I laughed so I didn’t cry as one more challenging mom life experience erupts. Seriously?! I question.

My patience wears thin as my child starts crying, an hour after a different challenging event happened with a different child.

“Seek joy,” I repeat to myself.

Parenting the right way is hard. It’s hard to teach hard life lessons and watch the kids struggle to do things themselves instead of doing them for them. That was a lot of what I was doing in these two situations. 

Throughout the day joy and seeking joy in motherhood was front and center of my mind. 

The night before I opened my Bible to James chapter 1, seeking answers from a God who feels distant. Life has been hard recently, filled with frustrating situations that seem to have no end.

James 1:2-7 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (ESV, 2016).

“Haha, funny. Ironic,” I thought.

Of all the places I turn to read in my Bible, I wearily think to myself.

Joy. How do I find joy in this situation when I’d rather collapse in a pile of tears as well? Today feels like wave after wave of challenge, no chance to steady myself from the bombardment of life.

Later, after all the kids are calmed down, have brushed their teeth, and headed for their rooms, I desperately seek refuge in the hot, steamy shower water. Weary to the bone, I wish for a few minutes of stillness and silence from the repetitive sound of “mom, mom, maaaahm.” 

*Creak* swings the bathroom door. I pause, uncertain of who it is, and waiting for them to say something. The tiny voice says, “Thank you for helping me, even though it was hard for you. You’re the best mom.”

My weary heart melts. Joy. “You’re welcome,” I respond, a little teary. This is what motherhood is about. 

I finish my shower running through the verses from James in my head. Joy in all things, from daily life struggles to the tiny voices of my motherhood.

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