That power? It's real.
"What will you and I be able to endure as we focus on the joy that is 'set before' us?"

Thank you, Megan, for your beautiful reminder.
May we all focus on joy and receive that power in our lives!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I love that talk. In fact, part of our ward conference today was centered around it. I'm grateful for the reminder from both the talk and this post that life is meant to be joyful. :)


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