Late last year, I was asked if I would be willing to speak to a group of ladies and if so, what would I talk about?
I said, yes, and I have no idea.
So then. I panicked.
And then I called my friend Lysa Terkeurst (subliminalmessagebuyLysasbooks) who is by far the most dynamic and powerful speaker I’ve ever heard and I prevailed upon her for wisdom. She gave me some great advice about planning a speech and crafting a message. She also helped me see that the essence of what I write about here is capturing the joy of motherhood. And together we decided that would be a great topic for a speech. Or a book.
So then, later this month, I will be speaking to a group of ladies about capturing the joy of motherhood.
As luck would have it, life is not oozing joy at the moment. Life is peaks and valleys my friends, we all know that, and right now I’m just sort of hanging out at the bottom of the mountain waiting for the ski lift to take me back up to the top. It’s fine. There’s a snack bar down here and lots of nice people.
So the other day as I was trying to put together some thoughts on the joy of motherhood that I could talk about, I was interrupted 87 times by my child who seems to have a knack for knowing when I need a moment of peace or need to get something done.
Mom, MOM, mommmm, hey mom, Ma-ahmm, hey mom look at this, mom do you know where, mom have you seen my, mom what if, hey mom, mom will you pour me some, hey mom come see…
At which point, I shouted not joyfully “DO NOT CALL MY NAME ONE MORE TIME! DO! NOT!”
Now one of the many things I like about God is how he uses my own short comings to teach me stuff I need to know. I imagine sometimes that he is sitting up there in heaven with some of those apostle guys saying something like, “Hey Pete, Jimbo! Dudes, come watch this. You’re gonna like this. Yeah, Antique Mommy again.”
After I heard the sound of my own voice screeching at my child I was struck by the irony that I was trying to write a speech on the joy of motherhood. And I had to stop and ask myself what is joy exactly, separate and apart from motherhood? And what business do I have telling others about it?
After much prayer, research and introspection, I came to the conclusion that joy is not happiness. It is not glee or exhilaration or giddiness – those things reside on the surface and they come and go with the wind that blows and swirls this way and that at the top of the mountain.
For me, joy is deep and abiding and resides somewhere up under the sternum. Joy is as ever present in the valleys as it is on the peaks. It is satisfying and it is fulfilling and it is not fleeting. It’s the certain knowledge that this place in time, this right now — this is good! And that each day of life, each moment, is a precious and beautiful gift – even when it’s not oozing joy.
Being Sean’s mom is a tremendous source of joy in my life, even when he’s driving me crazy.
That is the joy of motherhood.