Catholic on purpose

little moments full of grace

Three Tips for Daily Joy

Dang it you guys, I blinked again. This squishy newborn of mine is a newborn no more!

It’s always amazing to me how suddenly and subtly six months slip by. These pictures Jess took remind me beautifully of the newborn days and all the tender feelings that live in those moments. My squishy belly and foggy brain, the sleepless nights and unsure footing, the newness, and magic of it all. The third time around offered more grace. It must be the familiarity of it and the willingness to take it in stride.

Fulton John. My handsome man. He has been a charmer – sleeping through the night at 2 months (thank you!!), rolling over at 4 months, starting real food at 5 months, laughing and smiling at us all, endlessly. We are all so in love with him. There is nothing better than a baby!

He has offered me quiet retrieve when the other two rascals are demanding much. I never thought I’d appreciate being “stuck” rocking a baby, but more than ever I cherish it. It’s taken me three kids, but I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the other noise and just embrace this season of snuggles and struggles. The biggest challenge is what the other two are getting themselves into while I am rocking away in a dark, quiet room. So far, they’ve smashed ornaments on my basement floor, busted open a piggy bank, and dug everything out of my bathroom cabinets. Never a dull moment!

As I’ve carefully watched these months slip away, I’ve stood in awe at the transformative power of motherhood. There are two options for us: to hold on tight and make it through or to go out into the deep and be transformed. Transformation is incredibly hard. It means dying to self. This concept is something that has always attracted me: yes! I want to die to myself, pick up my cross, follow Jesus! It sounds heroic, and I know it is the key to true freedom. But, put into practice, it is so hard! I turn away from it with my fickle heart: no, no thank you. Not today.

But in the midst of these internal battles, God shows up. His Word reminds me of his faithfulness and his endless mercy.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.

Exodus 14:14

To me, right now, this means showing up every day to my duties as a wife and mother and part-time working woman. It means being faithful to what is in front of me. Being still does not mean idle. It means doing the next right thing, trusting that the temptations and storms are being fought. Many battles are won by quietly attending to your life, humbling yourself, and trusting.

Of course, we must help ourselves. Here is what I strive to do daily:

  1. Wake up before the kids. It’s so refreshing to have a hot cup of coffee, quiet, prayer time, and a good book to indulge in while A L O N E. I love my morning time and often wake up between 5-6 am.
    – I am loving praying the Liturgy of the Hours and reading Interior Castle (again) by St. Teresa of Avila.
  2. Keep your hobbies/personal interests alive but use them wisely – there is no peace and joy in indulging your own interests if you are doing it in place of something more important. It is always best to make sure you’ve read lots of books to your kids, played with them for a decent amount of time, and done some productive household chores before you choose to spend a little me-time. The enjoyment of your me-time will be all the more when rightly ordered!
  3. When your husband comes home in the evening, pour a glass of wine (optional) and enjoy his company!

For the sake of ourselves, our families, and the world we NEED to allow ourselves to be transformed! We need to die to self, to pick up our cross, to climb our Calvary singing! I am fully convinced that a mother who attends to the day-to-day with great joy and peace is a mother who is not only transformed, but transforms.

May we be those types of mothers!

3 Replies to “Three Tips for Daily Joy”

  • Great approach and it appears to be working well for you! Your joy shows up in your kids in their smiles and laughter!

    Mary Jo

  • What took many of us decades to figure out, you have searched and found in a few short years! God has blessed you with a loving strength and the gift to share it with words.💖

  • Thank you Mads. Your joy is our joy! Fulton is growing so quickly and so beautifully, we are just excited about the next six months!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *