{Delight} in the Struggle

Happy Mother’s Day!

While we know that every mother’s wish (well mine anyway) would be a silent spa day to ourselves, we also know that there is another part of us – ya know the momma part – that can’t imagine spending “our” day without those tiny humans who made us into the mothers who are being celebrated.

It’s hard, we all know that and I often find myself racking my brain for the ways my own mother made it through my childhood and teenage years. TEENAGE years!!! I’ve just barely made it to elementary school years, how in the world am I suppose to keep these three rowdy boys alive and thriving for another 15-18 years?! (palm to face moment right there!)

And beyond! You know a mother’s “job” is never done, no matter the age!

Recently, I read a few articles that offered encouragement and insights on motherhood and I’ve decided that if I can’t learn to delight in the current struggles I’m facing, then I won’t be able to appreciate these stages when the next stages become difficult. And I won’t be able to rejoice when we (my family) overcomes a struggle together.

10 Things a Mom Must Always Remember
10 Things a Mom Must Always Remember, crosswalk.com

A recent struggle we’ve been having is our oldest (not even six, yet) having anxiety issues. In his short life, he has already shown to be a people pleaser and when things don’t go how he thinks they should he melts down and wants to give up. Originally, we didn’t think much about it, but when he started having stomach aches we started to put the pieces together.

While this is hard right now; hard to see him struggle with uncertainty and him not knowing how to explain it and us not knowing how to help – I need to remind myself that this is one more way for us to grow as a family and to find joy when we overcome (and continue to overcome) these obstacles together.

So how do we “delight” in struggles? That is a fabulous question! Especially since I’m still trying to figure it out. I usually have to talk myself into finding the joy of an inconsolable child who can’t tell me what’s wrong. And even though I know it doesn’t help, I hear the words, “Just stop crying!” come out of my mouth and all I want to do is kick myself for doing it all wrong…again.

But then I remember. I remember that even though I love my son more than I can say, we have a God that loves both of us more than we could ever imagine. And He hurts with us both; a young boy confused about why he feels unwell and a momma worried she’s only hurting her sweet boy more. It is easier said than done and I’m by no means an expert, but when I remember these things about my God, I find myself letting go of my doubts (or at least trying to) and focusing on my child. What does he need? Even if I don’t understand him, I do understand how I find comfort and all I can do is try my best to offer him that same comfort.

GodsTruth
“Hope When You’re Hanging by a Thread,” Alicia Bruxvroot, Proverbs 31 Ministries

Finding joy in day-to-day struggles can sometimes feel like another chore and searching for a reason to rejoice during the harder moments of parenting can seem downright impossible. But can you just imagine how much more fun life would be when we can accomplish this feat?

Thank goodness for laundry! We have appropriate clothing to wear and a way to keep it clean!

Thank goodness for dirty dishes – we’re eating!

Cliche? Maybe, but so important to remember, because when the harder struggles throw themselves at us we will be so much more equipped to rejoice instead of wallow in the depths of despair.

And as mommas…that is what our tiny humans need; the example of joy even when things get hard.

And please know I am writing this TO MYSELF as a reminder! Just the other day you would have taken one look at me and known I was wallowing and not even trying to find any sort of joy. And you would have been right! It is a constant choice that has to be made; a hard choice that often feels like “just one more thing” that is added to our momma to-do list, which is already never-ending.

But when we can focus on that joy – that small amount of delight that shines through the ugly struggle – our to-do list won’t feel as daunting. We can throw some fun into the day and help it to go by a bit smoother and calmer and cheerful. Our sweet little babies will see a momma willing to fight to the tough and they will learn that struggles only make a stronger when we remember know we don’t have to go through them alone.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  ~Romans 5:3-5

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