Finding My Joy in the Grin and Bear It

Finding My Joy in the Grin and Bear It

Are you in a season of grin and bear it like me? The kids and I are counting down the number of wake-ups left in this school year. Reading logs are crumpled on the desk somewhere. My two-year-old found his will (and it is strong like The Hulk). I lack the determination to make my children bathe as often as they should. Survival until the final school bell rings is the goal.

In all the grin and bear it moments, I have so many reasons to smile. Today’s #FridayFive is all about finding joy in hard places.


Finding My Joy in the Grin and Bear It

Finding My Joy in the Grin and Bear It

I received a gift that solidified a decision.

I was selected as one of the winners in a little Instagram contest as a part of the Come With Me (Suzie Eller) Launch team. Crystal sent me the most precious necklace with one word stamped on it: yes. If you read my last post, you know what this meant to me. A yes whispered in a period of uncertainty can be hard to maintain. I cling to this necklace as a promise from God, “who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (Eph. 3:20, NLT).


Finding My Joy in the Grin and Bear It

My kid is getting it.

(As soon as I write this, we may very well have an epic mother-daughter fuss, but here goes.) My eldest (strong-willed) child turned twelve last week. I had to issue two not-so-fun penalties for disobedience this week. During the discussion about her infractions, I braced myself for her eloquent and ever-persistent justifications. She paused, looked me in the eye, and conceded to her wrong-doing. She explained why she did it but acknowledged the breach in family policy. After receiving some chest compresions and mouth-to-mouth, I told her how very pleased I am to see her heart soften under the work of the Holy Spirit. We both left smiling.


Finding my joy with Giddy Up, Eunice

I get to read good books.

One of the perks of blogging is the opportunity to read advanced copies of great books. This week I started Giddy Up, Eunice (Because Women Need Each Other) by Sophie Hudson (aka Boo Mama). She is a fellow Alabamian, so I already love her. Her writing is so very southern, another endearing quality (we southerners are fiercely loyal). In this soon-to-be-released book, her heart beats for women mentoring women.

The heart of the gospel is relationship, and God has hard-wired each of us with a longing to be seen, to be loved, and to be known. (Sophie Hudson, Giddy Up, Eunice)

This book makes me smile, not just because Boo Mama is so funny, but because her message is so on point. In the middle of these hard days of raising a tween and (almost) threenager, and in the middle of my uncertainty about my future, the women in my life help hold me together. (Go ahead a pre-order this baby and get a BOGO book for a friend! Find details at


Finding my joy in raising a boy.

I am raising a boy.

After birthing two girls and working my way through all the Barbies and dress-up that accompany a feminine childhood, I am eating up all the boy-ness Barrett brings to our world. My heart melted like a crayon on a hot leather seat the night he asked to take his monster truck to bed with him. He rushes outside when neighbors near and far crank a lawnmower so he can watch them do their weekly outdoor chores. If it involves sweat and dirt, he is all in. These little building blocks of manhood give me a welcome reprieve from the tantrums.


Dear Mother, Do You Feel Like You Lost Yourself?

Huffington post said yes

Last week, I had my first HuffPo publication. It was pretty exciting (at first) and then, well, nothing happened. No book deal, no requests from the Today Show for an interview. It’s just sitting there for my dearest friends and family to read because no one can find it unless they have the link (so, here you go, because I know you want to read it: Dear Mother, Do You Feel Like You Lost Yourself?). But, I still get a big grin anytime friends or family mention it. Therefore, HuffPo makes the smiles list this week!


#FridayFive Link Up

Now it’s your turn! What made you smile this week? And why, you may ask, is it so important that we share? As the stress of life presses in on us, it is good to have these black and white reminders of all the places we can find joy. You may point out a smile that I would otherwise miss. I love reading about your happy places. Share in the comments or link up a joy-filled post using the button below. I can’t wait to share a smile with you!

#FridayFive May

Summer is knocking on our door! Come share awesome summer memories or tips for making summer memories with us next week!

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Photo credit: Kristine Weilert via Unsplash.



  1. Loved everything! “I lack the determination to make my children bathe as often as they should”. TRUTH. Solidarity Sister.

  2. Oh this was so much fun to read, Kelly! I found myself smiling and nodding all the way through this post. That book sounds absolutely delightful and I just love how your girl ‘got it’.

    I SO get the HuffPost high and then realizing “uh, that’s it?”. I’ve been on HuffPost for a while now, several published pieces and I still say that. BUT it’s a HUGE feather in your cap and I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! That is surely a HUGE accomplishment!

  3. a huge congratulations on your HuffPO piece 🙂

  4. Great things to smile about! A good book always makes me smile too! 🙂

  5. Love this!! Everything about it! Very proud of you for the Huff Po stuff! Congrats!! And isn’t it amazing when our kids get it? And you have me really wanting to read that book! Thanks for hosting another super fun Friday Five

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