It was a lovely day. It’s worth noting this because here in the Midwest, we haven’t had many of those since October of last year.
The sun was shining. Birds chirping. Cooped-up children accustomed to frigid, below-zero windchills proclaiming it was shorts weather. Me not caring, even though it was only 60 degrees. To us here in the tundra, it felt like a heat-wave.
I went for a run and relished the fact that it wasn’t on a treadmill.
As I rounded the corner towards home, I was greeted with this joy unspeakable on my front porch:
Two boys, calmly playing our new “Guess Who” game and doing so in peace.
I know this may not look like much but then again, joy unspeakables really aren’t supposed to look like much. We’re looking for joy in the mundane because there is so much love in the minutiae of life.
My son and our neighbor. Friends who love to play outside and get into an occasional squabble because they’re well . . . kids.
And usually, it’s something sports-related or anything that has to do with moving and yes, they had already done some of that.
But in this moment, as I turned the corner and saw their innocence, their willingness to stop for a moment and take a break, and their atypical “boy behavior,” I was overcome with gratitude.
So I prayed for them both. I prayed they would always maintain just enough of that innocence to not be jaded by the world. I prayed they would always know how to take turns and look out for others. I prayed they wouldn’t listen to what the world tells them a man should be and instead listen to what God tells them a man should be.
I thanked Him for allowing me to be a mother. The fixer of boo-boo’s, the counselor, the social skills instructor, the chef, the maid, the signer of papers, the helper of homework, and sometimes, the punching bag for when something else is wrong. Honestly, more than anything else, I always just wanted to be a mom.
And even on those days when I’m the punching bag, He reminds me that when we become parents, we don’t just sign-on for the glamor of it all (and yes, I’m aware there isn’t really any glamor in being a mother but in my naive youth, I once thought there was). We sign on for all of those things listed above and so much more when we make the decision to become a parent.
Yes, there are days when I’m not sure I’m doing it right. Yes, there are days when my frustration level is off-the-charts. And yes, there are times when I fret over my own temper tantrums and how they impact my children.
But in the end, this is what I wanted more than anything else. Truth be told, even after discovering there’s not much glamor in parenting, my answer remains the same.
Because in those quiet moments of snuggling on the couch watching Little House on the Prairie with freshly-bathed children, it’s joy unspeakable.
And joy uspeakables are the best kind of joys around.
What joy unspeakables have you experienced this past week?
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