Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wearying Joys

Sorry it's been such a while since I posted. The days have adopted a rhythm, and within a rhythm there is often very little that stands out. Subsequently, I haven't felt much of an inclination to write about one idea or another and have remained 'blogly' silently.

The kids, my little bits of tangible sunshine, are fabulous. Mika smiles with her entire body every time she sees me - and since I know it's not a reaction she will always give me, I am soaking up every single body-jolting smile sent my way. She is also incredibly strong, which I know all moms say about their kids, but she's seriously strong. She is minutes away from being able to pop up on hands & knees and I would not be a bit surprised if she was crawling by 6 or 7 months, and walking by 10...she clings to my clothes, neck, or face with surprising grip and if I let go, will hang to me like a monkey - seriously strong. And beautiful - she's just a looker with these gigantic blue eyes & perfect ballerina posture. I may have a dancer on my hands.

Kai is ever adventurous, ever busy, ever concerned for others, ever exceptionally observant & thoughtful and ever talkative. He has grown quickly and now the toddler has to poke through the little boy, rather than the little boy occasionally peeking through the toddler.

He has started saying the most endearing things including, but not limited to:
* 'Mama, you is handsome'
* As he is falling asleep: 'mama o-tay, papa o-tay, me-ta [mika] o-tay, tai o-tay, people all o-tay'
* 'Me-ta, I lub you'
* Showing my friend 'daniel' (see Tidbits of Funny) his wall car de-cals I put up in his room: 'mama made it for tai. it's so nice'
* After he accidentally makes a mess: 'oh, so-wee, mama. tai is so-wee. i clean it.' As he runs his chubby little legs as fast as he can to get a rag and clean up his own mess.
* and after every single challenge he overcomes, whether it be climbing that wall that's just a little taller than the last one, pulling up his own underpants, getting a snack from the fridge, or leaping off of some relatively high location without sustaining any injuries, he always shouts (yes, shouts) - with his hands held high above his head and his tiny fists clenched: 'Yeah!!! Tai did it!"
- side note: toddler arm to torso ratio - way, way off. I put my hands above my head, my elbows are above my head. Kai puts his arm above his head, his elbows are by his neck...anyway...

My children are the biggest source of tangible joy in my life each day and I could not imagine better children (ok, better children would sleep...).

Before you all throw up at how 'mushy mommy' I'm getting, here is my 'musing' for the week: while my children are unparallelably (it's not a word, but it should be) wonderful, they are also, as any mother knows, a source for frustration, tears, and exhaustion. My children are my biggest producers of what I have decided to call 'wearying joys'.

Several days ago, Kai needed to walk to his room for his nap and refused to do it with anyone else, including Chris - I felt myself sigh with resignation as I stopped whatever menial household task I was tackling and took Kai's chubby hand in my own to walk him to his room. I realized I was weary of putting my children to bed - weary of being the only one with the perfect backrub motion to help them go to sleep, of being the only one with kisses magic enough to make any wound disappear, of being the only one capable of removing Kai from his carseat, of being the only arms that know how to hold Mika 'just so' in order for her to fall instantly & blissfully to sleep. I was weary of these countless instances which individually bring me joy but who, when all piled on top of eachother, amount to a joy whose weight exhausts me. Not because I'm overwhelmed by joy, just because I'm overwhelmed.

I started inspecting my life for other areas of 'wearying Joys' and I found them in surprising places - writing emails to friends, meeting new people, reviewing my budget, cooking, being asked for help from those in desperate need, doing household tasks...what I found, when I began looking for wearying Joys in my life is not that I am unaware of the weariness - I am fully aware how tired I can get, how much a part of me sometimes wishes my children didn't manifest their need for me in such routine and disruptive ways, and how much of an effort it is to keep up relationships with people when they are far away. I am aware of my weariness.

What I forget is that the cause of the weariness is a Joy. The Joy of having two little lives so dependent on me the sight of me coming brings literal laughter, and the sight of leaving solicits genuine tears. The Joy of having so many friends who love me. The Joy of being surrounded by so many amazing people in this crazy city, and never wondering if there are people I would enjoy nearby. The Joy of having enough money to need a budget - which means my money doesn't all automatically go to food and shelter. The Joy of cooking - which means I have food, someone to cook for, and somewhere to do it. The Joy of being asked for help - which means someone sees me as a place for potential refuge, assistance, or comfort. The Joy of doing household tasks - I have a house.

There is nothing wrong by being wearied by these Joys - but I shouldn't forget they are Joys. And I shouldn't resign myself to weariness. If I can remember "this is a Joy", I think perhaps my weariness will be replaced with contentment. The challenge isn't in seeing the obvious Joys, it's in seeing the non-obvious ones - the things that at a first glance seem to be an inconvenience, insult, or offense. Two incredibly poor women at church today called me over and blatantly asked me for money only because I had stopped earlier to kiss their adorable babies - a situation that initially appears to inconveniently highlight the immense need around me, and causes in me a desire to not extend kindness to others because they might ask me for money. But, at further thought, this all too common interaction is actually a wearying Joy. It's a Joy because it means these women thought I looked kind enough to risk putting themselves in an incredibly vulnerable position, because it means I do have the physical means to give to those who don't have as much as I do, and because it means I am privileged enough to live in a place where I have to know how to respond to this situation because it happens on a daily basis.

The exercise I gave myself of looking for wearing Joys has had a profound effect - I am so much more patient with my children, so much happier to serve those around me, so much more excited to engage with those I come across - because I choose to actively acknowledge the potential for each interaction to be a Joy.

I hope you find some wearying Joys in your life today - and that you have a renewed sense of the Joy, and a decreased weariness.

Til next time

xo - sarah


  1. Sarah,how great is our God that He gives us moments to say, "Thankyou," for those joys and blessings in our lives?! Our heavenly Father is so good at giving us moments for joy in this dark world.

  2. Sarah, I want you to know you are an awesome encouragement to me living far from family and home but having a great attitude and frank honesty about the joys and struggles of daily life. I pray for you, Chris and the kids often and I love hearing about your adventures. Keep up the writing and thanks :)


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