Let’s be honest, some seasons of parenthood are difficult. Very, very difficult. Some seasons come with challenging stages, loneliness, fatigue, anger, and dare I say, regret. We have all felt these things. I feel like this is not something we talk about all the time. In a world of perfect Instagram photos and lots ways for your kid to be an overachiever sometimes we buy into the lie that our lives with our precious children should be perfect.
I have bought into this lie lately. I have bought into this lie that my kids need to eat healthy, organic, homemade food at every meal. (Guess what, sometimes I walk into the living room in the morning and my toddler is eating Doritos in her underwear)
I have bought into the lie that my house should be immaculately arranged at every moment so that I may capture that perfect picture to share with the world. (Guess what, my house is RARELY picked up)
I have bought into the lie that my children should not cry, scream or pitch insane meltdowns because if I teach them how to manage their emotions they will always behave. (Ha, ha, we know this is not true. Even adults have meltdowns from time to time)
But the biggest lie I have bought into lately is that happiness comes from an outward source. That if I could just get these books to better teach my kids we will be happier. If I could just keep my house in order we will be happier. If I could just buy these wooden, eco-friendly, locally sourced toys we will all be happier. The list goes on and on.
And the thing that I have forgotten lately is that happiness is not outwardly sourced. Happiness or I will say, JOY, comes from within. It is a conscious choice to be joyful amid the chaos of life. This used to come very easily to me before I became a parent. Maybe because my actions only affected myself. Now that I have all these tiny humans to raise I feel the weight of the responsibility and I want to do a good job. I want to raise accomplished, well adjusted, joyful humans. The best way to do this? To lead by example! No matter what is going on in your lives, if you will do your best to show how to be joyful in the midst of any circumstance you children will learn from your example. Now, I don’t want to confuse this issue. I’m not talking about walking around with a fake happy smile on your face all the time. Of course, you need to show your children its ok to be sad, angry, or frustrated. But the real joy comes from being able to feel those emotions, not get stuck there, and come back to a joyful spirit.
For me, I believe this real joy can only come from a true relationship with our Creator. In any situation, there is scripture to encourage us and bring us back to that place of joy that comes from the Lord. I have bought into the lies society shouts at us. Mostly that our happiness comes from what we have or how people perceive us. I’m going back to the joy I find in my Savior, my Creator, and my Redeemer.
Here are a few scriptures that help me stay grounded when I feel like I’m about to lose my mind!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all of my fears. Psalm 34:4
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
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. Philippians 4:8
I hope that you are encouraged today, no matter where you’re at in your journey of faith and/or parenthood. I am always eager to hear from you all. I am happy to listen and help any way I can.