Monday, August 11, 2008

Rejoicing always

Last Thursday was a tough day here in the T household. The kids and I hadn't slept well the night before, daddy left before we woke up and wasn't going to be home until after the children were in bed, and we were having torrential downpours for the second day in a row. What's a mother to do?! After a less-than-successful trip to the grocery store in the pouring down rain, I decided that we would just have to spend the rest of the day inside the house, until...

"Mommy, can I go outside"

"Oh C, it's raining buddy, we can't go outside today!"

"Pleeeeeeeeeeease, mommy, it's okay! See, look, we have this umbrella and I have my rainboots right here!"

"No, C, look how hard the rain is coming down, I don't think that's a good idea, okay?"

"Mommy, pleeeeeeeeeeeease, I promise I won't bring mud into the house, I promise!!"

So finally, the little guy convinced me to let him go outside, and boy did he have a GREAT time splashing in the puddles, watching his umbrella float in the streams of water, and just standing and listening to the rain falling. And seeing the joy that my boy gained from this simple activity, I was also reminded to sit down, close my eyes, and just listen to the rain for a little while. 

You see, I had been so dead-set on the idea that we were "having a bad day" that I wasn't open to all of the good that was also present. The thing is that every day in the life of a family is ever-changing - I think I would be hard-pressed to find a day so far that has been all-good or all-bad! - and I think that maybe the trick to being a happy, peaceful mother is to become flexible enough to accept the good with the bad, to resist the temptation to categorize a day as "good" or "bad," to realize that family life is meant to be messy and spontaneous and dynamic. 

So today, my little boy reminded me of the following passage from Scripture, one that I could stand to reflect on every day:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 4-7

Mary, Mother of Serenity, pray for us! 


Right Said Red said...

Love the pic of C in the rain. Great thoughts, thanks for sharing Kat!

B-Mama said...

This is a wonderful message, Kat, and so timely for our family as we adjust to a new baby! I am always so inclined to label things--the day, kids' personalities, etc. Labels are scary and disallow the flexibility, creativity, and love necessary to help everyone thrive! Now, if only I could meditate on these thoughts a little more often... :)

AWOL Mommy said...

kat, I think the Mother of Serenity is a major force in your life, you are one of the most serene people I have ever met. Kudos to you for indulging C's adventuresome spirit and reaping the rewards!

Juris Mater said...

Kat--love this post! The best and hardest thing I can do at many moments throughout the day is stop being frustrated and try again for peaceful cheerfulness. This is a wonderful reminder. And like AWOL pointed out, if you really struggle with serenity sometimes, then I don't feel so bad that I do too!

Joanne said...

Oh, how I love that passage. I rarely succeed in rejoicing always, however. I too am likely to label a bad day before it even happens and you're right, it can turn around before you know it. Thanks for posting that picture, I'm going to t think of it the next time it rains!