Saturday, March 29, 2014

Choosing Joy

Have you ever had a moment that you feel like you can't get through? An emotion that you can't deal with? When it feels like you need a strength bigger than your own to survive?

It happened to me yesterday.

My husband James travels for work as a Christian/Catholic musician. To put it mildly, I don't thrive when he's gone. We feel that at this time, this is what God desires of us, and so I deal with it. I have faith that this is where God has called us, but it's hard. Really hard. He's gone for an entire week right now and then he will be home for a day and leaving again....

So yesterday I overslept due to my extreme sleep deprivation from a fussy 5 month old. I woke Sophia up for preschool and rushed her out the door. I arrived, only to realize I hadn't brushed the tangles out of her hair, and she had breakfast all over her face.

I came home feeling so excited to go for a run! My jogging stroller has been broken for weeks, and James finally fixed it. Running has been my therapy lately, something to help me cope with my day. Something to make me proud of my postpartum body. Something that is just for me. To sort my thoughts, to get my stress out on the pavement. I went in the garage to grab the stroller, and as it turns out, still broken. That damn wheel. All I wanted in this day was a really hard, good run. That's all I wanted for myself, the rest of my hours would be entirely devoted to my girls.

I stepped into the bathroom to take a shower with baby Georgia on her bouncer and found myself fall to the floor sobbing. Feelings of worthlessness flood in. What kind of mother forgets to brush her kids hair? What kind of mother leaves lasts nights dishes piled in the sink, only to wake up to a house that smells like a dumpster? What kind of a mother can't hold it together without her husband? Why do I suck at this? Why??? Why is God calling us to this life? This separation? How is this good for us, for our family life? I can't do this!!! I literally felt like I couldn't get up off of that bathroom floor. I felt so weighed down by the negativity. I reminded myself that it is lent. Though this is a time to grow in our faith, it is also a time where Satan loves to sneak in. Satan was in that bathroom yesterday morning. I know he was. I can't even explain it here in writing. Feeling like I literally couldn't stand up. As though I didn't have legs.

Then out of nowhere I hear these words: choose joy.

I was feeling negativity about EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. And in that moment of anxiousness and despair, God reminded me that I am strong. I then remembered that a nearby parish offers noon mass. In that moment I felt like the only way I would survive would be if I had a little Jesus in my life. I rushed out of the shower, threw on some clothes and ran out the door with baby in tow and hair sopping wet. We quickly grabbed big sis at school, and off we went to mass.

Wet hair and a quick sweep of mascara!

 As soon as we got to mass, I knew I had made the right choice. Of course, Georgia was the only baby, and of course she cooed the entire mass, but I knew we needed to be there. After mass, a sweet woman came over and asked me if she could help me back to the car. Another woman came over and told me how much joy it brought her to hear Georgia cooing. I also noticed Michael John Poirier at mass, and I just love him! What a man of faith! Needless to say, I felt so welcomed at mass and so thankful that God brought us there.

 As Sophia gets older, I'm noticing her watching me more. She's becoming more observant. I don't want her to see me as weak and disheveled all the time. I want her to see me as strong. Yes, I'm human and I have shortcomings, but I want my daughters to learn from me that when life has you down, you can make the choice to stand up and do something. I felt so alone yesterday. I'm the type of person who really thrives when I am with the people I care about. Yesterday was especially hard because James was gone, my mom was working, sister working, brothers working, friends working/ in a different state. I felt super isolated.

Thankful for Spring flowers!

I'm so thankful that God got me out the door. That He got me outside of myself and to Him. Lord, continue to stretch me and strengthen me. Continue to break my heart for what breaks yours. Continue to help me choose joy.


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