Choosing Joy 3-5-12

I usually do choosing Joy on Sundays, but I am a day behind and perhaps Monday needs more joy anyway.

It’s been a busy week, and with my little man’s getting up in the 4:00 or 5:00 hour every day.  This means that I’m tired and haven’t felt like Olympic A Game Mom.  I think my week’s two sweetest moments came Saturday in unexpected places.

We attended a marriage conference this weekend called Love and Respect.  Kel and I both read the book on our honeymoon, but since that was over 5 years ago, the refresher was a good thing.  The main message of this conference is that man’s primary need in marriage is to be respected and women’s primary need is to be loved.  It’s not as weird as it sounds, and one you process it through it makes a lot of sense.  I recommend the book over the conference, unless you absolutely hate reading, because the conference didn’t’ deviate from the book and didn’t engage the material as well as reading it on your own may have.

Kel and I, like all good couples, drove to the conference fighting but left closer.  As the conference drew to a close we were all asked, husbands and wives, to commit to a new way of loving our spouse.  I was WAY beyond sick of sitting there and starting to lose my mind from 8 hrs of video teaching.  As he asked wives for our commitment I hugged Kel and tried to make my authentic commitment sound soulful and deep.  Apparently I failed because as I breathed my “yes” and hugged Kel, he burst out laughing.  He knew I was trying so to bring out the authenticity, because I meant it, I was just ready to be done.  In  his laughter I found him loving me just as I am, and I am very fidgety.  That slightly inappropriate light-love was everything we needed to soften and finish our weekend lighter.

Later that night our 2 year old was having some growing pains in her shins.  Since she doesn’t really know the body part “shin” yet she kept crying, pointing and saying “It hurts in my this.”  Which was pretty sweet.  We gave her some Advil and I climbed into her little bed to hold her as she drifted off, hoping the Advil would make her sleep painless.  As our faces touched I felt deep contentment.  There was no pull to be anywhere but there, with her in her tiny bed.  I found this deep sense of connection to my motherhood, and my heart was thankful and open.  As I was having my moment of bliss she pressed her face closer to snuggle and then stuck out her tongue and started licking me sideways.  Such a surprise, so much laughter, I love my family just as they are.

In Pictures

I counted about 2 gifts a day this week, and I am happy to say that I found joy in unlikely places, often.  Here are a few of them, to check out my choosing joy flickr gallery, go here.

Gift 58- New underwear and girl scout cookies, two very amazing gifts to this lady.

59- Travel Shampoos- Rosemary Mint travel shampoos, a true gift for the mom whose kids just poured her shampoo down the shower drain.

60- Her hands, her Flowers, weeds to us, beauty to her.

61- Classic Cozy Coupe Kiddo

In Moments

– Wine date with my dear friend Joely
– Our Lifegroup, filled with laughter, insight and closeness
– My little man falling asleep on me
– Perfect spring days spent in our backyard

On Screens

Kel and I have been checking out Ed’s Story.  This is the story of Ed Dobson, a famous preacher, who developed ALS and his inspiring commitment to live deeply in spite of it.  These videos are amazingly well done by the same people who did the Nooma videos.  And the first one’s free!

Ed’s Story, it Ain’t Over

Great Blog Post over at Emerging Mummy- In which these are the tired thirties– a repost- but perfect for my life nonetheless.


Have you read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand?  I have been devouring it over the weekend and I think you need to add it to you book list post haste, which means now.  It’s a story of amazing triumph and survival in World War 2.  Even if Military novels aren’t typically your thing I think you’d love it.

In Food

Yesterday I baked my Grandma Verkaik’s bran muffins,  they’re tasty but didn’t turn out as good as hers but such is the way it goes with trying to replicate Grandma fare.

  • Lisa K

    This is a good post but I wanted to comment more on the updates at the end. I like that you branched off a little and through that in. Knowing you and how you are I always like to hear about your adventures with food. I know that not everyone might be interested but I am. :)

    • leannepenny

      thanks food buddy!