My Guest Blogger is Whitney Braun and from reading a post on a blog written by her, I wanted my readers to share in her thoughts via this blog. Please welcome her and be sure to check out her info and website at the end of the message. Thank you Whitney for sharing your message and your precious family. Have a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas!
Finding Joy in the Little Things
By Whitney Braun
This year is my son’s first Christmas, and I haven’t been this excited for the holiday since I was a young girl. This Christmas, it’s more about gift giving than receiving.
The joy I have while anticipating Christmas morning in a few weeks is more than I’ve had for some time. You see, I’m a new mom living in the 21st century. I’m expected to raise the perfect son who never watches television or plays on an iPad. He’s never supposed to eat sugar, and his bed time should never be later than 6:30pm. He should nap three hours a day. He should be breastfed for at least a year to ensure intelligence and proper nutrition. He should take music classes before his first birthday and be potty trained by two years old. He should talk by three and read by four.
All of this should be easy for me as I continue working at my part-time job and pursue my writing career.
This is what I’ve been told is expected for new mothers. It’s posted all over social media, magazines, and other literature.
At first, I tried to follow directions. No TV, despite that fact that newborns are barely being awake enough to eat. When starting solids, no sugar. He had lots of naps and early bedtimes. I breastfed with great struggle for both myself and my son. While trying to keep up with all these rules, I started to lose my joy.
I had stopped writing, and I stopped sleeping during those few hours I should have been. I was beginning to not enjoy the beautiful aspects of motherhood. Then shortly after my son turned three months old, I had had enough.
I stopped following directions. I didn’t take advice. I couldn’t keep up anymore. It was time for a drastic change.
My son switched to being bottle-fed without a problem. He went to bed when the signs indicated he was ready, whatever time that was. He ate some sugar from time to time. And slowly, I began to find joy in the little things again. I was able to write, dive into the Word, and improve my prayer life drastically. I relaxed about whether or not I was doing the “right” thing when it came to all things motherhood. I realized the “right” thing was different for every mother and child. My “right” thing was to trust in my Saviour and do what I understood was best for my family.
The right thing for us was to do what brought us joy and washed away the worry.
I continued to write. My son and I spent the summer outside in the sunshine. We went on silly adventures, even if it was as little as getting an iced coffee from McDonalds. I found joy in things I never had before.
Gift giving and stringing up lights have a whole new meaning to me this Christmas. I watched my son gaze in wonder at the lights and grin from ear to ear on a simple sleigh ride. He found wonder in a cheesy Santa Parade filled with simple floats of Santa hats and snowflakes. And best of all, his interest in books makes all the difference when I read to him about the real meaning of Christmas.
Even though I’ve done all of these things before, I never realized the magic of it. I was too busy trying to live up to impossible standards instead of taking the help that was offered by friends, family, and more importantly, Jesus.
This Christmas I encourage all of you to find joy in the little things. Be in the moment. Shove those worldly expectations aside and enjoy the wonder of Christmas.
Check out Whitney’s website for more information at:
Note from Sipping Cups of Inspiration blogger, Arline Miller: It is my pleasure to encourage young writers to follow their dreams and Whitney has our support in her dreams and goals.
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with permissions and privileges to use third party material which is sourced to original author and sourced for credit reference.