There are days that fly by smoothly, and then there are those days that seem to never end, especially when everything goes wrong and everyone’s attitudes go south. Your well-ordered day ends up in chaos. You start raising your voice and you stop seeing your children as beautiful creations of God designed by Him for His purposes. You wonder if you will ever be a joyful mother of children as Psalm 113:9 says, “He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” As homeschool moms, we are most definitely keeping house and having children, but are we joyful? If not, where has the joy gone and how can we get it back? Here is a little chart that might help us remember.

A joyful mother will be counting all the trials of motherhood as joyful refining so she will lack nothing.“Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:2-4
A joyful mother will remember the joy of her salvation and that it is God that upholds her.“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me.”
Psalm 51:12
A joyful mother will pray for a clean heart and a right spirit.“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10
A joyful mother will never cease to be amazed that she is loved by a God who laid down His life for her, as she lays down her life for others. “These things have I spoken, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. . . . Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:11, 13
A joyful mother remembers to pray about everything.“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
John 16:24
A joyful mother realizes the fruit of joy is growing in her by the Spirit of God and not of her own making. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith . . .”
Galatians 5:22
A joyful mother realizes that God is glorified in exchanging her mourning for His joy, and giving a garment of praise for any heaviness.“To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. . . that He might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3
A joyful mother remembers she doesn’t have to defend herself, for her loving God is her shield and her blessing.“Let all those that put their trust in You rejoice. Let them ever shout for joy because You defend them; let them also that love Your name be joyful in You. For You, Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor will You compass him as with a shield.”
Psalm 5:11-12
A joyful mother sees her righteousness is lacking, but rejoices that God covers her with His.“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”
Isaiah 61:10
A joyful mother has no fear, but rejoices in sharing the good news of the gospel.“Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
Luke 2:10

If your natural self is frustrated at little things and loses joy easily, then put off that old man and be “other than” your natural self, so your children can see the “otherness” of God. He is outside of time and space and all these circumstances, and He sees from the vantage point of your victory and reward and future. If you could see that, you would certainly agree with the apostle Paul who said that future glory will far outweigh these present light afflictions.

If our children always see us angry or dissatisfied or frustrated, how do we change that? One way is to ask their forgiveness for not remembering who Christ is and what He has done. “Mommy forgot to be joyful. Will you forgive me?” This teaches them that they can “change the channel” on their own feelings and outbursts as well, and will learn to have a soft heart of repentance when they see it modeled. Perhaps we have lost our joy because we are carrying heavy burdens not meant for us to carry. Psalm 55:22 reminds us to “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain you: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

The Spirit of Joy is ever-present, dwelling in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. It is our own minds and feelings that get in the way of realizing that. This is why we have to take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. We must decide to take joy in every little detail of the messy, crumby, sticky, loud, painful, and beautiful days set before us. This is our journey. God designed it for us. Let us walk it with joy—not fake smiles—but real, lasting, deep down, “I don’t deserve this beautiful life” kind of joy.

Stand firmly as a joyful mother of children who has wisdom and kindness always ready on her tongue. “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). You can face every new day as you keep these precious children Home Where They Belong.

Copyright 2023, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.

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Deborah Wuehler is wife to Richard and mom to eight gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!