You don't find joy, it finds you.
It finds you in the moments when you are cradling your newborn, terrified at the thought that you have to take that little tiny thing home and actually CARE for it, and yet at the same time, joyfully marveling at the miracle of life that God has blessed you with, and that this little one belongs to YOU.
It finds you in the moments when you watch your toddler take his/her first steps toward you. And you ache inside as you realize your baby is now toddling her way toward independence away from you. Yet you are filled with joy as you hold out your arms and your little one happily stumbles toward you.
Joy finds you in the moments when you are holding your crying child, as they sob their heart out with hurts real or imagined. You are so filled with love and joy knowing that for just this moment, mommy WILL be able to kiss the owie and make it go away. Yet you wince inside, knowing that ONE day, you won't be able to make it all go away with just a kiss.
It finds you in the moments when you watch your child pedal away from you without training wheels for the first time.
When you watch them struggle and master a new skill. When you see them on stage performing a song, playing the piano, doing a dance, reciting a line from a play, or playing a sport,
When you lie in bed at night, exhausted after a long day of diapers, runny noses, and "mommy let ME do its."
When you wonder if you can muster the strength to answer yet another "why, mommy?" question or respond to another "No!!!!" shouted by a defiant toddler or listen to the whining of a grumpy preschooler.
When you are on your knees in prayer for the heart of an angry middle schooler or teenager. Because you KNOW that God has given you this child to love and care for. And you know that even when your heart hurts with love for them and hurts over them, you are amazed at the depth of love that you feel, amazed that you could love so much that it could hurt so much.
Joy finds you when you watch your teenager drive away alone in a car for the first time, and they carry your heart with them. Joy and pride that they aced the driver's test. Joy and pain as there is yet another evidence that they are getting closer to growing up and growing into their own.
It finds you when when that teen reaches out their arms to hug you and kiss you goodnight, and brings back old memories of rocking that same child to sleep on a long, weary night, when you thought sleep would never come.
Now they are out driving, and you are praying for their safe return home, and you KNOW sleep won't come. But joy finds you, because you love them so much your heart is full.
Joy finds you when she graduates from high school, when he graduates from college. When you look at this child that you both have made, and you realize that he or she has grown into someone you love very much and are very proud of.
It finds you when you are preparing to watch her walk down the aisle, or to watch him as he watches his bride walk down the aisle.
And you realize that all their life you have been working toward this moment. This moment of letting go.
Yet in that moment, there is the joy of watching this life, this son that you have created, this daughter you have made, and knowing that YOU were the one who taught him how to tie his shoes, who taught her how to tie her first bow. YOU were the one who caught him when he stumbled, and dried her tears when she fell.
You were the one that he cried for in the middle of the night. You were the one that she wanted to tell all her secrets to.
And now, as your child grows up and begins to grow away from you a little, you have to model something else. You have to model what it's like to love them enough to let them go.
But in the letting go and letting them grow, you are still holding them forever in your heart.
Be sure and come back Monday and link up to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party!
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