Half way up the stairs, I wondered if maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew. My toddler straddled one hip. A laundry basket was hoisted on the other. Those were long, weary days. It was my own choice to trade a corporate job with applause to spare for the glories of full-time motherhood, but I felt like I was sinking.

I struggled to reconcile my lofty ideals to my overwhelmed reality. With a four-year-old and a one year old on the move, I felt like I was playing that game at Chucky Cheese where every time you hit the mole down the hole, two more pop up in its place.

Relieved that I made it up the stairs without dropping the toddler (or the folded laundry), I plopped the basket down as an exhausted sigh escaped my mouth.

There those walls were again. One of the most obnoxious shades of blue I’ve ever seen and there was no one to blame.

Yours truly picked the colors in a hurried errand to match the blue and brown décor we had been given for the new baby. Normally, I would have tested the color, but since I was due in days, my brother graciously agreed to paint the nursery. I was nothing short of impressed by his work and mortified by the life-size appearance of my color selections.

I heard my four-year-old happily pretending in the next room. My toddler smiled up at me with wide, playful eyes from his crib as I shoved onesies in his drawer. I was living the life I had wished for, but felt like there was some secret I didn’t know. Some recipe someone forgot to give me. And I didn’t know what to do.

But as I looked at those annoying and blank blue and brown walls, I suddenly had an idea. Minutes later, I returned to the nursery with a brush and a can of white paint.

Those blue walls will be a bright sky and those brown walls will be a magical night.

Since my one year old was too young to defend his room against my whimsical taste and unskilled hand, I went to work painting clouds, shooting starts, constellations and breezes with all the room my canvas and inspiration alone as guide.

Then it hit me. “This is fun.”

To the music of cooing and pitter-patter, I moved slowly around the room creating cartoony scenes that would never appear on Facebook or Instagram.

This was sacred. Something like delight started to fill my soul and it surprised me. A silly grin erupted on my face and no one was even there to see it. That’s why it was so special. Delight came on the scene like an old friend sorely missed, but forgotten in the scurry of life. And it became a lightbulb moment.

I already knew that I needed God’s word and time with Him to thrive as a mom, but I failed to understand that were whole parts of my God-given personhood I had laid down on the altar of productivity. The gifts and interests that stir us are not reserved for the few that have it all “done”. They are life-giving pursuits for the day to day.

What is one life-giving delight you can make room for in your life today? I’d love to read your comments!

In Part 2, I’ll share 4 tips to practically and intentionally implement more delight into your week.

If you’d like to read more about self-care for moms, I highly recommend you check out what the Kindred Mom Community has so beautifully curated for you. The Self-Care for Moms Series features everything from essays by moms like you, podcast episodes and added resources. I’ll see you over there! You can also follow the Kindred Mom on Instagram @kindred_mom.