Where Did Happy Mama Go?

What happened to happy mama?

The question hung in the air as I sat at the piano, my fingers perched gently on the keyboard. A beautiful piece by Debussy waited in front of me; one of my favorites. But somehow I couldn’t quite conjure up the desire to push down on the black and white keys. Like the actual undertaking of playing a song was too joyous for the cloud of doubt and dejection that seemed permanently suspended over my head.

happy mama (1)I felt like a total failure.

I’d snapped at my husband. I’d lost it with my kids. It had been a doozy of a day. If we had a dog, I’m sure I would have kicked it too.

Where in the world did happy mama go?  If only it was as easy to find as an answer to a Carmen Sandiego trivia question.

Ironically, my word for 2016 is JOY. How could I have lost it only 1.5 months into the year?!

As I let my mind untangle the twisted fragments of the day, I began to see a common thread to my unhappiness: ME.

When my husband didn’t respond the way I wanted him too, I snapped. When my children did not obey immediately, the way I wanted them to, I lost it. When things didn’t go as expected, my reaction was one of irritation and defeat.

I was no longer functioning from a place of joy or kindness, but merely reacting to the happenings around me.

happy mama (2)Maybe you’ve found yourself in the same predicament . . . Fueled by frustration rather than driven by love.

Well let’s make a pact.

The next time we find ourselves grumpy and devoid of joy, let’s say these 14 little words, and say them aloud:

Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.   (1 John 4:4)

When we allow the enemy of our souls to zap us of our joy, even in the midst of chaos and hardship, we are choosing to be blinded to the mighty power of our Redeemer, the King of Glory, who is dwelling right inside of us.

And that is a reality we never ever want to lose sight of. (Like I did the other night while moping at my piano.)

For He is just waiting for us. Desiring for relationship with us. Yearning for us to communicate with Him. He wants all our broken pieces, all our doubts and disappointments, all our worries and fears, all our To-Dos and overwhelming mothering responsibilities. He wants it all.

And in exchange, the Prince of Peace wants to gift us His joy. To let it seep into our very souls, fueling the darkest parts and empty places.

HE wants to be our joy. Our hope.

Will you let Him? Will you give Him sad and cranky mama in exchange for a joyful mama running on grace?

I’m not saying every moment from now on will be a happily-ever-after sap fest. But I can promise you that you are loved. More than you will ever know. And that you are His masterpiece. An exquisite reflection of the Creator Himself.

For when we choose to focus on what He has done for us, loving us so fiercely that He gave up His own Son to give us life everlasting, somehow the darkness begins to fade and glimmers of sunshine can be seen.

And who knows. Maybe happy mama will make another appearance.

Maybe she was there all along.

happy mama (3)

The joy of the Lord is your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:10)


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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