Happy Tuesday of Easter Week! Today’s post is based on inspiration from The Collect for today found in The Book of Common Prayer, “that we…may be found worthy to attain everlasting joys”.
Do you have everlasting joys right now in this place and in this time?
Almost every day I get asked through email or in consulting about “how can I enjoy being with my children?” We live in such a fast-paced world, and one in which many parents are entering parenthood at older ages and many are coming to parenthood with an approach akin to starting work at a large company.
The only problem with this is that you don’t really see the results of your “project” for many years. Oh, and your “project” has their own ideas about the project, LOL. It quickly becomes obvious to those parents open to this possibility that parenting is not like working at a company.
Parenting is 24/7. It involves you coming face to face with whatever baggage you have been carrying around from life. How scary and how exhilarating! It involves you personally growing. It involves you making decisions, being an authority in your own home, and it involves you being able to discern your most essential priorities. These things can be challenging for many parents!
It also can be joyous. With all the things mentioned above comes freedom and the shaping of how you want things to be. Small children (and many of us!) do best in a rhythmic, unhurried environment with lots of time outside. That can be so freeing and joyous, to marvel together at the smallest wonders of life, to laugh like only a small child can.
If you are missing the joy in your life, how can you capture it?
Joy is an attitude of the innermost heart. It is something you can ask for in your prayers and meditation, it is something you can do as you go through your day. Can I slow down enough whilst I am washing the dishes to really feel the soap bubbles on my hands and the warm water and hum? That is joyous. Can I stop in the middle of the day and hold my child close and smell his or her hair and look at that child’s chubby little thighs and just love them and feel joyous that they are here, that I am the parent?
Can I discern what I need to feel joyous, but also can I just “do it” even if the things going on around me are not what I think I need to be joyful? Can I grow and stretch in this way as I become a more mature parent? Can I be joyful at three A.M. when I have had a night of waking up all night long with a reflux-ridden infant or a teething toddler? Can I be joyous as I clean or cook or attend to my child’s needs? Can I be joyous?
Joy can not only replace fear, but it can also provide a gateway to a peaceful and calm heart. If raising children who are peaceful and who can grow up to be peacemakers is important to you, then you finding your own joy in your life and showing this in your every task and in your being is the place to begin.