Monday, June 15, 2015

On Choosing Joy

We have to choose joy, 
and keep choosing it every day.

Henri J.M. Nouwen

We are two weeks into my husbands grad school program. And we're still adjusting.

He's adjusting to being disciplined, spending every spare minute studying, having less time with our son, and going to bed 2-3 hours after I've turned out the lights.  

I'm adjusting to a lot of solo parenting. I had long days alone when my husband worked a 40-50 hour work week. But I was used to talking to him a lot during the day. And I could look forward to the evenings spent together, enjoying a leisurely dinner, putting our son to bed, and then hanging out after he was asleep.

We've converted part of our walk-in closet into a study space for Alex and when he's home he's mostly up there memorizing every bone, muscle, nerve and artery in the human body.  And I try to keep Johnny out of the way, and resist the temptation to call on him for diaper changes. I try to stave off monotony with play dates, errands, and chores around the house. Johnny loves doing chores. We all have dinner together where we talk about what we've been up to that day. Then Alex hits the books again and I do bath time and bedtime alone. And when Johnny's asleep I hang out by myself.

I will be perfectly honest and say that it's been hard and lonely. And I get a little worried about two and a half years of this. But I have no doubt that this is what Alex is supposed to be doing, and that supporting him is what I'm supposed to be doing.

I never thought for a moment when I said yes to marriage and yes to life that it would be easy. And today is not easy. But we are choosing joy. We have to. 

There is joy in going to bed with tired, aching feet, because it means I've had a day full of activity. 

There is joy in playing with the same toys over and over and over again, and watching my child laugh and develop through it. 

There is joy in the time spent in the kitchen over the stove, because it means I am meeting the physical needs of my family. 

There is joy in letting the to-do lists fall by the wayside, because nothing could be more important than spending my husband's study break watching him sprawled out on the floor with my son in a family wrestling match.

And there is joy in knowing we are where God has placed us, and we are seeking His will.

Everyday is hard. Every day is full. I will make sure that every day is full of joy.


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  1. Oh there's definitely joys in these photos here :)

  2. Oh it is so hard, I know! You're allowed to complain. :) especially when you're making such a huge transition! My husband has been getting his MBA part time for the past 4 (I think?) years, and I know the nights get so long when there is no partner there to help or give emotional support. Hard work, even when it's so worth it!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Laura. It is so good to hear from other people who have gone through this or something similar. Totally worth it, and totally hard all at the same time.

  3. Love this! I can so relate, even though under completely different circumstances! One day at a time. 😉

    1. So glad you can relate! And yes to one day at a time. Sometimes it's even one hour at a time. Lord, just give me grace for the moment!


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