“It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.”
But that’s my job — and it’s the hardest one I’ve ever had. In many ways, I don’t really feel prepared, but I have no doubts this is exactly where God wants me.
I don’t wish for the adrenaline of a newsroom. I don’t wonder if quitting a job I loved and was good at doing was the right thing. I get ideas and have projects. But I am a mom first.
I was thinking I’d write about how I love when the house is quiet and the creative words are flowing as I work on my book that is such a work in progress. Or about how I find joy in finishing a project and being pleased with the outcome.
But then I think about when I feel the more satisfying joy. That comes when my kids get it and I’m reminded I’m doing alright raising these still-young lives.
Joy is when Ben thinks I weigh 5 pounds, loves me because I give him hugs and proclaims himself as what I really love in an question-and-answer session with his preschool teacher.
Joy is when I hear Cate say, “Jesus rose from the dead. Isn’t that cool?”
Joy is when Ben hugs my best friend’s husband for no reason.
Joy is when Cate wants to give us parents her money, but then brainstorms with us how she can help someone with it.
Joy is when Ben cheers for me when he’s in the bathroom stall with me when we’re out in public. “You pee-peed, Momma!”
Joy is when Cate notices needs and remembers moments and loves loyally.
They’re only 5 and 3 years old. I’m not the perfect momma by any means. But I’ve given every piece of myself to motherhood. In 5 years, 10 months, and 13 days as a mom, I’ve felt worn and helpless. I’ve asked all kinds of people for advice. I’ve cried and laughed … in the same moment. I’ve yelled and whispered. I’ve done too much one day and not enough the next day. I’ve played and worked harder than ever before.
And I’ve found a joy I’ve never known. Often ordinary days as a mom seem like they could steal my joy. This is one of those jobs that requires investment of a long, long time. There are no quick results, although I sometimes try. Awards and praise aren’t usually given to me when I give out bedtime kisses.
But I have joy. It’s a joy I never expected and one I don’t think can be duplicated.
Yes, there are hard days. Like last night, when my sick, feverish boy was so restless he couldn’t sleep, which meant momma didn’t sleep. But then there is the day Ben brings home a school activity that makes me laugh so hard I have to text it to my husband right then because it really can’t wait 5 1/2 more hours until he gets home from work. And the times Cate talks boldly about Jesus to her friends.
I know this is joy.
It’s a joy that is real and everlasting. And, really, it’s only a touch of the joy God knows when we, his children here on earth, bring him glory. The joy breaks through the hard days when I wonder if I’m doing enough because God reminds me I am enough, thanks to his joy alone.
Tuesdays are God-sized Dream days around here and I’m linking this post along with many, many other dreamers on Holley Gerth’s blog. You’ll find encouragement, truth and community there. I also recommend Holley’s “You’re Made for a God-sized Dream.” It’s like a love letter for dreamers. You can buy it from Amazon ($11.19) or DaySpring ($8.24 with code HOLLEY25 at checkout).
I’m also linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Party.
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