A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Friday Joy

We had our second trip ever to the ER last night. This time it was for Julia.

After complaining for an entire day about a headache, Julia began vomiting and running a low grade fever. It was concerning, the headache part especially, but we decided to put her to bed early. When she woke up around 9 vomiting, we made the decision to take her to the ER.

{resting yesterday afternoon}

The ER doctor said that she has a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics. We weren’t given an real explanation as to why she’s had a headache, but thankfully as of this morning she said it doesn’t hurt.

Last night, after Jonathan and Julia left for the hospital I sent out a text to some friends to pray for her. My friend, Leah, sent me this text back ::

“No one ever told me how very hard it is to be a momma and love your kids.” Amen. As a mama, having your kids face any hardship – especially sickness – is way heartbreaking and scary. And it really is hard to walk through that with confidence that God is in control. But He is. Even when we don’t see it or understand it, He is.

I’m grateful that our two {and hopefully no more} ER trips have ended without true concern. I’m grateful for a daughter who doesn’t have any major health issues {nor do the other kids}. And I’m grateful for a God whose love is even deeper for Julia than my own.

My family is my Friday {and every other day} Joy.

I’m not sure when it first dawned on me that I’m an angry person. Fiery, sure. But angry? Me? Never. Angry is something mean people are. Angry is that man who loses it over being served a tomato on his hamburger when he clearly asked for none. Or that woman at the store who is yelling at the top of her lungs at the cowering manager. I am not angry like that.

Do I tend to get heated over certain topics? Of course. But that’s passion.

Does my blood boil when someone crosses the line with me? Yeah. But that’s justice.

Yet for years there has silently been a fire burning inside me. A fire that has lashed out at my adoring husband and sweet children. A fire that has slowly been burning my house to the ground.

One afternoon, in mid-February, the fire took over. I raged, literally, raged with anger, and my girls felt the full effects. While I’ve always been pretty transparent on my blog, I’m keeping the details of that moment private because frankly they are painful and heart crushing – nothing worth retelling.

The after effects of a fire are not pretty. Life is burned. Ashes of what once were are left in heaps on the floor. It is ugly and resembles death.

When I walked away from that moment, I crumbled. I hid from my children for the rest of the day. I couldn’t trust myself. When Jonathan came home, I wept. “I need help. I’m scared of myself, of what I am becoming.” I cried. Through an evening of prayer, repentance and reconciliation, I took my first steps toward putting out the fire.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I have some deep seeded anger issues. How and why they are there are varied, but one thing is certain, they cannot stay. I refuse to allow my children to grow up with an angry mom. In what has been a bold, yet humbling step, I’ve started meeting with a counselor. For the last month, I’ve been taking what seem to be minuscule steps toward recovery. I’ve spent a lot of time identifying my “trigger points” and learning to redirect my thought process and words during heated moments.

I wish I could say thing are rosy and peaceful now. But they aren’t. I still struggle with lashing out. I see the effects of my anger played out before my eyes, especially in Julia when she lashes out in the same manner that I have. Which is heart breaking coming from such a sweet child – and soul wrenching realizing it’s my sin that has done it. My first reaction to most stressful situations is still anger. But, through more grace than I will ever comprehend, I am starting to see moments of healing shine through. Moments that would have made me scream and yell, now make me step back and redirect. Moments where I feel a peace only God gives, because I know all too well that it is not my own. Moments of healing and restoration, of finding joy where there was once sorrow.

Facing your sin is hard. It’s ugly. It’s painful. It gets down right nasty at times. But there is hope. Hope in the promise of Christ. He ransomed us from sin through his death and resurrection, because of his overwhelming love. So, yeah, facing your sin is hard. But through Christ, and what He’s done, we don’t have to face our sins alone.

{via Abby Sokeland on Pinterest}

That quote pretty much summarizes my personality. Jonathan is complete spontaneity, and I am planned spontaneity. It surprisingly works well together. But with the holidays over, with nearly two weeks of no plans and just spontaneity, it has been a happy, happy feeling to be back into a real routine this week.

Julia started back to school on Monday which brings a sense of structure and order to our household. We have spent the week rooting out bad habits, like excessive television and sugar binges, while introducing new ones, like reading chapter books with Julia and Hannah {well, more Julia than Hannah}. This week we’ve read Pippi Longstocking, My Father’s Dragon and started Clementine.

Have I mentioned before that I love how much Julia loves reading?!

Hannah’s newest routine is acting like a 2.5 year old. And if you’ve ever parented, babysat, been in the same room as a 2.5 year old, you know what I’m talking about. That girl has some will power. Big time. Which has given her a new nickname :: Picosita or Picoso {Spanish for spicy/fiery}. But, no matter how picoso she gets, she slays me with her big eyes.

Joseph has been forming a routine of sorts. I’m a mama that doesn’t schedule feedings, naps, etc until my babies are closer to 6 months. And even then, I blur the lines pretty often. But, Joseph has been getting more dependable about when he wants to sleep and eat, which has been nice for scheduling play dates and trips to the store. I won’t go into his overnight sleep, because every time I mention it, people look at me as if to say “bless your little heart”. Then their eyes bulge out when I tell them I really don’t take issue with how much/little he sleeps, because it’s par for the course and my kids just don’t sleep through the night while nursing. Then they verbally say “bless your little heart” and make a mental note to send me to the looney bin.

Do you crave routine? Or do you blow with the wind? 

