As usual, time is flying by and, with January behind us; I couldn’t help but reflect on how things are going thus far. If you’re like me and are one of the ones who make a new year’s resolution, you may very well be in the same boat.
Typically, each year I solemnly vow to do the same several things: lose weight, get in shape and be a better wife and mother. It's an arbitrary list that doesn’t have any measurable objectives so, also typically, I forget all about my new year’s resolve by approximately Jan. 11.
However this year, in contrast to the decades past, I went a different route. Rather than start this 365 days focusing on things I wanted to change about myself, I decided to hone in on what I want most out of my life, which is joy. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of the blessings God has given me. I have a wonderful, loving husband, three beautiful children, a safe home for them to grow in, puppy love for days, stable employment and the list could go on.
So if I’m keenly aware of all greatness in my life, why do I need to focus on joy?
Well, sadly, I’m a quick forgetter. When the mornings are rushed, the hours at school are short, and the evenings prove to be a carefully navigated minefield, I can very quickly get wrapped up in the to-do list and the anxiety that goes with the responsibilities of such a busy household. (Insert the need to remember to be joyful).
Truth be told, when I made this resolution, I was nervous in my ability to uphold it. After all, kids (and puppies for that matter) need discipline, and discipline isn’t a terribly joyful activity. Laundry, grocery trips, work, dishes, etc. also have to get done, which isn’t inherently the happiest of work. What’s a girl to do?
Well, this girl, decided to get a new perspective.
Discipline doesn't have to be a life-altering, day-ending battle. Discipline can be kind, and, again, it’s my greatest honor to have these wonderful children in the first place. When it comes to the day-to-day “grind,” of course it’s going to be stressful – that’s life! However, wrapped up in all of that stress is a list a mile-long list of things God has graciously blessed me with. My responsibilities are not the burden I often confuse them for. It’s quite the opposite - this is where I do some of my best work. Caring for others is something I genuinely love to do, and I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to do it every day, right?
While my enlightenment sounds great on paper, I’ll be the first to admit the application has not always been spot-on. No way, no how I’m running around in the midst of daily chaos with the smile of serenity plastered on my face. In reality, I’m running around trying to keep it all together, and, when I stop for a minute, I take a deep breath and remember what I’ve learned. My purpose is not to survive the day, but to thrive in the day, with joy.
Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Fulshear area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.