Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Month Photo Session With Joey and A Few Thoughts on the Virtue of Contentment

Look who's FIVE months already!! Can you believe it??
Yesterday morning, there just wasn't enough coffee in Kansas to get my brain in the right gear to teach Latin to my small posse of children, who are already way smarter than I am. So, I called for an extended recess, because executive powers are awesome.  The little diversion from school was spent snapping pics of Joseph, and hoping that one member of the posse would "accidentally" spill his juice on the Latin.
Before I knew it, all of the boys were on their hands and knees beside me talking to Joey in their sweet baby voices, trying to coax his famous grin.
Joey! Chubbikins! Festival! Jo-Jo! He loves all of his nicknames, everyday it's a new one.

I just love this series of expressions...
What? No, way, gurl! 
Ahhh, milk. Yeah, milk is my jam!
Did someone just say the "N" word? You know how I feel about naps.
I would be lying to you if I said that the past five months have been some kind of cake walk.  I mean my hair is still falling out and I'm developing some sort of eye twitch from a lack of sleep. Little Joey has done to us what babies do best, which is turn his parents upside down and shake 'em with all his might.

Last night Steve and I were laying on the floor with Joey between us, admiring his grin, the innocence in his laugh, the purity in his eyes, and while both of us were completely exhausted, we couldn't help but marvel over the way this little person, day after day, keeps us grounded, brings us back to what is most important in life.

I really treasure knowing that each of our children, particularly in their infant stages, have taught me something profound about life, about myself.  Oftentimes those lessons aren't easy for me to learn, because I'm a slow and stubborn student.

So, what has sweet little Joey taught his mama? He has taught me the value of being content in less than ideal circumstances.

In the past, after having a newborn, within a couple of months I am able to regain my footing with life and can keep up with the sprint with the boys, laundry, homeschooling, groceries, cleaning etc., etc.  I expected a repeat situation.

Not this time.

I am constantly aware of everything that is not getting done because I simply can't get to it. Rushing from this need to that responsibility to every demand, I am often out of breath and overwhelmed.

But, this guy is on a mission to help me....
From the floor where he's perched upon a blanket, surrounded with toys, Joseph pauses from the shaking and the chewing to look up at me, drool running down his chin, eyes full of that loving expression that only babies have for their mamas.  His sweet and gentle nature catches my attention, calling me out of the daily burdens. His charming presence speaks to my heart as if to say, "Here I am, choose me, be with me."

I didn't realize before Joseph came into my life, that perhaps I placed too high of a (prideful) value on my ability to keep our life in, not perfect but at least respectable, order before feeling content with myself as a mom and perhaps even with those around me.  For now, the daily tasks are so much bigger than my physical and emotional capacity to meet them. I have no choice but to find contentment in less than ideal circumstances.

The great blessing in choosing to be content in the present circumstances isn't that I am released of my will to try or to care, or even that I magically become okay with the house being a disaster, or having to serve cereal for lunch. Rather, it is in the freedom that comes from choosing to be content that I'm able to see life in it's proper perspective.

The moments throughout the day when I choose to pause from my work to cuddle with kiddos, read an extra story, engage in sincere conversation, or to simply sit and admire all of Joseph's soft, sweet squishiness is never, ever second to work in the order of priority.  Of all of the lessons my children have taught me, this one is perhaps the most valuable.


  1. Love all of the pictures (and captions!).
    What an incredible thing to learn from your sweet baby - I have been working on that very thing (being content with what I'm able to do) lately - I really just want to be present in all the moments I have with the boys since time is moving so fast. (Jordan is now driving himself:(

  2. Oh my gosh! He is just so cute! Definitely looks like your boys :) I love how you're open in how you're struggling/growing (since those two seem to always go hand in hand!)...helps us pre-marriage/momma ladies see what the life we dream of might be like!

  3. This was so lovely to read, Susan. I have been thinking about the pope saying moms should play more with their children and have been trying to with my 4 kids, and it is amazing how many times I catch myself saying I want to 'just finish these dishes' and 'just get through this stack of papers' first. If I don't grab the moment to play that is what will be gone, but the dishes and papers will still be there! This was great to see how you work through this too :)


If you are having trouble leaving a comment, please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a response on my Facebook page. Thanks!