Thanks for visiting my blog. I began journaling about my daily life when I was eleven. Over the years, this has grown to become a way for me to share my thoughts rather than my daily life. I’m pretty open with sharing all the beautiful chaos of life with six children. I have to remind myself to extend grace to myself each and every day! It is my hope that my writings will help others to learn to extend grace to themselves too. After all, if it weren’t for the Grace of God, life would just be messy. I’m so glad that life can instead be a Beautiful Mess and is covered by His Beautiful Grace.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Becoming a Joyful Mom

     Ah! A fresh new notebook. A new book to read about motherhood. I'm not sure why I'm so in love with self-help type books but I even read books about topics that don't apply to me. This one is not one of those books. I need this book soooooooo badly. So what is this book called? "Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom?" Seriously! Yes, really! I don't even remember when I bought this book but I know it was at least 2 kids ago, possibly even 3 or 4!

     I'd say I'm kinda on a mission right now. Elijah just turned 10 and I've realized his childhood is pretty much gone. He's got a few years left but he's nearly a teenager and slowly those childish things will be no more. I've missed out on the last 3 years of it. I've missed out on the best 3 years of school with Levi, he's finishing up 1st grade now. I've missed out on the sweetest 3 years with Malachi, who is now 5. Oh, I've been here, and we've had some great moments, but all of my energy has gone to therapies, family visits for foster care, and court dates. It has been exhausting! The kids' behaviors and manners have suffered, our school has suffered, and our family has suffered. I am so glad that it is all over now! Our adoption will be final this year too! It feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

     Now we are trying to learn how to be a real family again. We are learning to be diligent in our school work. We are learning to take responsibility for our chores. We are learning how to treat each other with respect. We are learning how to enjoy life at a slower pace!

     So far, we've got a set schedule for each day of the week and a clear list of school work to do each day. The younger kids' rooms are organized and they clean up before bed each night. The girls and Seth are even wearing pajamas each night instead of just going to sleep in their clothes. We've gone back to reading a story each night before bed. The routine has been great and has made bedtime for the younger ones so much easier. I'm still working on Malachi's cleaning ability and him wearing pj's each night. Elijah and Levi still need lots of work. We're starting from the bottom and working our way up though.

     The whole point of my changes is that I want to enjoy my life again. I want to enjoy being a mom again. I miss the days when being a mom was pure joy and I still had an identity as Audrey too. I want to enjoy my hobbies again but without routine and order, I can never find the time. I want my kids to remember a happy childhood and I want my kids to remember a mom that wasn't constantly stressed. I want them to remember a mom that knew how to have fun.

     I've started this journey on my own and I already have my plan, but this book jumped out at me tonight when I looked at my bookshelf. I look forward to reading about another mom's journey and writing about mine. Maybe I'll even find the time to write about it on my blog.

(Above copied from my journal entry dated 3/20/2016).

     Chapter 1 Reflection Question: What part of my life do I need to hold with an open hand?

     I'm not sure I understand the question. I think it means "what part of my life do I need to let God control?"

     This one is kinda tough. I have a lot that o just need to give to God. I think my biggest thing right now is our living situation. We're living in the church parsonage, which is too small for our family, while waiting for our home to sell. We want to build once it sells. The logical side of my brain says this will take a few years. The dreamy side wants it done by Christmas. Then there's the whole "what will we build" thing and the dreamy side takes hold again. Leaving all of that alone, I'm married to a preacher that isn't pa storing a church right now. I know God will eventually cal, him to another church but we don't know where that may be. I'm not worried about this and certainly not trying to control it, but it does affect our building plans.

     All my life I've dreamed of raising my kids in our forever home and them coming home doe holidays and family gatherings to the house where they were raised. I didn't dream of living in the country but that's the life I want for my kids now. I want a big beautiful southern farm house and I want it now. I want it perfectly decorated. I want it perfectly organized. I want it perfectly clean. This is the life I'm holding on for but ultimately I want the life that God is holding for me. I need to learn to wait patiently!

(Above copied from my journal entry dated 3/21/2016). 

     Monday mornings are hard!  We get in late from church, have to eat dinner and then get everyone in bed.  Last night we went out to dinner so we were even later getting home.  Everyone got in bed late so I let them all sleep late this morning.  The morning was ROUGH but I slipped into the dining room to leave everyone a message from my reading last night.  Love is not a feeling, it is a choice!  My older two boys left me replies.  This is the kind of mom that I want to be.  These are the things that I want my kids to remember about me.  Did this change our day?  Not at all, it was still long and stressful.  It did change how I looked at the stressful day though.  Instead of getting frustrated with the crying baby and the wild preschooler and the 1st grader that didn't want to do his work, I took it as part of life and kept going.  I may still shed a few tears but at least I can see through them.  

1 comment:

  1. This was awesome!!! I just got the email notification and had to stop and read it all right this minute!! Thanks Audrey for sharing your heart!!
    Thank you for being my friend!
    Love ya,