“Mom-sters” Hungry for Peace and Laughter

Janelle

Jo! Can you believe we’re already coming to the end of 2021? It seems like 2020, quarantine, pandemic, everyone-at-home-all-the-time craziness was just yesterday! How is it that the holidays are just around the corner again!?

Jo

It feels long and short all at once, doesn’t it, Janelle? I am struggling coming out of that mindset of crisis mode.

Janelle

I can understand that. Is there anything you’ve held onto from that wild time?

Jo

One truth stands out to me— I cannot really control much in this world, so I have to hang onto my family with all I’ve got.

Janelle

Isn’t that the truth? We learned so much about ourselves and each other during quarantine. The (long) days together definitely created some tension in our family. Slowing down and not running from thing to thing also forced us to work through our conflicts.

Jo

What were some of the big conflicts you had during the lockdown?

Janelle

Sibling rivalry was a big one for us. You know, just being together 24/7 breeds conflict. 😜 We often found ourselves sitting on the floor, talking about how we could’ve handled a situation differently and offering each other forgiveness. How about you?

Jo

Ours was having to navigate the constant change in schedule for our son. Thankfully, the down time was good to get back to enjoying the little things together.  

Janelle

There were challenges and blessings both! I know I struggled with my anger (mainly from being overwhelmed with EVERYONE and everything being out of control). My anger was staring me in the face and I had nowhere to go.

Jo

Yes, the frustration was so clear everywhere, and we could not just run from each other. And yet there were good things woven into all the upheaval. What does that teach us about God?

Janelle

It reminds me to look for His blessings. Seeing His goodness in the midst of chaos keeps hope alive.

Jo

For me, it was seeing how God designed us to let go and laugh… to have that pressure release.  🤪

Janelle

I love that! “A merry heart does good like medicine,” right? Have a good laugh that makes tears run down your cheeks every now and then!

Jo

I needed that reminder, because I am getting caught up in the swirl of changes again this time of year. I’m an introvert, so I am not liking the calendar filling back up… I’m getting overwhelmed with all the “things.”

Janelle

Yes!! I was actually excited about things getting cancelled! Did you see the memes that said, “Introverts unite! Cancel everything!” 😂

Jo

Yes! I am so down with staying home. So what can I do when my calendar feels out of control?  

Janelle

I have to be purposeful in planning my days. I find myself filling my calendar too, often with good things. But taking the time to slow down and work through conflict like we did during lockdown is a skill I’d like to carry into our new normal. How about you?

Jo

The busy-ness takes away my down time to reflect and rest.  All of that margin time matters. Without it, I am quite snippy. 

Janelle

You’re right. And without purposeful rest and reflection, frustration and anger still find their way into my days. If I don’t stop and deal with it, it can snowball into a real monster.

Jo

Like when I sometimes treat strangers nicer than my own people? 😬

Janelle

Guilty. I have also found myself snarling at my husband and kids then walking into work and being the most complimentary, encouraging person in the room! 

Jo

How can we get better at this?… I feel like I can become a mom-ster at a moment’s notice.

Janelle

Right?! I heard it described recently as the “moment of impact.” Will I respond in anger or with grace? How do I choose to respond well at the “moment of impact”? And not turn into a “mom-ster”? 😳

Jo

I usually try to take a deep breath. Cliche, but cliche for a reason. 

Janelle

Exactly. Because it’s helpful. When I’m really feeling my blood begin to boil, that’s when I ought to stop and take a deep breath, and THINK. Think before I speak… really profound, right? 😜 And ask God for the words to say.

Jo

And also, most trivial conflicts can be helped with a little candy, food, or drink. I learned that during the pandemic too. 😉

Janelle

Ha! Yummy things do solve a lot of problems! (Imagining those fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies now… we made way too many during quarantine!) 😁

Jo

Well, as we enter the holiday season, maybe we can be reminded of how Jesus rested. He laughed. And He ate! All of those gifts of life are so crucial to being our best selves. Lord, help us get back to those basics.

Janelle

And heaven help us if we have to experience another quarantine to remind us of those truths! 🤪

Soaking in the Truth 

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13, NIV)
  • Jesus Rests (Mark 4:35 before he calms the storm, Mark 6 before he feeds the five thousand, NIV)
  • Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8, NLT)

Music to inspire you:

Living Out the Truth 

Ideas to try:

  • Ask Alexa or Siri to tell you a joke sometime! 
  • Take dinner to a new table and enjoy it together in an unfamiliar place – even if that is a picnic on the living room floor or around the coffee table. Sometimes the change of scenery keeps the conversation fresh. 
  • Get outside with your family for a short walk or to play outside together. 

Resources to come alongside you:

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more.  In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

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