Sunday, December 11, 2011

Don't Forget the Joy

Looking ahead to today, I had planned on typing up a post about Joy and the third Sunday in Advent; about re-focusing on the "reason for the season." Oh, how plans change.

This morning I woke up not feeling well - again - and missing yet another Mass - again - because of it. It is so frustrating as then I feel guilty (and sad) that I have missed Mass, but when one ends up on the couch all day, what is one to do? I have not been feeling the best for awhile now. Of course, being pregnant, means that I will not always feel 100% either and I get that. But last week at my check-up, my blood pressure was up. Not enough to alarm the doctor but enough to worry me (it was 130/60 when I am typically 110-115/60). I had pre-eclampsia with my first and I now know how serious this can be. So I left, praying it was a fluke. Except that yesterday we went household shopping to stock up and I measured myself at one of those machines before we did any shopping and again it was 130/60. This morning I woke up and wanted to see how it was before I had really done anything for the day, and despite not feeling well, drove the block to our local grocery store where I measured 131/66. Just that little trip did me in for most of the day. I have also started with some swelling in my hands and face (at least, it feels like it - to look and see a difference in my face is difficult for me). And, to top it off, I weighed myself this morning and I am up 7 lbs (yes, 7!) from Thursday - and that's all with light eating as I have felt nauseous off and on for a few weeks now. Hopefully it is all nothing and I will go in this Thursday to normal readings - all around!

I've also been carrying some nagging worry about Skipper again and diabetes, and wondering if there is anything I can do other than just wait for the "explosion" of symptoms. This last round of colds did a number on him and has me worrying again. I try to offer it up, but it is not an easy thing for me.

To top off the day, I completely and utterly blew up at my kids. You know the whole Proverbs 15:1 verse, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger?" Let's just say I was nowhere near being gentle. I was already tired and exhausted from being, well, tired and exhausted all day, and then when the kids took forever to get ready for bed, not listening, yada, yada, yada, I just lost it. But then, after crying a gallon I trooped back up for some apologies (from me) and last minute hugs and kisses.

With all this in mind, I feel the need to look to what has brought joy into my life recently:

  • The delight on the kids' faces as we turned out all the lights to eat by candlelight for dinner (those 3 Advent candles sure put out a lot of light, don't they?). "This is awesome!" - a direct quote from Critter.
  • Critter looking at me with tears starting to come down my face, saying, "I love you mommy."
  • Feeling the baby move.
  • A beautiful Christmas tree waiting patiently for decorations and filling our home with its scent.
  • Brand-new, sparkly drinking glasses filling our shelf (we had a dishwasher accident awhile ago and have been drinking from yucky-looking - but clean - glasses).
  • The excitement the kids show every day to do the Jesse Tree, to open a new Advent book, to blow out candles, and to tear off a link in their Advent chain.
  • A loving hug from my husband.
  • Big flakes of snow falling, reminding me that Christmas will soon be here.
  • Having a relatively clean and decluttered home.
  • When Miss Bear calls me one of her mom names: mom, mommy, mom-mom, mama (the boys took forever to call me mommy consistently).
  • Watching Miss Bear play act with her toys - another thing she does more than the boys ever did.
  • That Skipper still wants lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles, though he is soon to be seven.
  • The chance to rest, relax, and enjoy my family.

There, I feel better - at least a bit. I need to remember the joy in my life, the reasons to be thankful. Most of all, especially at this time of year, I need to remember that it is not about me and my drama, but about celebrating the birth of Jesus and having that reminder put in mind that Jesus is coming again, one day that we know not, and I must be prepared, not wallowing in guilt or screaming at my kids.

God bless you all, and may your tomorrows be full of joy.


  1. Oh, Nicole ((((((HUGS))))))
    It's hard sometimes to see the joy amongst all the muck. It's so hard at the end. God knows you can't make it to Mass and He knows why. That's all that matters. Pray that prayer "Send your Angel to Mass" and be content with the graces from that.

    I'll be praying for you. Pretty soon, it will be all over and you'll be yourself again. it's so hard to not be ourselves, the "perfect" selves we want so badly to be!! haha!!

    Happy you are seeing the joy in the middle of it all.

    let go of some things, it's ok, next year will be much better!!

  2. Thanks Jamie, your words mean a lot to me. :) I think that I've been holding up well overall (letting things go, not stressing too bad), but something came to a head yesterday! Obviously, lol. Just a few more weeks... and then a new adventure begins.


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