Today's guest post is from Stacy of A Delightful Home. Our role as mother provides the opportunity to give joy to others and find joy ourselves…but not without great effort. Getting to the place of joy is often fraught with tears, sacrifice, and self-examination.
Many of us can be found fighting tooth and nail to overcome, reaching forward and clinging to hope as we strive to cultivate joy in our homes and in our hearts.
What follows are 5 foundational steps for this journey to joy:
1. Spend time in God’s Word. True joy can’t be separated from God; it is not dictated by circumstances and won’t be taken away by the world. This kind of joy can only be obtained by forming a strong relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Forming a strong relationship with the Father starts by reading His word. It’s where we get to know Him.
The Psalmist says, “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.” Psalm 19:8
The Word is where we start. It forms a foundation where joy takes hold and flows out to all areas of life (including mothering).
Here are a few ways to sneak in Bible reading with children underfoot:
- Leave the Bible out so you can read snippets throughout the day
- Print passages from Bible Gateway and tape them where they can be read easily (above the kitchen sink, on a cabinet, the bathroom mirror, and so on).
- Memorize scripture so you can bring it to mind at any time and place.
- Mount a white board in an easy-to-view location and write a new verse on it each week.
- If you are able to get up before the family and read, great! Just be sure to set out your Bible the night before so you’re not hunting in the dark!
2. Keep an Eternal Perspective Between diaper changes, runny noses, and laundry piles, it’s easy to forget the real importance of mothering: leading little ones to God. Friends, we must remind ourselves regularly that our task is truly valuable. We are shaping hearts for eternity!
Keeping heaven in sight brings much purpose to our days. This purpose, though sobering, also brings joy. Joy in our noble calling. Joy in the value God places on us when entrusting a child to our care.
3. Ask God for Help. Asking God for help is one of the most effective things a person can do.
The Almighty creator has a listening ear, ready to receive our prayers any time of day. He knows us well and is able to give exactly what we need!
I have found praying about the same thing often, keeps it in the forefront of my mind. If I have prayed that God might help me be a more joyful mother, that prayer comes to mind just when I feel like losing it! It helps me behave.
Sadly, I often forget to ask God for help. This is foolish! I’m adding it to my to-do list, so I won’t forget! Will join me?
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Intentionally looking for blessings is an excellent way to bring more joy to mothering.
I have found the more blessings I count, the more blessings I see. Commit to writing down one thing you are grateful for each day, and before long you will see more blessings than you have time to record!
Truly taking note of God’s abundant gifts will allow us to say: “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3
5. Check Your Expectations Life with children is very different to life without children! That is stating the obvious, I know, but it’s good to remind ourselves to be reasonable.
Unreasonable expectations only set us up for disappointment and frustration. Knowing that you will most likely be interrupted during your morning workout helps you keep stay calm when it actually happens!
Remember this time of life is a season and you will find it is easier to embrace and let the joy abound.
I’m grateful that you are on this path and pray this may help you along as we walk together toward more joyful mothering.
Stacy is happy to be the wife of a preacher and mother to three children. Although she finds herself challenged daily, she does enjoy these roles! Stacy writes about creating peace and joy where it matters most at A Delightful Home.