Monkey bars have made a big impact in my life over the years. The summer before kindergarten we were at a friends house for an outdoor BBQ when my sister insisted I’d never make it across the monkey bars.
Of coarse, I had to prove my big sister wrong so I gladly accepted her challenge. Unfortunately, my confidence wasn’t enough to get me across and I ended up falling off midway. Because of an awkward fall I broke both of my arms at the same time.
So you can imagine when I watched our oldest daughter try the monkey bars for the first time I was a bit nervous. We were at a local park and I was standing off to the side observing. As one of her friends showed her how to do the monkey bars, I immediately saw a look of determination sweep across her face. She was fearless as she stepped up to the first bar.
She took a leap and then another and another. As she neared the end, she smiled from ear to ear. She let go and as soon as her feet hit the ground she looked around screaming, “MOM! MOM! I JUST DID THE MONKEY BARS!”
My heart leapt. The fear in my mind quickly faded away and my heart melted that she wanted to share the moment with me. It made me feel so good that she couldn’t wait to tell her mom about her big feat. Little did she know I was watching her the whole time.
This reminds me of the verse in Luke chapter 2, right after Jesus was born. Verse 19 reads, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
After Jesus was born and the shepherds came to share their experience, Mary sat and took in the whole experience. I wonder what she was thinking about, I wonder what made her smile. How did she find joy in her unexpected situation?
Instead of worrying about all the “what ifs” and “to-dos” Mary sat in the moment and intentionally reflected on the experience. She treasured it up in her heart. What if we did this more often?
What if we stopped worrying about the future and instead pondered the miracles right in front of us? What if we stop, observe and treasure the small moments each day in our hearts?
The day at the park showed me how many moments I miss because I’m too distracted by my phone. Or too busy worrying about the “what ifs.” Thankfully, God gave me that moment to see more of His goodness, His protection and the sweetness He created in my children.
I believe if we are intentional about treasuring the moments, we’d see more of God’s loving-kindness. The uniqueness in which He created all of our children. I think we’d let go of some of the challenges we face in this world and instead find comfort in lovely, excellent and praiseworthy things.
These little moments. The sweet smile when I walk into my toddler’s room in the morning. The hug I get after picking up my son from school. These are the moments I dreamt of as a little girl. Yes life is busy and crazy and overwhelming, but I don’t want to miss these special, little moments.
True it is impossible to treasure every second of every day. When I was in the trenches of the newborn stage it made me crazy when people told me to enjoy it because it goes too fast. While their advice was valid, it didn’t seem to help me in the moment.
But I’ll tell you something that did help. Being intentional about finding the good in each stage of motherhood. You can do this by asking God to point out the miracles around you or by writing down three things you are grateful for each morning.
The best way to focus our attention on eternal things instead of the fleshly struggles we face is to get into God’s word each and every day. We hear His voice when we set aside time without screens and intentionally sit in His presence.
That’s when our perspective shifts.
So today I want to challenge you (and myself) to put down our phones, let go of our expectations of how things should be and ponder the treasures God has entrusted us with instead. I believe this is one practical thing we can do to reignite the joy of motherhood.
Life won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find the good in each day.
Prayer: Lord we praise you for the gifts from Heaven that you have entrusted us with. How special that you chose us to be our children’s moms. I pray today we’d find moments to stop and take in the beauty around us. Even in the chaos may we see your glorious handiwork.
Action Step: Set aside time today to spend quality time with your children (you choose how long). Turn your phone off or put it in another room and be intentional about living distraction free. What did you find after you did this? Did you notice a difference in your mood? Your children’s attitudes?
Share with us below how you find joy in motherhood!
And if you take this action step tell us how it went in the comments below.