I have been a crabby momma lately...
Just putting it out there...All the cards on the table...
It's partially the time of year-- Buffalo gets gray, gray, gray around this time...Sometimes I don't even realize it's impacting my mood and then we get a sunny day and I'll be dancing in the streets and inviting the whole neighborhood over and wondering, "Whoa! Where'd you come from lady?"
It's partially the season of life that I am in, and admitting that makes me sad...it makes me feel like my love for my girls should overwhelm any frustration, discouragement, and irritability I have about the day to day responsibilities of raising them, yet it does not.
If I'm being totally honest, I hear my husband on the phone somedays, talking to colleagues, and I find myself thinking, I want to talk to colleagues. I want to have creative planning meetings. I want to work on a professional project and realize the excitement of finishing it.
There are many days when I think I would rather be doing all of those things than spending what feels like the entire day cleaning the kitchen, and putting toys away, and breaking up arguments, and listening to whining about 'no more snacks', or 'no more t.v.', or 'please clean up after yourselves!'
I know it's not that simple...it never is. Scott has an incredibly stressful job and it makes him weary some days too. And for him, after the weariness of his job he gets to enter into the craziness of mine.
Yesterday morning I received an email from a literary magazine looking for subscribers...I read through the email and checked out the link...want to know what I ended up thinking...All those people are celebrating and utilizing their creative minds. They are writing, and creating, and inspiring and working in creative settings where they encourage one another.
I looked at the kitchen counters again...My workspace was not feeling very inspiring, creative, or stimulating.
One might think that I could find pockets of time in my day to do those things...I used to, a little bit more than now anyway...that was in the days of naps.
How about after the girls go to bed at night?
Oh my word, I'm so tired by then that I numbly stare at my husband and try to find the energy to think of something to say besides..."Hi. How are you. I'm tired if you couldn't tell."
So after all of this, it came as somewhat of a surprise when I woke up at 6:30 this morning, sighing about getting out of bed, and realized there was a song running through my head...A song I used to sing in Sunday school when I was a kid.
"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!
Down in my heart.
Down in my heart.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Down in my heart to stay!"It was as if the activity director of some crazy kids camp had slipped next to my bed just before I woke up and started singing this song as loudly as humanly possibly, partly in jest and partly to get this mommas butt into gear and out of bed. JOYFULLY.
You can't sing that song, or have it go through your head and not partially allow a grin to form. Even if you wind up grinning at the irony of the fact that this, of all songs, would be the one going through your crabby head.
Alright God. I hear ya. So what's the deal. When I'm crabby and in this crazy season of life in which I feel a little lost, and discouraged what do I do?
Clear as a bell....Have joy in all circumstances.
Grrrr. Joy. When I don't feel like it?! Can't I just have the role of Oscar the Grouch in this act of the drama of my life? Just for a little while anyways?! I can do Oscar REALLY well, I think it would be a good fit.
Clearly again...Your feelings are lying to you. Start speaking joy.
And then I was reminded of a very important passage of scripture...
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.Sometimes the actions need to come before the emotions. Joy is not merely available when we feel joyful. We are called to ALWAYS be joyful, in EVERYTHING.
Shucks. I guess I botched that one. Fortunately God is a God of new beginnings...and not just once a year new beginnings, but EVERY day new beginnings. Boy oh boy do I need that everyday grace. Chances are I will practice this today and forget it by tomorrow...and then I'll get crabby and then God so very graciously will send the heavenly activity director to stick a really repetitive children's song in my head so that I get it again.
You see, all those songs our children are taught in Sunday school, they're not really for this season of their lives...I mean, they are, but they aren't. The real reason for those little songs and verses, those memos of encouragement, is so that they lodge themselves in our children's hearts. Then, someday...
When, just like Ava asks so frequently, "Do I get to do all these things when I am a mommy?"
And the answer is yes, except that she is tired of doing them, that little bubble of a song will float out of the space in her heart and will encourage her along for another day...and she will have the tools she needs to take her from crabby mommy...to well, at least not so crabby mommy...
And that is something to be joyful about. The gift of a childhood song reminding me to have a joyful heart in these days of raising children.
Off to start my day...And look up that song on You Tube so I can teach it to the girls today!