Threatened Joy

About this time last year, I was having an existential crisis as to whether Ella and Charlotte should go to a Kids Day Out program ONE DAY a week at church. Tears, sleepless nights, talking John’s ear off and so much more went into the seemingly impossible decision.

After weighing pros and cons, we decided to put them in school. Ella actually ended up in a two day program because despite my tears and the existential crisis, God had her year all figured out. We went from the girls doing zero outside of our home to school and a dance program once a week.

This was our first Valentine’s Day to worry about something other than Charlotte’s birthday. Valentine’s Day is when I discovered that my minor crafting projects around the house is actually pure chump change. It’s also when I discovered that even though the two year old missed the previous two weeks of school due to the plague, the Valentine’s party you didn’t know about will go on.

Charlotte brought a whole bag of nothing to her party and Ella went on a special trip with Mommy to the store to pick out her cards. It was the sweetest trip in the world as she gazed on all of the cards and decided that the princess ones were the only option. It’s been hard to find one on one time with a newborn around, so we made the most out of our 30 minute trip together.


On the drive back home she said,

“We did it, Mommy! We went all by ourselves!”

That was on Sunday. The next day, the girls went to school. Got Charlotte at the end of the day to discover she had a treat bag full of goodies from her classmates. May I remind you what I stated earlier? CHARLOTTE BROUGHT A WHOLE BAG OF NOTHING.

Zip! Nada! The horror!

You guys, to say I was a disheveled mess is an understatement. I did my best to hide it from her. But, all I could think about was that all of her little friends had treats to pass out and she had that big ol’ bag of nothin’.

Then, as I peeked around her bag, it wasn’t just cards. But, candy, crafts, toys, and a bag full of fun. So, naturally, I had a full-on mental spazz that Ella’s little cards weren’t enough. She’s going to get there and realize that everyone has something more to give than her.

John kept telling me she had the exact cards she wanted to give and wouldn’t be scarred for life as I was trying to convince him. GET BEHIND ME, YOU VOICE OF REASON!


We all went to Ella’s party and she felt like the with her princess cards. The ones that I made her sign her name on, which she got bored of by the first card. At the party, she outsourced the job of placing her cards in the bags to John because she wanted to eat her cupcake in peace. Priorities.

When we came home from that party on Tuesday afternoon and the girls dug into their treat bags to hit a sugar high, the excitement on their faces was beautiful. Two little girls with pure joy. They weren’t full of resentment wondering why I didn’t do more (or in Charlotte’s case, do anything). They were living the high life of their first Valentine’s Day with little friends.

And, I was going to miss it.

I hit a crossroads that afternoon. I could enjoy my children and share in their joy. Or I could wallow in my own insecurities and steal some of their joy in the process. By the grace of God, I {mostly} made the choice of option number one.

These are my kids. This is our life. Sometimes a kid won’t have Valentines to bring to school. There are moments day in and day out that will threaten to steal our joy away. But, we just can’t let the threat win. There were little hearts at stake this past week and I never want to be the reason for stolen joy.


2 thoughts on “Threatened Joy

  1. Jen, thank you for the reminder! Being a mom is hard work, and sometimes we forget how wonderful it is to just be in the moment! Our children are a constant reminder of how crazy our insecurities are! You are a wonderful Mom!

    I love your blog, your kiddos and the work the Lord is doing in your lives!


    1. You’re a wonderful mom, too!! And, a talented one! I meant to message you about the pictures for this blog and I never did, oops!! I hope it’s okay I used them on here. I just love them so very much!!


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