With Joy Wend Your Way | 2013 Family Theme

Every year my family has a theme.

Last year’s seemed especially fitting even though it was made months before our first failed adoption.

This year our family theme is “With Joy Wend Your Way”.

It’s a line from one of my favorite hymns.


For me, this theme is about embracing the right now and not looking back on past heartaches or future what-ifs. It’s about living in the moment with joy and enjoying this unique season in our home.

Our 2013 family theme on the blog. (Link in profile.) Look @hanredfern and @aubryeliz, I finally finished this wreath!

Here’s a colorful paper wreath I made for the inside of our door to remind us of the family these. Pinned here.Found here. 

I don’t want to wish away this time of sticky floors and Kindergarten pick-up and pajamas all over my kids’ bedroom floors. It may never happen again!

Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.

Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?

Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.

Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love.

We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I want to look back on this part of life with no regrets. I want to only see and feel joy when I think about the childhood of my children.

It means being less busy–rocking kids in the middle of the day for no other reason than just to spend time together, snuggling extra long on the couch while quieting the metal to-do list. It means more time together reading, playing, shooting hoops, painting, building and pretending.

Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

My favorite job in all the world, the one I worked so hard for and which rocks me to my core everyday (in both good and hard ways) is being a Stay At Home Mom.

This year, as I focus on wending my way with more joy, there will be more time AT HOME.

And if I feel the need to be more busy, it will be busy with the business of making memories with these adorable boys.

All four of them.


  1. says

    I remember something “clicking” for me in my mind when I heard those words from Pres. Uchtdorf. Especially the analogy about music. It was a “duh” moment… Like, *of course*… He’s so right! Such a simple idea to enjoy life and focus on the present, but so often we are stuck in the past or worried about the future. Thanks for the reminder of his words. And here’s to an amazing 2013! :)

  2. says

    I loved this post and it was perfect timing! You should write a book (or a couple!). Seriously, one on finding joy as a stay at home Mom and one on open adoption (since there are so few printed resources out there on it). Thanks for the great reminder to appreciate (some days a hard thing to do!) all the chaotic sweetness of childhood!