October 28, 2013

Joyful Mom Monday - What to Do When You're Not So Joyful!

Well, in case you haven't noticed, I've been away for awhile...again!   Like I said before, I am not an extremely consistent blogger when I'm expecting, but I am honestly hoping that things are settling a little more, and I can write more often.

To be truly honest, I probably could have written several times, but I have not felt like an especially joyful mom lately.  I feel more like the drill sergeant who wants 25 things accomplished in 2 seconds flat with no back talk, no delays and absolutely no playing allowed!  Yeah...real fun mom right here!  As a matter of fact, the Mr. gave me a wonderful weekend away with my best friend, and one of my children's response to this news was, "Yay, maybe we'll finally get to have some fun!"  Proud mommy moment right there!  So, I feel a little hypocritical posting about being a joyful mom when I myself have obviously lacked in this area.  The truth is we should be joyful always, but the other truth is we are human, and there are times when human nature takes its toll, and we fail.  What can we moms do when we are just having a hard time finding joy in our everyday lives?  Here are a few things that I have been doing, and I am (finally) beginning to see that joy come back.

1.  Spend more time in the Word and in prayer.  Many times, I find that I lose my joy when I am busy...too busy...too busy to even read God's Word.  Slowing down and taking time to be intentional about my quiet time always gives me a better perspective of the day ahead and reminds me of the sacred task I have in parenting my children.  I especially love reading the Psalms when I am overwhelmed and not so full of joy.

2.  Check your schedule.  September and October are always a crazy busy time of year for me because of several obligations I have.  I try to prepare and cut back in other things so that I can still keep my family in the best routine possible.  There will be busy seasons of life, but we need to always be willing to look at the schedule and cross off the not-so necessary things.  (FYI: The Mr. is almost always the one who does this for me because I'm so terrible at it, but it's much easier for me to say, "My husband has asked me to give this up right now" than it is for me to just say, "I can't right now.")

3.  Lower your expectations.  GASP!  Sometimes, we need to step back and ask, "In the big scheme of things, is this really that important?"  For example, is my world going to completely fall apart if I do not mop the floor this Tuesday and Saturday like I usually do.  It may bother me for a little while, but it's OK to spend that time reading to a little one or comforting another one instead of mopping the floor!  Also, if your children have been out of their regular routine, it is important to keep this in consideration when laying out your expectations of them.

4.  Accomplish your goals one small step at a time.  When I am crazy busy, I have a tendency to look around and see everything that I need to do, everything that I should be doing, everything that I want to do, and everything that everyone else expects me to do all at the same time, and it all suddenly becomes things that should have been done yesterday!  I allow myself to be overwhelmed.  That's when I have to step back and make a list from most important to least important.  I find that as I begin to mark off a few of the most important things that I accomplish, the least important things do not matter as much!

5.  Ask for forgiveness.  No matter how hard we try to prepare for busy times or overcome those moments  or days of lost joy, there will be times that we just blow it!  We become frustrated with a situation, but the children or the husband or the friend receive the backlash!  Be quick to ask for forgiveness and be completely honest.  Call sin sin and say the words, "Will you please forgive me?"  Children are amazing forgivers!

6.  Choose joy.  It's much easier to say than do, but there just comes a time when we need to pull up the boot straps and decide to be joyful even if we don't feel like.  The more we choose joy, the easier it becomes to be truly joyful.  

I hope that your weeks have been more joyful than mine.  If not, maybe these things can help you out of the rut you feel you are in right now!  Always remember that God placed you in the circumstances you are in for a reason.  Every situation has been gently sifted through His hand and chosen just for you.  He has a great plan for you and your little ones, and He is ready to help you conquer the doubts and fears and live in the joy of His plans for you!
A Scripture prayer for today: 
Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

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