Finding Joy in the Unexpected

Today my hubby and I were suppose to be traveling to Japan for an amazing getaway, JUST THE TWO OF US. We had our tickets bought and we were in contact with friends we would visit.

Grandma and Grandpa had taken vacation days at work and they were ready to do us a HUGE favor! (Let’s face it, watching three boys can require a lot of energy.) And they were up for the task.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

We had been dreaming about seeing the Cherry Blossoms opening up and being there to take pics in person. They are so beautiful!

And more than anything we were dreaming about some time as husband and wife. We could travel light and leave the stroller and diapers behind.

We could visit restaurants that were different and taste new delicacies without bribing little people to eat vegetables so they could have some artificial fruit snacks.

Instead, today my big getaway will be traveling to the grocery store in hopes of finding coffee creamer and hand soap-hopefully a big bottle with moisturizer! (Are your hands as dry as mine are?)

Today’s reality isn’t what I expected. Our family of five is together everyday all day and we are regularly forcing the kids to eat slimy food like tomatoes. Telling them to get out of the pantry where they could snack all day if we let them. (Some days I do, no judgement here ;))

It’s surreal how quickly things have changed in all of our lives.

These changes have caused me to evaluate what is going on in both my mind and my heart. Is it okay for me to wish I had somewhere to go? Is it okay that I’m hiding in a room and locking the door? I feel like my life is under a microscope and there is no where to escape.

It is also forcing me to dig into my identity and my worth. Am I a good mom? Are my boys watching too many videos or playing too many video games? What will others say about me if they see the homework my boys are turning in during distance learning?

These are all real thoughts and feelings that I’m sure many of us are dealing with right now. And we can add fear and uncertainty to the list to really shake us up in whatever season of motherhood we find ourselves in.

But today I am going to CHOOSE JOY even though I may not feel it. I believe that where my thoughts are my actions and feelings will follow.

I will choose Joy because my kids constant grazing in the kitchen means we have food to eat. My hiding out in rooms of our house means I have people who want to spend time with me.

Most importantly I choose joy because I know that better days are coming! I know that on the other side of this challenging time I will be a stronger woman, wife and mother!

James 1:2 (MSG)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. YOu know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Ruined Plans

I love how one glance at a pic and you return to the time and the place it was taken. Our pictures have so many great stories that go with them. I will be trying to share a pic and it’s story each week as part of Throwback Thursday. My hope is that this can be a fun time and give us some good laughs.

Meet our oldest son. He is 11 now, but in this pic he was just a few months old. It was Halloween, but we weren’t going to be out trick or treating. We were starting a short road trip to visit some friends for the weekend.

1st Halloween Costume

We had this super cute costume that a friend had given us and it HAD to be worn! It was impractical and hard to get on him but we forced it around his squishy little body because it was adorable. We thought, ” He will be so cute when he meets our friends for the first time,”

After driving for two hours we stopped at a Dairy Queen to have a little snack-breast milk and ice cream. We took our son out of his car seat and we saw a huge brown spot soaking through the bright blue fabric of his tiny costume.

There was no saving the costume. It was stinky and nasty. My perfect plan had been ruined and the Halloween costume rode the rest of the way in a plastic bag.