Joy, week 17

Oh my!  I can hardly believe the last day of April is staring me in the face.  The weeks continue to race by, gaining speed and leaving me breathless.  I look at the past 4-5 weeks and see so many obstacles that arose but which were small enough to be hurdled with help from the Lord, and for that I am incredibly grateful.  We have been stretched, our resources taxed, but the Lord has blessed us abundantly.  Life is good.

The week was another unusual one.  Monday’s ankle surgery threw everything off but we got through it and in good spirits.  This experience has been so good for me.   This little taste of crutches, wheelchairs, 24/7 immobility and so forth has made me marvel more than once at parents who do this every day for years.  It’s been a big deal to me because it’s new and it’s current, but it’s also temporary and I’m aware of that.  Every time I stand at the back of our vehicle to lift that wheelchair I think of parents whose daily life includes this indefinitely and my heart sings with praise for them and with gratitude to God who has given this to me for now and not for years.

We had soccer games in Layton and in Heber.  We had a huge report at school to take care of, which left me with mixed feelings.  I should have done so much more to help him with it but everything has been off balance for the past couple of weeks.  We got it done, but not well enough.  I walked into the school that day feeling heavy about it.  His display could have been so much better if only the timing was different!  But “if only’s” don’t mean much, and we all know that.  In spite of my feelings I squared my shoulders and reminded myself that at least I was there for the presentations, something not every parent does.  It’s wasn’t what I wanted, or what I feel it should have been, but it was good enough.  I got out my camera and took some pictures and that was that.  Last night my husband and I went to dinner with some friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  It was nice to visit with them, and we came home with bigger smiles on our faces.

In all that we have going on, I feel like I’m growing.  I’m getting better at taking things in stride and finding something to smile about.  We keep trying to find the funny in things, to laugh more as a family.  I’m working on gathering my children into my arms more often, no matter their age, to hug them.  I’m giving more compliments to them and consciously trying to look them in the eyes when we’re talking.  I am finding more pleasure in the sound of sprinklers outside my window or the breeze tickling new leaves on trees.  I am getting better at choosing joy.  And so, although we had some obstacles that made life complicated this week, it was a great week, a happy week.

As far as my resolutions go, I gained some ground around the house this week because I canceled everything we could live without in order to be home with my son.  This meant some extra laundry got done (not all of it folded, though… got to fix that!), the kitchen has stayed extra clean because I’m emptying the dishwashers so quickly, and several areas were reorganized and cleaned out.  I am also working actively to help my children stay on top of their responsibilities around the house in spite of the crazy spring schedules, something I’ve usually thrown to the wind in Aprils past.

In most of my flowerbeds I’m caught up on the weeding, although in others I’ve got little jungles to deal with.  I planted a bunch of seeds this week (late, I know, but I’m going to try anyway) to meet my goal of starting most of our garden from seed this year.  We had a lot of plans for the gardens and future garden areas over spring break that were postponed due to the broken ankle.  We’ll have to see when time and money allow for them to be tackled, so some of my garden plans may be altered.   I planted some Bells of Ireland seeds, which was a specific item on my gardening goals list for 2012.  I am also thrilled to see that almost everything I planted last year appears to be growing back with vigor.  There are only three plants that don’t seem to be making it, and I’m pleased with how things are looking.  There is one area of the yard that I look at and think, “I did this!” and it makes my heart skip a beat.  It also gives me motivation to keep working at the areas that are dismally far from how I envision them.

My sewing goals are coming along.  I’m a little behind on them, but really it’s amazing that I’m finding 10 minutes here and there as often as I am.  It’s such a great outlet for me and I’m grateful to be learning a lot of new things this year.  Most of the quilts I’ve begun are baby gifts, also a good thing.   I need to get more of these done BEFORE the baby arrives, not a month or more after the birth.

My goals for exercise have been largely deferred to life’s hectic schedule.  I know I’ll be able to fix it easily when school is out but would like to tackle it sooner.  May is going to require careful planning but I’m hoping to at least be out walking most days.   The house is pretty much the same.   Getting better but needs work.

The goals that haunt me most are the goals about who I’m becoming, how I’m managing my roles as wife and mother, how I’m doing with teaching my children.  In this area I am really trying.  It takes time to build new habits but I won’t give up.  I’ll share more about what I’m learning soon.  This area is related to that big stack of “homework” I have for myself.

It hasn’t been an easy year so far.  In fact, many things about this year make laugh when I consider that I picked Joy as the thing to work on.  It seemed ironic that life got a whole lot harder as soon as I declared myself, but I suppose that’s part of life.  In some ways this roller coaster few months has made my goal even more important than I thought it was.  You have to find things to be happy about.  Period.

So tonight I am happy about a bunch of things.  I’m happy that the kitchen is clean, that there’s a gentle breeze blowing through my window, that everyone has their uniform for tomorrow ready to go, that we got to wish my Dad and Mother-in-law Happy Birthdays today, that we had a lot of funny little things to laugh at.  I’m happy I get to sleep in my own bed tonight, happy that I can walk on both my feet, happy that I have so many people to hug and love.  Most of all, I’m happy that I have a Savior who gives meaning to all things in my life.  I am so blessed!

Have a great week!

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