Niamh is a 'go big or go home' kind of person.
She likes life vibrant and exciting and fun.
She is all girl. She is passionate.
She will need a romantic guy someday.
Someone who will shower her with roses and jewelry.
She is sweet. And loves deeply.
And she has a heart that seeks Jesus.
She is pretty wonderful, basically:).
We've been talking a lot lately about joy.
Because as sweet and lovely as she is, she got this awesome gene from her mom,
where she wakes up
Like, the kind that would make Grumpy Dwarf look like an easy going, lovable kinda guy.
It has been as much a lesson for her as myself.
Because as a mom, it isn't fair that I say 'do this' but actually live differently myself.
So, Grumpy and Grumpy, Jr. are getting their lessons in joy lately:).
I still dress both kids in the mornings. That might seem weird to some people.
But they are serious zombies until 8am... so they try their best to stay asleep while I try my best to pull and nudge and squeeze them into their uniforms. Philly is pretty good at snoozing through the whole thing. Niamh, not so much.
She wakes up one eye.
And maybe complains about her skirt.
Because that skirt is tight.
Or the sweater.
It has big armpits. (Yes, she has complained about armpit size before.)
And oh my goodness--
The worst thing in the world is a turtleneck.
Turtlenecks can completely nuke our whole morning.
My grumpiness tends to be the quiet, leave me alone for a while type.
Niamh's is all up-in-the-koolaid-don't-even-know-the-flava type.
So, we have basically covered the gamut of grumpy.
I love good mornings.
And believe me, we usually start our days off well.
The kids will laugh and fool around.
And I'll pack everything into their book bags.
Get breakfast out.
And sometimes stick something goofy in their lunch boxes.
But those days when the turtleneck bomb has gone off...they really bother me.
There are not many things in life I like less than a bad start to my day.
Because I like the feeling of walking out of school, having hugged and kissed them, knowing that our short time together that morning was good. That they will feel happy and joyful going into their day. That is important to me as a mom.
So, if a morning started to go down hill, I started trying to fix it.
I'd try the 'rise above it' phrase.
Try to coach her out of it.
But she isn't coachable at 730am and I'm kinda like Bobby Knight at that point myself...so. That failed.
I tried to ignore it.
But that doesn't solve anything.
It is like putting the dirty dishes in the oven right before someone visits.
Which I would know nothing about, of course.
I tried guilting her out of it.
Telling her stories of others who are less fortunate but grateful for their turtlenecks.
But I don't think guilt is a reliable tool. It forces good behavior from a bad place.
Recently, after a little string of these glorious mornings in a row, I was thinking
how in the world can I fix this for her. and me.
How do you get the grumpy to go away?
The answer I heard in my heart (Jesus is good like that) was JOY.
Finding that refreshing feeling in my soul that will not give place to negative, grumpy tendencies.
Passing that nugget of info onto Niamh requires two things.
One, that I keep my own heart joyful.
(Which some mornings is only by the grace of God:)
It is taking a second to look at Philly curled up in the covers before I wake him.
Looking at Niamh's long eyelashes and messy bed hair that still somehow looks gorgeous.
Seeing their little drooly pillows.
And their breathing shoulders move up and down.
Be joyful that those two goofballs are mine.
Be joyful we have another day to spend together.
Be joyful that God trusted me to love them deeply...all of them, even the grumpy parts:).
The other part of teaching joy is finding it in the little parts of the day.
I think real joy starts in the little things.
Talking about sunshine on the way to school.
Praying together in the truck before we walk in.
Saying something funny about dad.
Giggling at a fart in the backseat
(because they never, ever happen in the front seat, cross my heart.)
Yeah. Farts can be joyous. I'm not even joking.
Joy doesn't need an occasion or a reason.
It is just flowing from the heart.
It just happens.
And it is really good at pushing the grumpy away.
And the very best part-- it is contagious:).
Grumpiness is easy.
And it ruins good mornings.
And it resides in little corners of the day-- like in a turtleneck or an itchy pair of tights.
Joy is free-flowing and beautiful.
It fills up the whole heart, so there is no room for Grumpy to come in anyways.
It is also in the little parts of the day...
But it is exponentially more wonderful to a heart than indulging for a second in grumpiness.
And how wonderful.humbling.gracious for God to give us children that are just like us in so many ways. My Father reaches my heart as I teach my children. That is some good stuff right there.
What are the little parts of your day that give you joy?
I'd love to share in your thoughts...
because, after all, it is a pretty contagious thing, that JOY!
[Linking here today.
Because she makes me reflect on Mondays
about being a mom.
And that is cool of her:).]