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My joy is sweet children

Beautiful babies

And daughters that make me smile

Today I’m reveling in starting a new year as the Fab Five. 2012 is going to be the best year yet.

What’s your Friday Joy?

Yesterday marked the first day of Advent. The girls and I started on our candle ornament from Truth in the Tinsel : An Advent Experience for Little Hands. We read through Isaiah 9, about Jesus coming to bring light into a dark world. We talked about how our hearts are dark from sin, and that only Christ can give us light. I even went so far as to have them stand in my closet, door closed, and lit a match to “bring light” into the darkness. {Thankfully, the house did not burn down.}

Truthfully, taking the above picture was ten times harder than the craft making.

I was a bit under prepared for the first craft. Hannah used up all our glue on purpose {bonus points if you get that reference} and all I was left with was about two inches of Scotch tape. But we made it work! Though, a trip to the store has happened so we are ready for the rest of the month.

I can’t wait to spent the next three weeks talking about Christ, His birth and our redemption.

What’s your Friday joy?

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I feel like my introduction to mama of three has been sink or swim, survival of the fittest.

We brought Joseph home early Saturday morning. Sadly, my parents weren’t able to stay the following week with us {as we had hoped} and left Sunday. Tuesday morning, at 0-dark early, Jonathan took a plane to California. Yep, California. 1,800 miles away. If you do the math just right, you’ll figure out that Joseph was only 4 days old. Sink.

Thankfully, we live in a Mayberry like community that was a tremendous help during the day helping out with the girls and then bringing us dinner the three nights Jonathan was gone. Swim.

Wednesday night, Joseph woke up to feed and went straight back to bed 45 minutes later {he’s a quite the nurser}. 30 minutes later, he woke up screaming. I got him up to burp {a lesson learned with Julia} and tried helping him get out any gas he might have. As I’m going through this process, Julia comes into my bedroom complaining of an earache. We’re all up for the next 1.5 hours. Sink.

After spending three days on my own with all three kiddos, I feel pretty powerful. Even had our first successful outing yesterday afternoon. Swim. 

In the end, no matter just how hard things are, just how thin my patience and sleep run, just how completely overwhelmed and out of control I feel, I can take a look at my cuties and know :: I’m glad I jumped in the water.

What’s your Friday joy?

“My sister has been 3-4 cm dialated for weeks.”

“I’m hoping you don’t deliver until 11/11/11.”

“Ha! That baby’s not coming soon. Watch, you’ll be five days late.”

Twice last weekend, I started having regular contractions. When I woke up early Sunday morning with contractions every 3-4 minutes, I just knew Joseph was coming. But he didn’t. I’ve been reluctant to write about it, or frankly even share it with friends, because my heart just hasn’t be in the right place.

As my EDD rapidly approaches, people’s words become arrows that pierce my heart. Jokes about being late hurt. Stories of moms who started labor time and time again before actually going into active labor hurt. My heart hurts. With a million other true pains in the world, mine seems so trivial, but it’s where I am. Longing for this race to be done and to finally meet my son.

I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to settle back into sleep. I opened my Bible and read ::

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5&8 {NLT}

I poured out my heart. I hid away in my God, for He IS my refuge.

It might be a long week. It might be a long two weeks. But I am choosing to put my trust in the Lord and wait quietly in Him.

What’s your Friday Joy? 

With great confidence, I knew what we were going to name Julia and Hannah. In fact, Julia was “named” 3+ years before she was born. And Hannah was named while we were still pregnant with Julia. Their middle names did give us some trouble, but even so, they seemed so much easier than trying to name Baby Boy.

Baby Boy. It has a sweet ring to it, huh? And while I don’t mind referring to him as Baby Boy, it turns out that the government does actually want you to give your child a name once they are born. You know, so they can be registered as person and all. Which means, we really should come up with a name other than Baby Boy.

And so we have ::

Joseph Windham. Sounds sweeter than Baby Boy, don’t ya think?

Joseph was Hannah’s “boy name” choice. We had others in the running, but once we decided on Joseph, we kept a pretty tight lid on it. Then when we got pregnant with Baby Boy, Joseph surfaced again. Joseph means “Jehovah increases“. Aside from the Biblical aspect of the name, my brother Fletcher’s first name is Joseph.

Come the next 6weeks, when Baby Boy Joseph makes his way into this world, he’ll have a name. Albeit, just a first name, since we still can’t decide on a middle name….

What’s your Friday Joy?

It’s been an emotionally draining week for me. I wish I had a reason, other than being 8 months pregnant, but I don’t. I told Jonathan yesterday my tank is empty, especially with being around other people. Jonathan took the girls on his own to our church small group, while I stayed home to recharge. I read through Luke, and meditated on Christ’s words. It was healing and good for my soul. I was reminded of all the little blessings that make up my life.


Wearing a cardigan in the morning, because it’s only 62 degrees.

Sleeping with the windows open.

Spending the morning at the park.

Receiving hilarious emails from Jonathan that lighten my mood.

Text messaging with friends who don’t live nearby.

Having quiet time under the stars.


When I step back, there are so many things I have to be grateful for. Sadly, I often over look them, because I’m too busy focusing on the things that aren’t going right. But, it’s the simple joys that make up a really good day. And a really good life.


What is your Friday Joy?

It’s 7:30 and both my girls are still asleep. Both. This never happens. I’m taking the extra quiet this morning to have a little time to myself. Let’s see how long this lasts.

{Shhhhh…. Don’t wake the kids}

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