Monday, January 18, 2010

Mama Mondays

It's baaaack!!
I know, it's been a long time...
But I'm so excited to bring you, after a long hiatus..
Mama Mondays!!

I've got a beautiful mama to introduce you to today...
It's the lovely, poetic, heart-baring Joy
from the equally lovely, poetic, and heart-baring blog
Memoria Arts--where "where faith, he{art}, and life intersect"--...beautiful.
Joy has a brand new look to her blog, so make sure you pop on over and check it out. Leave her a comment while you are at it.


Joy and her precious family

Ladies, I bring you:
Joy
(what a fabulous name to have)



Greatest thing about being a mom—
Seeing and learning through my kids eyes. The things that bring them joy, the simple loves...sometimes it takes my breath away. With the wonder of children, everything is fresh and new and full of possibility.

Hardest thing about being a mom—
Keeping a balance. I find it to easy to swing from one extreme to the other, whether that be discipline or homekeeping or what have you. I just saw a commercial for a diabetes diet product and it has a woman talking while her home tilts crazily around her. That has to be the best visual I have seen in a long time, and I could really relate to it. I think the balance bothers me the most because without it, our family falls into disarray. I start yelling. The kids take advantage of my distracted gaze and get into trouble. I get emotionally and physically drained in a rapid fashion and then no one is happy. A lot of my journey over the last year has been learning to say "no". No to a lot of outside activities, no to people who drain me emotionally, no to a lot of extra "stuff". It has been freeing. Incredibly difficult, no doubt, but worth the pain it took to get there. Lack of sleep is also difficult for me.

Favorite blogs/websites—
How about I narrow it down to "if I have five minutes these are my absolute must-reads?"


Inspirational:
Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp) (aholyexperience.com)
A Path Made Straight (Elise Hooper) (mamahooper.blogspot.com)
Pleasant View Schoolhouse (pleasantviewschoolhouse.blogspot.com)

Artsy-Scrapbook:
Just Me, My Soldier, and my Two Little Chicks (stephaniehowell.blogspot.com)
The Moments In Between (gluestickgirl.typepad.com)
Out of Hand (rebeccasower.typepad.com)
{A} (aliedwards.typepad.com)

Homeschool/Learning:
In the Heart of My Home(ebeth.typepad.com)
Wildflowers and Marbles (wildflowersandmarbles.blogspot.com)
I Take Joy (wholeheart.typepad.com)


How do you find balance in your life—

As I said before, this is a part of my life where I struggle a lot. If there is one thing I can say without equivocation, what we think is balance and what is actually balance in reality can be two entirely different things. We may think it means a picture perfect home or what have you, and to our kids it's just a good book and a snuggle, and to our husband it is a place to be 'safe'- no matter how many toys are on the floor. You can only know what the family needs and expectations of balance are by having the conversations. So ask and listen. You might be really surprised! I've learned over this last year or two that I really have to make an effort to stop and think and re-evaluate. I tend to get going and going and going before I realize everything is off kilter, and have usually dug myself in quite deep. I am learning to fight for the quiet moment, even it means I have to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes.

One word that describes you—

Thoughtful.

Hobbies/interests---

I love to read. I have a bit of a book addiction, as my husband can well tell you. Scrapbooking, art, and photography. If I get time "off" I am usually found either with my nose in a book or down in the basement covered in paint and glue and paper.

I couldn't live without—

Coffee. (Not sure my family could live without me not having it either!*big grin*)

What helps you through tough days---

Scripture and Song. Scripture set to song is even better! Elise (mamahooper.blogspot.com) gave me some wonderful advice about three years ago- when you can't dig deep into the Word, make sure to visit Psalms and Proverbs daily. Most of them are easily read in the smallest amounts of time. I've memorized a lot of the Psalms- and having those available in my head when it is really getting tough- remembering the Lord's promises- that's what keeps my head above water. I have a few playlists on my iPod and on Pandora that really help me to keep my focus on the rough days. Lots of Fernando Ortega, Kari Jobe, Kathryn Scott, and others. Quiet and worshipful.

Favorite color--

Deep eggplant purple, sometimes also called plum. Light mint green or sage. I can't decide which is my favorite, to be honest!


What the Lord has been speaking to you about lately—

To know that He is Lord, that He is in control, and that He loves beyond measure. This last year has literally been about His provision from day to day and week to week, month to month. My husband lost his job in September of 2008, and just when we thought the last penny was gone, the bank account would fill up again, in the most amazing of ways. Learning what 'enough' is. Learn to trust, trust, trust. He is faithful, so faithful! (And as a side note, we just found out that James has a wonderful job with a great company, and we are amazed! We couldn't ask for a better situation.) To be patient. Oh, to be patient. And wait upon Him. It's hard to encapsulate in just a few sentences.


What do you like best about yourself-

My hair. I have been blessed with long, thick, wavy, reddish brown hair. If nothing else goes right, I can at least count on my hair to look right. It's been a constant when little else on my body stayed "normal" through five pregnancies. *weak smile*

What's on your ipod—

Right this second, it's playing all of Shawn McDonald's (http://www.shawnmcdonaldmusic.com/). But my iPod catalog is huge, because the only thing I love more than books is music!

Three books that changed your life--

I want to be all esoteric and say all the wonderful books I've read over the years, but right now, some practical books have really been changing my life in a good way.

A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising A Large Family by Mary Ostyn
Real Learning: Educating in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss
Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson

5 comments:

Aimee said...

love reading more about dear Joy!
And I am buying the Sane Woman's Guide THIS AFTERNOON!!! :)

Sandi said...

Enjoyed learning more about Joy. Her blog is one of my favorite online visits as well as your place :o)

You both have that honest thoughtful way about you.

Grandma Kathy said...

I am blessed to be in touch with her on an almost daily basis through her blog even though we don't live close. Her blog speaks to my heart and I am amazed at who she is becoming. She puts JOY in my journey.

And those cute kids! WOW!

Love you!

Mac an Rothaich said...

Enjoy Mama Mondays so much:)

Dorit said...

loved this