Joyful Motherhood

A reader asked,

“Would you mind doing a post on being Joyful in Motherhood – especially on the crazy, bad days. I have really lost my joy these days (I am sure pregnancy has something to do with it). And I have ZERO desire to read or listen to things that I know will help. Any Godly advice or suggestions you have will help.”

 

This is a timely question as I have struggled, too, with the heaviness of all the dismal uncertainty surrounding our nation’s future.

“Women are like spaghetti”, I heard a counselor say. Everything in our brains is connected. One emotion spills over into the next, and all of life’s experiences are intertwined. These can wreak havoc on a mother’s emotions–and that doesn’t even account for the roller-coaster hormones!

For me, it helps to start with realizing that some days I am truly affected by abnormal hormone levels and I just need to survive through it. I’m not even opposed to distraction–anything to keep my irritation or irrational behavior from affecting my family. (A whole post could be written about foods that can help or aggravate hormones, and also how exercise is directly related to our emotional state–endorphins are good!)

Go somewhere. Go for a walk. Play some lively music. Watch a movie. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can help. I remind myself–“this is not me, it will pass”, and it helps me keep perspective.

Our moods are greatly affected by our thoughts, and our thoughts reflect the things we dwell on. I hardly ever watch/listen to the news because all of the horrible stories they seem to magnify can consume my thoughts.

There is fine line between “staying in the dark” and keeping abreast of needful information. But sometimes a media break replaced with “happy thoughts” is the best medicine. That’s more than a cheesy suggestion too. Research backs it up. (And the Bible did long before…”whatever things are true, honest, pure, just, lovely, of good report–think on these things”.)

Or maybe reminding ourselves of the tragedies we’ve been spared helps put life back in perspective. When my children complain about petty things, I remind them of children who can’t walk, or don’t have basic necessities, etc….we would do well to remember those things too!

Hebrews 13:15 says: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name”.

I’ve always thought of this verse meaning that the sweetest praise is that offered when we least feel like it. Praise Him verbally, write it down, praise Him to your children–but praise Him. The Lord dwells among praise!

And how often do we fail to look to God for help? Do we ever just cry out, “Lord, today is so hard–I need you to help me!” And perhaps that prayer needs to be accompanied by repentance.

David had his joy robbed from him because of unconfessed sin. Often God will remove our joy to restore our hearts. It should be a time of searching.

Ironically, while I was cleaning out some papers this morning, I ran across a poem I wrote years ago…I encourage you, we all have hard days, we are all fallen and none of us have it together. But we are not alone! He’s waiting for us to simply ask–“Faithful is He who called you Who also will do it.”

Though now I stand in a valley dark, I do not stand alone,

There is One who stands with me, so gentle yet so strong.

He is my refuge and my shield, He holds me in His arms–

He’s my Heavenly Father and in Him I’m safe from harm.

He never promised me a life that’s free from pain or tears,

But promised He would never leave and that allays my fears.

Because no matter what I face or how my heart may break,

My Father knows and hurts with me, He longs to soothe the ache.

I know not what tomorrow holds and yesterday is gone,

So on my knees I pray today for strength to carry on.

Father grant me faith and hope as I walk through the storm,

And may I reach the other side stronger than before.

 

Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard

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3 Responses to “Joyful Motherhood”

  1. bran says:

    Thanks for this. Every once in a while I have to really scale back on the news. It DOES consume my thoughts and I even start to act grouchy to my family when I just read something that makes me mad. I am sure the devil loves that!

  2. Phamilyof6 says:

    Kelly: Thanks for this post. Your poem was beautiful! I especially appreciate the affirmation about how food effects our mood. I just bought the book The Food Mood (or something like that) and am waiting for it to arrive. Anyway, I have been quietly calling out to the Lord throughout the day for His strength and His joy – just the subtle little reminders I needed.

    Be Blessed,
    Jess in Peru

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