My children happen to be a mirror for me of sorts. They let me know exactly what kind of attitude I am putting out.
My daughter especially has a way of dropping me hints. If she wants to ask me something first she’ll look at my expression. If I am smiling, she’ll come right out and ask, but if I look serious she’ll think that I’m angry or stressed.
If I look angry or stressed she’ll say to her brothers, “I’m not going to ask Mommy for anything right now, because I thinks she’s angry”. She’ll sometime just come out and ask, “Mommy is this a good time to ask you a question?”
I understand that she is trying to gauge my emotional state by my facial expression. I also understand that my actions are setting the stage for how she turns out as an adult. My actions can make her feel loved or unloved. I want my children to know that they bring me joy which is why I try to reply to her question with a smile and say, “Sure baby, what do you need”.
Truth be told, I don’t smile all day long. In fact my face is often serious. I am often in thought about things I have to do, didn’t do, and need to do, or want to do. I wish I could say that I’ve mastered the art of never worrying, but I haven’t.
I worry about my children, my finances, the laundry pile, deadlines, schedules and anything else you could think of. While I can’t quit worrying just yet, I can reassure my children that they are a joy to me. I answer them with a sweet response and hope that by the way I respond they understand that my serious face doesn’t equal a lack of joy.
I show them a joyful disposition in everyday life in the way I respond to them. When I respond to them or talk to them I smile. They may initially catch me washing dishes, reading a recipe for dinner or sorting clothes and often times I am not smiling.
I’m not going to pretend that I am ‘Joan Cleaver’ and I smile as I do each task. I am often deep in thought about what I’m doing and focused on getting my tasks done, but when I hear them say, “Ma” I turn to them and reply with a face to face smile.
While I may not smile all of the time…I do when I look at their faces.
This means a lot to my children and husband as well. My husband will often catch me with brows furrowed and immediately knows that I’m mulling over things in my head and he’ll call my name in an endearing sort of way. It’s like he knows that I’m going down the worry worm whole and in an instant, his voice pulls me back into the reality of the moment. In that moment I look at him and smile.
He knows that I was over thinking things….AGAIN, but he knows that he is a source of joy for me by the way I smile when I look at his face.
He and my children both understand that I ponder things too much…but hopefully they know that they are so very important to me.
None of us are perfect.
I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be a perfect wife, or a perfect mom or a perfect Christian.
Neither will you so just accept it.
What I have decided to do instead is to choose joy. No matter what is on my mind or my facial expression, I choose to express joy when I look at my husband and children.
Just as I choose, so can you. You can choose to have joy in your life. You will be able to have joy even when everything is not perfect when you go to the giver of joy who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My relationship with Him is what lets me see joy in my family. It causes the sight of them to overshadow my worries and fears and what a great gift that is.
So you see, God doesn’t always remove all of your problems, what He does is gives you a greater supply of things to find joy in.
They’re there but you have to go to the source of joy and let Him remove the blinders from your eyes. Then you’ll be able to see things clearly. You’ll be able to look at the bad and accept it, but you’ll be able to look at the good and smile.
If you struggle with worry and find it hard to find joy in your own home, let me pray for you. I’d love to add your name and situation to my prayer journal. You are not in this faith walk by yourself. Leave a comment below and I’ll add you to my prayer journal.