Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Happy

I've been having trouble posting here lately, mainly because I'm not sure what to write. I'm not sure I want to write what I think. Do I go deep, or stay safely in the shallows? What if I get in over my head?

I'm not sure I want to tell you how dark the world looks from my little perch here. I'm not naturally joyful and cheerful. I want to be, but it doesn't come easy to me. I am praying about and focusing on cheerfulness here in my own household. I've discovered that a large part of my job as The Mom is to direct everyone else's attitudes, if only to ensure that we're not a bunch of sourpusses. Oddly enough, however, nagging is not effective. Growling at my children and husband that "we'll be cheerful or else!" just doesn't seem to get us anywhere. But it is truly amazing how my attitude sets the tone for everyone else in the house.

It's Advent and we're supposed to be overflowing with joy, remembering the coming of the Savior, but somehow I tend to find my loneliness accentuated and my spirits dampened. The sparsely populated church services (and being a pastor's family-- it's an awful lot of work to have extra services for Advent and Christmas! Sure, we're happy to do it, but my enthusiasm goes downhill fast when hardly anyone comes.), the far-away family, the gloom and doom of what little news I read (the world's going mad, I'm sure of it.), and the cold, dark weather. It's hard to overcome those things and be happy, when happy is not necessarily my default state.

So I prefer to keep my head buried safely under this here rock. Instead of venting my anxieties, political vitriol, and general unrest, I'll post pictures of my mostly-sweet little life and generally-delightful children.

I'll tell you about how we finally set up the crib for Evan. Yes, he's nearly 5 months old. Yes, he's waaaaay too big for the bassinet. (And yes, the crib is antique. Yes, I do actually know what they say about using old cribs-- danger, blahblah, spindle spacing, blah, pop-cans, blahblahblah. BUT. No, I don't play with my children's safety. (Um, unless you count using the bassinet until they're a leetle too big for it...). On the contrary, I play dreadful scenarios through my head all day. My Mom tells me that's just part of motherhood. Anyway, I'm careful with the family-heirloom crib. I don't put newborn babies in it. I don't put them in it until their heads are far too big to fit between the spindles.)

You see, every December, we move our bed into a different room. And every March, we move it back. Our bedroom has some draft issues. I'm not exaggerating when I say you can actually see daylight through the walls in some places. When the wind blows from the south, I can actually see the curtains blow in the wind. This is not a fun place to sleep in the winter. So we seal that room tightly and move out for the three coldest months. Yes, it's a HUGE pain in the patootie. My husband is very sweet about it, and even moves the headboard and bed-frame instead of just dumping the mattress and box-spring on the floor of the storage room. A friend once asked me why we do this instead of just making that room our permanent bedroom. Fair question, I guess. But the "storage room" only has two small windows, and neither of them open. Also, it's dark and ugly and stifling. I love our bedroom. It has three great, big windows which look out into the branches of my beloved maple trees. The breeze and birdsong come in there and bring with them... joy.

So. For three months we sleep in the storage room.

And I knew this move was coming, and even through we really needed to get Evan into the crib, I put it off. It would mean setting up the crib in the bedroom, then taking it down a month later, setting it up in the storage room, and then ditto in reverse again in March. I just decided to wait until we moved to set up the crib.

(And yes, I know I could just sleep with the baby in our bed, except that I can't. I sleep with him right next to my bed, and that's as close as I come to co-sleeping.)

Fitting the crib into that room meant moving out all the, well, storage. It was kind of a pain. More of a pain. But at least we'll be warm.

And Evan will have good naps there. That helps his attitude, which also goes a long way toward mine. And I'll sleep peacefully, praise God, and have joy. And I'll keep posting pictures here and pretending the unpleasant things can't touch me. In the long run, they can't anyway. It will all pass away. I just have to get through, and thank God for what joy He gives.


  1. lonely... lonely for family. Just had a good cry...didn't help me either. Sounds like we need a good long talk. Can I come over? Sniff.

  2. I have a little post it note stuck above my stove (where I spend oh so much of my day!). On it I've written a little mantra "Joy in my heart, rejoicing on my lips". Next to this I have written out Psalm 86:15. These 2 things help me remember to be cheerful, full of joy.

    And...I'm the wife of a youth pastor. I understand your feelings on under attended services. Ours are more of the "activity" genre, but regardless, when we etch out time and no one comes, it is frustrating. I am so much better with canceling all activities and just having a few people over at a time. Living life together. You know?