About a month ago, there was a kick-off event for our Women's Ministry and as much as I wanted to attend, I physically wasn't able to, due to just giving birth to Janie. At this event, the theme for the year was shared- Completing Our Joy: in Christ, in Character, in Community. It's a reflection of Philippians 2:2
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
As I reflect on this verse and the theme, I'm amazed at our God and just how He works. I mean, I know He works in mysterious ways but I often think He's a funny God, working in the way He does. This is why.
Typically, they say that the first few months post baby is the hardest. They also say the transition from one to two kids is the hardest. Well, the past several weeks have definitely been hard but something I've been experiencing more than ever is this indescribable sense of joy. I've been finding joy in the same three aspects of my life (as the theme) and I know it's only through Christ.
1. in Christ
I often wake up with these ambitious dreams of getting things crossed off of my to-do list and making a gourmet lunch/dinner for the family. Next thing I know, it's 1pm and I'm barely surviving. I'm either frustrated with "non compliant" baby/toddler, antsy with cabin fever, or I'm just butt tired. But it's at these moments when I stop and literally catch myself praying and asking Christ for strength and endurance to last to the end of the day... on a daily basis. And then you know what happens? I'm at peace, knowing that I can make it through the day because I have Christ. Not only am I at peace, but I'm also rejuvenated because I know He will strengthen me and keep my spirit full. I feel complete in Christ.
2. in Character
more specifically, as a mother. Can I be honest here? I'm so grateful for Han and his understanding heart. I know my first and foremost role is to be a wife. I often feel like I don't do or give as much as a wife because I'm so busy trying to be a (better) mother. However, Han accepts and understands it all and still showers me with grace and love. (thank you hubs) Now, back to my character as a mother.
It is so easy to feel guilty and/or grumpy as a mother. I'm constantly trying to be a "better" mother- finding the most fun and exciting activity to do with Halie when she's home with me, making a wholesome meal for the family, being patient and understanding Halie and Janie. However, when I don't get to do fun and exciting activities with Halie, don't provide a wholesome meal for the family, or even get impatient and Halie/Janie ends up crying, I sometimes feel like an incompetent mom. That's when Jesus basically intervenes and reminds me how I am doing everything I can for my kids, and in that moment and realization, I smile and am comforted in knowing that it's true- I am doing my best as a mother and to my kids, I'm neither incompetent or "failing". We can and know how to have fun, laugh, and I have so much love and joy when I'm spending time with my kids and husband. They bring and provide so much joy in my life.
3. in Community
I'd be lying to you if I tell you that my life is thriving in this aspect. I consider it a blessing if I see anyone outside of my family for over 45 minutes on a weekly basis. However, I am thankful for where I am within my community (of church) and the interaction that I do get to have on a weekly basis. It may not be as thriving as it used to be pre-kids, but it's at a much better state than earlier this year. Not only that, it's genuine. I know that this is the community I want to grow in, so I find joy in getting to know, spending time, interacting, and even praying for it. Where it once was a bitter topic to think about, it is now a topic I want to cultivate more joy.
I'm so excited to see where our church's Women's Ministry and my personal walk with Christ goes this year. I know it'll only get better from where I am today so it's exhilarating to be on this journey. How exhilarating?
It makes me wanna shout, Hallelujah, Thank you JESUS, LORD, your worthy, of all the glory, and all the honor, And all the praise...
(seriously, this song has been playing nonstop in my head the past couple of weeks)
Soli deo Gloria.