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Happiness vs. Joy

I have not been very happy today. My 6yo seems to enjoy arguing with every.little.word I speak. Half our newly seeded lawn is weed infested and I’ve spent countless hours pulling to the best of my ability only to see little progress (and that’s just what the eye can see). Our youngest son’s heath continues to be unstable. I have laundry coming out my ears. I have a puppy that rings her bell yet walks around outside for 10 minutes only to not go to the bathroom and me bringing her back in only to have her ring her bell again two minutes later. I’m grouchy and don’t want to be around people. I want to escape to my room and enjoy a movie marathon while indulging in all my favorite foods. 
What’s wrong? I’m human. And some days I’m just tired and happiness is no where to be found.
Yes. Day-to-day life is filled with ups and downs of emotions. My emotions can sometimes be as swift and shifty as ocean waves. High highs and low lows, and happiness is one of them. 
So how can I be Joyful Along t…
Recent posts

Summertime Smoothie

“Mommy, why does fruit taste SO good?”

I know, buddy, I know! Something so simple yet so satisfying! Not much beats the heat better than a nice cold smoothie and we just discovered a new favorite recipes of our courtesy of Uncle Aaron. He had quickly become the drink master for fun 4th of July drinks for the kids as we enjoy popcorn and watch the fireworks overlooking the lake. We couldn’t help but want to share this recipe with you, too!

Ingredients:
🍉Watermelon, cubed
🍓Frozen Strawberries
Strawberry Kool-Aid mix (optional)

Directions:
Combine seeded, cubed watermelon with frozen strawberries in blender. We found a 2 to 1 ratio to start helped blending easier on the front end. Then add frozen strawberries and continue blending to desired consistancy. If you want a little something sweet sprinkled in, use about a spoonful of Strawberry Kool-Aid mix at a time until it tastes 👌🏼 for your liking! Enjoy!


All of Me

I freeze. I hesitate.  I hold back.

From the minute I walked into her office, I had a plan of how I would share things.  After all, I am a classic case "internal processor".  I think, edit, rethink, and then share.  As all good therapists do, Mirna asked me what brought me in to see her.  I began sharing bits and pieces of our son's life journey up to that point to help paint a picture for her to understand where I was coming from.  For her to help me process grief. 

My plan, my agenda was to better understand grief to ensure I was able to do it "rightly".  Because Heaven forbid this perfectionist does anything wrong. Yet she surfaced deeper things in me than I would have ever imagined in those 45 minutes.  I left with a literal headache and no real answers (or at least answers I anticipated) to my motive for seeing her.  My head was spinning because she was so right.  She saw deeper.  The root of my question in the first place.

You see, it's not that I do…

blessed

To be blessed means what? When do weuse the word "blessed"? Is it getting married, building your dream home, getting the promotion you've dedicated yourself to achieving, or maybe it's the raise you weren't running after that just fell in your lap?  Is it enjoying a much needed vacation, having a baby, buying a car, living a comfortable life, or getting your body in bikini-ready shape?  If I look at any social media outlet these are some of the most "#blessed" events in our lives.

I am concerned.

The first few months of our journey with our youngest son was blow after painful blow of hard news.  Riding the roller coaster of the ever present ups and downs resulted in emotional whiplash.  I would process my heart with my husband and be feeling such pain, heartache, and ambiguity to our future yet be so certain of the steadfast truth of the Lord's faithfulness to me.  He's committed to me. He would never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I r…

I Can't

"It takes a village, Amy," she said with a sweet smile and innocent intent.  
I nodded politely to the remark while deep down believing the lie that it would never be me.  I would NEVER need that kind of help.  I would NEVER not be able to manage my own life by myself.  At the time, I was a new mom and had the primary responsibility of being a stay-at-home mom and working part-time with a college ministry. A simple life; how could it not be easy to manage what the Lord had entrusted me with?

As the weeks of having a newborn drug on, I would think about that comment often, yet not allow myself to acknowledge my desire for help.  I would look around and see others in much harder circumstances and carrying more responsibilities and managing.  I refused to admit my feelings of failure.  I refused to admit that I wanted help, that I needed help.  After all I was just a mom - as my culture tells me.
Fast forward a few years and the lie continues to fight for control.  "Amy, you…

A Confession and Honest Plea

I have done it. I have noticed you at the park, grocery store, football game, or dentist office. I have seen you and in an effort to not be rude, I look away so as not to gawk. In my own discomfort, I assume avoiding is the "right" or "nice" thing to do yet curiously sneaking peaks. But now I am you. I am out in public with a child that looks different. And now that I am in your shoes I am learning. Learning what it feels like to be the recipient of gawking or looking away feels like. I am not hurt; I realize people generally and genuinely are curious more than anything.
My son may have ample accessories in tow, an entourage of helping hands, and look different which naturally draws attention to himself - but he is perfect. Yes, I see his tubes, umteen machines hooked up to him, his seemingly uninterested gazing, and his head banging. At the same time, I see so much more. I see right past it and see him for him: my son, an eternal soul, a boy who has m…

Dear New NICU Parent

Dear New NICU Parent,
Congratulations on your perfect, little miracle(s)!  I celebrate with you over the gift of life that you are entrusted with!  What a journey you are about to embark on, what a journey you are already enduring. 
For whatever brought you here, you are here.  No matter the duration of your stay, simply being admitted feels too long.  A place no one wants to be, a club no one aspires to join.  It is interesting, though, most “members” grow to not only accept this new club but welcome and rely on this new-found community that embraces them.  Among the doctors, NNPs, specialists, nurses, RTs, OTs, social workers, and even the other families you share soap with at the scrub-in sink there is a unique bond, a connection, a feeling of being understood when life is unimaginable for “nonmembers”. While no two journeys are the same – I know I can’t completely relate to your individual story – I empathize with your pain, your heartache, and the “simple” things worth celebrating.…