4.29.2013

an honest letter to the mom who is weary



Dear you, you Wonderful Mom, you,

Just in case you ever read this blog and thought it looked like I had it all together (which if you know me in real life you certainly don't have any such illusions!) I want to be real with you.  I have wanted to change the name of this blog so many times.  I mean "The Joyeful Journey" is a worthy ambition, it's true, but MOST days I am struggling to find the joy in a house full of messy and loud and demanding and downright draining to-dos.  And while I'm airing out all my closets for you here, you might as well know that I'm often overwhelmed, and sometimes downright depressed.




I have in my mind all these perfect ideals and lofty ambitions for motherhood:  Of dancing through the kitchen with my five children, baby on hip, spatula in hand, whipping up amazing, healthy, to die for meals, all while singing songs of Alleluia and twirling in a blue gingham dress, hair curled fetchingly with ruby lipstick on, children busy doing chores and humming hymns, then feasting with daddy on a lace covered tablecloth and afterward all piling up together in one big snug hug while reading family devotions. 

But it was just last week I served macaroni and cheese four times, ate hot dogs, stayed in clothes wet with baby spit up, barely combed my hair, did devotions with my kids only twice, cried over spilled milk, and contemplated checking into a looney bin for a mini vacation.  It was just this weekend I found out my husband's crazy work hours just got crazier and now he'll be working seven long days a week until God opens another desperately prayed for door.  I feared and fretted and worried myself sick.  I let despair eat away at me.  

And this is what I named The Joyeful Journey?  It is.  And I'll keep it this way for now.  Because it's what I need to be reminded of the most.  There is joy in this.  In their eyes when you whisper secrets in their ears.  In big hugs and the sweetest "I love you"s.  In growing and loving and laughing together.  In feeling God's grace when it covers our weakness.  In giving thanks through the tears, and leaning in close to Jesus when the ground is giving way beneath you.  There is joy.  And it doesn't look like a forced "happy".  It looks more like peace.  I just have to choose it.  Everyday, grab hold of it.  I miss it sometimes.  I fall short of singing.  I fall short of seeing the gifts and thanking the Giver in the midst of the struggle.  But this is a journey, after all.  And it's one I'm learning is full of grace and the goodness of my God.










If you are reading this and you've ever felt like you don't measure up, if you've ever felt like you're drowning in mommy guilt, like you're missing something or should be doing more of something, or wish there was something more, please know you're not alone.  It plagues me, too.  But God is bigger than our feelings and it's the truth that sets us free.  The truth that Jesus is enough.  He covers us.  Pick us up when we've been looking down for too long.  He infuses what we do as wives and moms with kingdom importance, with eternal worth.  

He values your heart, dear mom.  And He is gentle with you, never berating you or demanding more than you can give.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)

That verse has been like balm to my soul for so many years.  The gentleness of my God rescuing and redeeming all my failures.

So, hang in there, sweet mama.  God is right here with us.



p.s.  If you've ever left a comment on this blog, I appreciate them so much and I like to reply when I can through e-mail.  If you have a blogger account, you can enable it to receive replies to your comments, otherwise it doesn't allow return correspondence.  (LoveWins, this post is for you, dear!)



22 comments:

Joy Kinard said...

I hear you, girl. Every single day. That joy IS there, but boy, sometimes I really have to DIG for it!

:)

Aligna @ ShopgirlsJourney said...

i can so relate my mama friend! We have to fight for this precious thing called JOY..its so worth it:)

Sarah said...

This is so good for so many of us. It's exhausting (I can't imagine five!), but we have a purpose. Thank you for this - my heart needed it today.

Rachel~Wildflower Photography Studio and a little bit vintage said...

sigh....can totally relate! thanks for the reminder! ;)

Christy said...

Same here, same here. Thank you or sharing your heart.

Kelly said...

I was talking to a friend just this morning. I am so thankful for Gods mercy, grace, and knowing he will cover all of my mistakes. Thanks Joye for this wonderful post.
xxO

JuRita said...

love love love. thank you joye!

Alisha R said...

Love this! I have 4 and most days are Crazy, I find it helpful to know I’m not the only tired Mommy out there. Thanks for posting 

Kelly said...

I feel like a broken record because I've said this so many times in the last couple of days but you should read the book Fit To Burst by Rachel Jankovic. I can't even tell you how encouraging and challenging it is. It's all about all this stuff you just said. I have a feeling you would really like it!

Tiffany Pressley said...

I am sitting here just in tears because I am right there with you COMPLETELY. Every single word of this is exactly how I feel right now. THANK YOU for this post. You, once again, have blessed me and given me the words I needed to hear. Praying for you and your beautiful family.

Southern Gal said...

