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The New Year is one of my favorite times of year.
But it hasn’t always been this way. There was a season when I had young children at home. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children, and I truly miss those years. (I was the mom who didn’t want summer vacation to end.) However, if you are a mom, you understand what I’m saying. Sometimes the hope and promise and joy of a New Year was – shall I say? – sucked right out of me.
I mean, honestly, it occurs in January. What more need be said?
Short, dark, gloomy days.
Back to work, schedules, and routines.
Nearly every year, at least one sick child.
Sometimes the entire family!
If your children are grown and gone, you may remember.
On the other hand, if you currently have littles under your roof, you may be living it!
So, what is a mama to do, when…
…the New Year finds her with sick children – again?
…“back to normal” feels stifling?
…the dishes, laundry, and chores are getting the better of her?
…she simply isn’t feeling the “joy?”
The first thing our precious mama can do is realize that this is reality. There will be days or weeks or months or seasons when she will have to stand up and fight for joy. It may not be easy (it probably won’t be easy), but joy is worth the effort.
10 Habits of Joyful Moms
Keep God #1
Joyful moms establish priorities, keeping their eyes on God.
True joy—joy that can’t be shaken when the days are gloomy and gray, the laundry piles up, or all of the children are sick at once—is only found in God.
Biblical Joy – a settled conviction in our soul,produced by the Holy Spirit as He causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the Word and in the world, even in the midst of our circumstances.*-Kim Young, Joy Forevermore
Do ALL Things unto Christ
Moms filled with joy don’t get caught up in what other people think – about the toys on the floor or any of the other “mom-stuff.” They work for an Audience of One and realize the honor of serving Him by serving their family. (Colossians 3:23)
Live with Eternity in View
Joyful moms are intentional with their time. They prayerfully examine their motives and evaluate their activity. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- “Why am I spending time on this?”
- “Am I doing this for selfish reasons?”
- “Are my reasons for engaging in this Christ-honoring?”
- “Is this a frivolous use of time or does it bring glory to God?”
Joyful mothers make a conscious effort to find things for which they are thankful. They train their minds to look for blessings, and they choose to focus their attention on these things.
Choose to be Joyful
Joyful moms choose joy.
We can’t always control the things that happen to us, but we can control how we react. We can control whether we choose joy or bitterness, thanksgiving or anger, happiness or discontentment.
Refuse to Compare
Comparison is a thief of joy!
Joyful moms don’t compare their lives to the lives of other moms. They realize there is no need for they are already seated at the table with Christ.
Take Care of Their Marriage
As much as we’d like to believe the quality of our marriage doesn’t affect our mothering, for most of us at least, that’s just not the case.
When my husband and I are at odds with one another, my attitude reflects the conflict—even if my husband isn’t home. When my marriage is not strong, my joy suffers.
Take Care of Themselves
Joyful moms take care of their bodies by staying active, eating relatively healthy meals, resting, getting away occasionally to be refreshed, and investing in things that bring them joy. (Of course, there are times when we should make sacrifices for our family, but that doesn’t mean we should always sacrifice, never taking care of ourselves.)
Say “No” So They Can Say “Yes”
Joyful moms keep their priorities straight. They learn (sometimes with very great effort) to say “no” to the good, so they can say “yes” to the best.
Ask for Help
This one is tough. Joyful moms make themselves vulnerable by asking for help.
They ask other moms in their same season to help with a sick child or make an emergency grocery run.
Joyful moms ask older women to invest some time in them by mentoring them in prayer one hour a week or teaching them to cook.
Asking is risky. What will they think? They might even say “no.” But if we never risk asking, we’ll never reap the benefits or experience the joy of walking this journey with others.
It’s your turn. I’d love to hear from you.
How do you fight for joy?
*Definition tweaked from, John Piper (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-do-you-define-joy)
“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.” -John Piper