The Prospect of Joy

the prospect of joyI want to think that my Prospect of Joy is high all the time.  I’d like to think that at any given moment in my life, Joy could happen.  I’d like to think that for you too!

The question is, how can we make that happen?

Remember when we defined Joy earlier this month?  I included a secondary definition for Joy.

the prospect of having what one desires

I started wondering what that looked like.

Prospect has two very different definitions, both of which apply to Joy in Motherhood.

Prospect – the possibility or likelihood of a future event happening.

I don’t know about you, but if I want a future event to happen, I plan for it.

I set goals and I make it happen.

Perhaps being goal oriented is a contributor to Joy.  Hmmm… let me think about that.

Do I feel Joy when I accomplish a goal?  Yes.

Do I feel anti-joy (weary and worn out) when I feel like I’m not accomplishing things?  Yes.

I started setting goals again about two months ago (August 1st), but I used to be much more goal oriented.

(you can find my October goals in last week’s newsletter – no subscription required to view)

Something about having small kids and goals felt incompatible. Having goals has helped me to feel like I’m accomplishing larger tasks and not just trying to keep up with dishes and laundry and clutter. Setting and achieving goals (or at least making progress towards them) gives me a sense of accomplishment.

That sense of achievement helps to validate that I’m a contributing member of society and not “just a mom.”

(i know… it’s a debilitating phrase.  but at times i catch myself thinking it.  i know motherhood has value and can’t be outsourced, but feeling significant is sometimes a struggle.)

Goal setting can be hard. If you don’t have monthly motherhood goals, I’d like to challenge you to at least consider doing so.  I’ll re-visit the topic towards the end of the month and walk through it with you.  For now, just think about it.

Prospect – the search for treasure.

All of us nod our heads and say “yes, our children are treasures.”

Many of us can quote scriptures that say our children are a blessing from God.

But do we mean it?

Do our actions match?

When I look back at the past month, there are far too many times when I resented taking time to listen to my children and help them with their homework.  There were far too many times when I didn’t treasure the good-night ritual.  There were too many times that I viewed listening to them as a chore and not a blessing.

OUCH!

And yet… when I remind myself to slow down (and that my children ARE the priority, not a clean house) then they ARE a blessing.

When I treasure the good-night ritual, I’m blessed to hear their sweet prayers.

When I listen to their dreams, I treasure the vision of their future.

When I get the hug of gratitude, I’m filled with joy.

Suddenly, it’s not just about the prospect of having what I desire… I HAVE it.

I want to delve into this further and share some concrete ways for us to see our children as treasures.  I want us to go treasure hunting and prospect for Joy.

Do you have a Prospect of Joy today?

It’s Tuesday, so I’m sharing an installment of my weekly “My Kids Make Me Laugh” series (the bossy edition).

Writing each week helps me to see my children as treasures.  It helps me take Joy in them.

Your “Joy assignment” today is to jot down a few ideas about some goals you would like to accomplish.  It can be a big dream or a nagging task or anything in between.  Just spend a few minutes pondering the goals in your life and jot them down.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. yes, looking at my son reminds me of miracles and the joys of life. His existence is JOY.

  2. I am not a goal setter, and I am very happy, so I don’t think there is a connection between the two. I think there is joy in being who we were made to be, though. So if making a checklist adds to your happiness, do it. If it is a burden to you, don’t.

    • Ginger, I’m not saying that you can’t be happy without setting and achieving goals. You certainly can. And there is a distinction between a daily to-do list and goal setting. Making a checklist isn’t my thing either.

      Goals are more about making my dreams come true and about having a vision for where my life is headed.

      Many women struggle with feeling a sense of significance. I do. Setting goals and achieving them helps me with that. When I feel significant, I feel happier. I know ultimately my significance comes from God, but sometimes I need something a little more concrete in addition to that.

      Right now, I have a goal of weeding out 10 boxes of books from my house. My vision is to take the books to half-price and sell them. Then I will take the money and donate it to our church’s Christmas missions-based offering drive. Yes, “fill a box of books” is on the to-do list for the week – on a mental checklist because I haven’t written it down yet. But the significance comes from the bigger picture, not from checking something off of my list. Make sense? Because the task has a bigger purpose (missions) I’ll be more joy-filled when I fill this week’s book box because I’ll be focused on a larger goal.

  3. I admit to missing the “treasure” sometimes. It’s something I’m working on. They ARE a treasure. I just have to make myself stop to see them.

    • I miss the treasure at times too. Far more often that I’d like to think about. Blogging about them each week has really helped me to slow down and SEE my kids as treasures and experience those little moments.

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