My name is Joni and just to hit the high spots....I'm a Christian, middle-aged wife, mother of two, floral designer, part-time gift shop buyer, who's getting her feet wet in the shallow end of the pool that is perimenopause. My daughter, Blair, is a sophomore in college and my adjustment to her leaving our little nest last fall has finally started to take hold. Progress has been made and meds have been tapered. If being girly were an Olympic sport, Blair would be on the highest rung of the winner's podium, draped in America's flag with our anthem playing proudly. She's just that good at it. My son, Carson, is our junior high jokester, who keeps us in the road with his various forms of ball playing and activities. He's going on fourteen, so his Daddy and I are losing our coolness faster than an ice cube in the oven. The smell of a sweaty haired boy in a car after ball practice is quite a shift from the mix of Big and Sexy hairspray and Miss Dior that waft from a daughter, but we have loved experiencing both ends of the spectrum as parents! My sweet husband, Davis, couldn't be any more opposite of me. Apparently, it is possible, though, for a quiet, thrifty, patient, cold natured, disciplined, physically fit, early riser to be happily married to an impulsive, chatty, loose spending, inconsistent, out of shape, hot flashing lover of sleep like myself. We're just your average southern family of four taking life as it comes.
I'm settled into that in between period of motherhood. I'm past posing stuffed elves on ceiling fans or having them spell out words with Skittles each night between Thanksgiving and Christmas and, thankfully, I no longer have to tote Cheerios in my purse or ask anyone around here if they need to potty. On the other end, the turkey and dressing torch has not been relinquished to me by my mother yet nor do I have grandchildren tugging on my purse and asking for gum. I'm quite happy right here in the middle...the land of "Watch your tone!" and "Why did I come in here?"....mixed in with a growing appreciation for fiber cereal, a good pair of tweezers, and high-waisted pants. I'm not wrestling strollers out of the back of a minivan anymore, but I'm not yet wondering if my kids will be at our house or their in-law's for Easter either. Its' a happy place.
I suppose the inspiration to blog comes from the belief that, in this day of 24 hour news coverage and the constant online overload of depressing information, now more than ever, our world is hungry for joy. Couple that belief with my love for writing and laughing and here I am. I'm just a regular Mom, who wants to share lighthearted and uplifting tales of joy, family, and faith as they happen in my life or as they pop in my head.
If the world can't see joy in us, Christians, who carry the hope of Christ in our hearts, then where else could they possibly expect to find it? To please God, I don't think we have to walk around all serious, quoting scripture in every breath with our top buttons fastened and our white knuckles tightened around our King James Version red letter editions. I think He would be more pleased if we would just go out into our tiny corners of His world and love and live joyfully in His name. Most of us could stand to lighten up just a little! If the world is ever going to want what we have in Jesus then they have got to see JOY in us!
My favorite byproduct of joy is laughter and my most dependable sources for laughter and writing inspiration are usually these people that I live with, who I love from the very bottom of my soul. Possibly more laughter erupts at home because it is your family, who sees you, let's say....crawling under the kitchen windows in your undergarments in an effort to reach the laundry room, where your pants are in the dryer. Perhaps you laugh more with people who fold your underwear and know that what you really sleep in are not those pajamas you take to the hospital, but those broken in red lounge pants with the dogs on them...those same people who have been instructed to pull the dog pants off and wrestle you into some of those nice pajamas in your top drawer in the event that something should happen to you during sleeping hours...God forbid. Maybe it's with these people, who know you best, that laughter can come up from the deepest parts of the belly.
Life is just downright hard sometimes, but joy can lurk in the most unexpected and mundane places. I'm just a Mom who wants to share it when I find it.