Mama Minutes: Being Joyful

Hey mama,

I know you are a busy mama! You may be taking care of the home, taxiing the kiddos to school or appointments or practices, making meals for your family or a neighbor—I completely relate! We are b-u-s-y humans!

And mama, it’s okay after a long day of homeschooling, kiddo meltdowns, or doing 5,327 errands to hide with snacks in your closet! It’s perfectly acceptable! (Recently, I found a lost book in my closet where I apparently had crept away to read and left it in there. We all need just a moment.)

Sometimes we get things thrown our way that we just can’t help. Sometimes things happen in our lives, and it’s hard to be of good cheer. It’s hard to be joyful. It’s very difficult when you have had 2.3 hours of sleep to be smiling and not stick your foot in your mouth.

Sometimes as mamas we get stuck right in the middle of taking care of the sweetest kiddos in the world and worrying about aging parents. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for that.

I say all of that to say that if another sister-in-Christ says something a little off to you as she is trying to herd her crying toddlers or moody teenagers—please give her grace.

The worn out, barely functioning wife and mother of teens who is trying to do all the things and not dwell on her aging parents who have been in and out of the hospital with no good news— please give her grace.

The mother of a special needs child— she does more than most could ever possibly imagine— pray for her and ask her, “Can I buy you coffee?” There are so many appointments, therapies, visits, and things that go on that no one will ever know about. She needs your love, kindness, prayers, and grace!

The same goes for our sisters-in-Christ who are loving and caring for children in the foster system, or those who have adopted and become beautiful examples to us. They are truly modern day superheroes, and I pray that we show them love and appreciation. Love is unselfish and seeks not its own.

Show the elderly and widows love with your time and affection. Your children watch and learn from your actions. Just recently an elder came to my husband and I and told us that our youngest son Connor comes and sits with him, hugs him before service starts, and asks him about his week and if he needs anything. He told us how much it meant to him and about how he hopes he never stops doing that. Show up for the widows and elderly. Learn from them as much as we can. They have so much to teach us. Sweet, sweet mamas!

Make sure you are being sweet to your preacher’s wife and family, because I guarantee you some aren’t. I truly don’t understand that. If you hear someone talk negatively about your preacher, his wife, or his family, shut that discussion down and don’t be a part of that. We don’t ever want to be part of those in the church who would seek to cause division. Ever. Our preachers, wives, and family do so much more behind the scenes and work so hard for the kingdom, and if you ever doubt that ask to be a personal assistant for a week for whatever they need. I know that you will agree with me that their work is eternally important, and nothing, no matter how small-minded the talk, is significant enough to warrant listening to that type of negativity.

Mamas, let’s teach our kids to be joyful and pray for our elders and deacons on a regular basis, and during Family Bible Time, let’s pray that our sons will aspire to be deacons and elders one day. We can practice being positive by pointing out to our kids the good work these men do and remembering to pray for their families.

Sometimes even the most joyful Christian needs to be reminded to be joyful. Be of good cheer! In a world where we constantly hear negativity, it’s important to remember to “practice” cheerfulness.

Depending on what season of life you are in, you may find that difficult. You could be the tired mom who lives off of coffee and dry shampoo, the mother of teenagers with attitudes, the single young woman who is finding her place in the world, the empty-nester, or elderly lady.

Maybe some of those scenarios are you or someone you know. Maybe it’s not you at all, but you are going through something in your life where it is difficult to be cheerful.

It’s impossible for us to be cheerful all the time. We aren’t robots and we can’t program ourselves to be cheerful on command.

But, when we are down or we are noticing that we are in situations where we are a little less cheerful, determine in your heart that you are going to do some things that will help yourself to be more joyful.

Here are Five Quick Tips to becoming a little more joyful:

1. Get enough rest. If you have a baby, sleep when the baby sleeps. If you have a toddler or older child, set a timer and say it’s “rest time”, and provide some rules and rest. However you have to do it, mama, get your rest.

2. Get in the Word. Don’t neglect personal Bible study because of distractions. That’s exactly what Satan hopes for. Find your time— early morning, at lunch, before bed, but always do your personal Bible study and prayer.

3. Find those ladies in the church I mentioned above, and do something nice for one of them. Go talk to them, hug their neck, offer to host them at your home, or gift them with a baked good, gift card, or small gift. Those sisters-in-Christ will give you joy. I promise! It works every single time!

4. Get outdoors and into the sunlight. Don’t stay inside like a hobbit all the time or make excuses. I know it’s hard when you have so much going on and you feel like you’re on the road. Even if it’s just a quick, brisk walk, it will do you so much good. The exercise alone will lift your spirits, and it’s even better when a family member or friend joins you. Sometimes we just have to find a moment to slow things down.

5. If you feel like you can’t find joy in anything in life, call 911, go to the ER, or make an appointment to speak with your healthcare provider. Sometimes people that need help don’t get the help they need. Mama…take care of your mental health so that you can be the best wife, mother, and sister-in-Christ!

As I stated above, we aren’t going to be cheerful all the time. I can remember the time when my son was younger and put Legos down the toilet. Was I joyful that my toilet was stopped up? Nope! Was I thankful I had an adorable, healthy son, running water, and electricity? Yes, because that’s what I told myself as I was fixing the toilet. Practice joy.

Kimberley Sutton
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