Your honesty is refreshing, Joye. Not that I love to hear that your journey isn't perfect (whose is?), but knowing you appreciate right where you are at this moment is the refreshing part. You are a great mommy and I'm glad to call you a sister in Christ. Have a blessed day!

Coby said...

Here's what I needed from this post: that what I'm doing as a wife and mom is of eternal value. The past couple of days I've wondered if what I do during the day really matters beyond our life here on earth, and if there's something I'm missing or something MORE I should be doing for God's kingdom; thank you for knocking some sense into me ;-). Raising up my little boys to be men of God IS working for God's kingdom! Blessings to you!

Mama Mabel said...

I needed this. I'm new to your blog but have already pulled so much inspiration, both spiritual and craft-wise. Thanks for putting your true feelings out there so the rest of us can be encouraged to push on. Thank you especially for the picture of the laundry on your couch. I made me feel worlds better!

Brandy said...

THANK YOU! I'm not even done reading this post but I have to write before I forget or Gus needs milk or Gracie wakes up from her morning nap.
God will bless you for your honesty, your realness...I think unintentionally so many blogs leave us weary mommies feeling less than...I feel bad that I can't/don't have a blog but there would be nothing to write about since I can't complete any projects anyway :)
I have a friend coming over in a bit for a play date and I told her how special she was that I was letting her see me without concealer on...you see, on Fridays when a group of young moms come to my house for bible study, the house is perfect and I'm dressed cute with my hair and makeup done...so NOT what the rest of the week looks like around here!
We all need to try to be more real about what mommy hood really looks like. I think it would bless all of us so much more if we knew that none of us is perfect.
Again, thank you!

Wendy said...

Beautiful! I only have two, and exhaustion seems like the norm now-thankfully, though, there are many beautiful moments-thanks for the reminders-love the way you write, encourage, and point to our heavenly Father, who sustains us on this journey.

Mary said...

this is beautiful, joye.
april was the worst month.
i had never really dealt with depression...more of crabbiness or sadness, but i FELT depression in april and the devil ran with it.
thanks for being so real and honest.
life IS hard and we need eachother.
love you.
xoxo

Laura McCann said...

What an inspiring post! I read this week a quote, "Life doesn't happen to us. Life responds to us." That means to me, what we exude is what we get back. Peace in the midst of chaos, brings more peace and calm. I am the mother of three teens, so I can well remember these days of chaos. But might I add this thought. In the midst of those days it seems life will never slow down, that the chaos will last an eternity. It won't. Last Saturday, I watched my 19,16, and 14 year old drive away for some fun away from the parentals and it nearly broke my heart. My 90 year old mama always told me that if I was going to laugh about it 100 years from now, I may as well laugh about it today. Childhood is over too quickly, so enjoy and celebrate the chaos as much as possible, because once they are gone, the silence is deafening. The children in these photos exude contentment, happiness, joy, and a life that is being well-lived. You, Joye, are doing a fabulous job and your children will rise up and call you blessed. One day. When they are older. They will not only appreciate the peace in the chaos, but they will understand the extreme self-control that made their world so wonderful, in the midst of it. Hugs to all the great mamas out there! Keep up the good work. It will all be so unbelievably worth it.

Rebecca Stanley said...

oh sweet friend - I love you and I love this post!!

Joy Morykon said...

This post is so precious to me. When your name is Joy it is truly our destiny worth fighting for. (I see another Joy comment too) there was a time when my joy was gone, when the enemy had destroyed my faith & my family. I lost my mind & spent my 30th birthday in the psyche ward. Last weekend I turned 34 and he has been redeeming every year since that awful welcome to my 30's. just 4 yrs later I am completely healed, off all meds and pregnant with #3 due in Aug. Hope is a person, He took my hopelessness, healed me & satisfies the deepest longings of my heart. My King Jesus is like no other. Bless you as you "count it ALL joy" in every moment with your little ones.. Love from one Joy to another Joye ;) nice to meet u. Xo

Joy Morykon said...

This post is so precious to me. When your name is Joy it is truly our destiny worth fighting for. (I see another Joy comment too) there was a time when my joy was gone, when the enemy had destroyed my faith & my family. I lost my mind & spent my 30th birthday in the psyche ward. Last weekend I turned 34 and he has been redeeming every year since that awful welcome to my 30's. just 4 yrs later I am completely healed, off all meds and pregnant with #3 due in Aug. Hope is a person, He took my hopelessness, healed me & satisfies the deepest longings of my heart. My King Jesus is like no other. Bless you as you "count it ALL joy" in every moment with your little ones.. Love from one Joy to another Joye ;) nice to meet u. Xo

christa jean said...

Love this!
Just love you.

Anonymous said...

tears in my eyes...this message is so for me....thanks you for your witness and humility to show us all that thru God there is joy and we are truely free...xxx

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