Life can be messy at times, right? Along with the mess or chaos we find at home with toys, dishes, kids, or whatever seems to pile up, life can get messy with circumstances, such as divorce, changes in family dynamics, illness, single parenthood, or maybe just being single in the hood. Yes, these times, whether temporary or the new normal, can be very difficult; but, we can make memories and have joy and fun, even in the mess. Even in the chaos. Even in the difficult.
Some of you may know that I was raised by a single mother who worked full time and did her best to provide for me and my sisters. My father was MIA when it came to financial support and taking part of the co-parenting gig with my mother. As I look back, I’m pretty sure we lived in poverty. We didn’t live in the best apartment buildings. One memory I have from those days is an apartment we lived in. The roof leaked in many rooms of the apartment. Every room except one bedroom. So, we moved all of our beds in one room. We put the twin beds together with my mother’s queen bed, creating a space for all of us to sleep without raindrops falling on our head. We had buckets, bowls, or pans scattered throughout the apartment. You hear ting, ting or tick, tick, each time the rain drops would drop from the ceiling.
I can recall one specific evening when my sisters and I were all tucked in our beds, with my mom next to us tucked into her bed, and we were just giggling, and saying, “I love you, Tammy” or “I love you, Mom,” being as silly as we can be. We made funny sounds with our voices, tickled each other, and just enjoyed life in this simple, vaulted ceiling bedroom, with three beds pushed together. I don’t remember if the roof was repaired or if we moved soon after this, but I can recall my mother and her state of being that night. A working mom, barely making it on her own, with three mouths to feed, in this water-leaking apartment. Can you imagine the stress she may have been feeling? Do you think she could have been thinking, “I can’t believe I am in this place, raising my girls in this mess, in this dump?” I’m not sure. If she was worried or in despair, it didn’t show that night.
You see, in times like this, we can make memories that will forever be written on our hearts, even in the tough circumstances. We need joy and laughter, especially in the hard times, the difficult, the unknown, and the “everything-is-falling-apart” times. How are you cultivating a place of joy and giggles in your circumstances, environment, or family when it comes to the unexpected?
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” ~ Proverbs 17:22
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” ~ John 15:11
Hugging you so tight,