Friday, March 18, 2011

Choosing Joy

A boy stopped me yesterday.

Our girls have been super fussy. For a month. We worked tirelessly to get them on a routine and got them back to taking good naps (thank you AnneMarie for your help!!) and even got through letting them CIO at night. We saw the light at the end of our sleepless tunnel.

Until the colds.

And the teething.

And the puking.

I've been so exhausted and whiny and generally frustrated lately. To say I needed a Jesus intervention would be putting it lightly.

And then add sick, pukey, teething, non-napping babies.

I decided we all needed a trip to the mall yesterday, in hopes that the car ride would put them to sleep.

It didn't.

But, thankfully being pushed around in a stroller by mama did the trick. After about 20 minutes they were out. I put blankets over the visors so they could sleep undisturbed.

**Note, if you are ever out and about and happen to see a sleeping baby under a blanket in the stroller, it is not OK to come up to the mother and quite loudly ask if you can look at the baby while you are already lifting the blanket and cooing at said sleeping baby... or babies. Not OK!

I admit, I was wallowing. I don't do it very often. In fact, I get quite irritated by people who habitually whine. It's very tiring for me to listen and not just jump in and tell the "whiner" what they should do to rectify their situation. I have been known to block friends on FB who have a propensity towards whining. I just can't take it.

So there I was wallowing and forcing smiles at each person who passed by and insisted on lifting the blanket to peer at my sleeping girls. I bought their Christmas dresses for this year at a whopping $11 a piece. I was finally finding some sanity in my day in the form of festive colored material, beads, and yummy smelling candles.

And then it happened.

I walked into the last store on our adventure and maneuvered my giant double stroller around the tiny earring shop and as I was leaving, yet another person decided to stop me. He was maybe 16 and worked at the store.

Our conversation went something like this:
Boy: you have twins?
Me: Yes, I do.
Boy: Fraternal or identical?
Me: Fraternal girls.
Boy: Can I look?
Me: sure (forced smile)
As he lifted up the blanket a noticeable joy washed over him and he turned to me and said...
Boy: I had twin brothers. They died as babies. God bless all three of you. They are precious.
Me: (stunned) Thank you. God bless you too.

I walked away in a state of shock wondering if that conversation really truly had just happened. I played the words over and over again in my head "I had twin brothers." "God bless all three of you." "The died as babies." I kept translating in my head what he said in Spanish to English over and over again. I knew I heard him right.

As a mom, I wonder sometimes how I would cope if I were to lose one of my babies. But I couldn't comprehend losing two. And it happens everyday. I don't want to be that person living on "what if's" or in fear of what might happen or always complaining about our current situation and wanting to be somewhere further along than where God has us. Right. Now.

That boy won't know the joy he restored to me in that 30 second exchange. How my heart ached for his mother and for him. Here I was wallowing and complaining because the children God had blessed me with were having a hard time getting teeth in and with their reflux back in full swing they have trouble eating. It's not their fault. It's not God's fault. It's just what it is. Yet, somehow, I knew all of my issues yesterday had little to do with the external, superficial circumstances of our girls teething and refluxing and had more to do with me learning (still) to cope with all the failed expectations I had for my life. God has given me something so much more beautiful and wonderful than my dreams, so why do I struggle with disappointment? And why do I take it out on my family and on God? Satan always seems to find a way to creep in to steal my joy and give me false hopes of a life I could have had.

In that moment I decided to choose joy. It is not an easy thing to do when we'd rather complain or question God for what he has or hasn't done for us or in our lives. I realized how much more I need God in my every moment, in my head, and on my lips, woven throughout the moments of my day, so when I find myself embittered with my situation, choosing joy becomes second nature. Not a trip to the mall!

And really, who could not choose joy, when these are your babies! As promised, here are the photos from our recent photo shoot with Goody! Special thank you to Goody for taking pics of our family and for the Krauss' for letting us use their yard!

Surprise! Amelia Grace!

Look at that big ol' belly! Don't you just want to give her a raspberry!!

 Alan calls this her mischievous face!

 Oh I love loving her!

 Stella Natalia! This little pistol is my joy!

 She loves life!

Isn't she amazing? 

So sweet! They are looking at their papi I think!

Could this not be the cover of a greeting card? Who would not be happy to get a card with these chubby bunnies on the front? I would be in heaven!

They love to play together! And steal each other's toys!

I see you and I love you sissy.

Sometimes I catch myself still questioning if all of this is real. Do I really have two amazing, wonderful, heaven sent little girls? And I feel God quietly answering in the stillness of my heart, "yes, you do. And I sent them just to you."

I love our family, and all the joys and struggles that come along the way.

We've been through a lot in such a short amount of time. I love you Alan. 

These girls love them some papi!!!

They really are double the joy and I really am double blessed.


  1. I was sitting in front of the computer holding my own malcontent, sick, teething, non-napping daughter when I read this post.
    I cried so hard. I am very glad you included the pictures of your beautiful daughters to have me smiling at the end. They are lovely treasures.

  2. DITTO what Angila said. Thank you for the perspective (or thanks to the boy in the mall, as it were).