Jenna Griffith is the host of The Joy Filled Podcast. The show helps women thrive in seasons at home and experience the fullness of joy in the simplicity of homemaking and raising a family. She helps moms understand the worth of their work and speaks life back into tired mama souls.
To connect with Jenna, head to:
- Her podcast: The Joyfilled Podcast
- Instagram: @jennamadelineig, @joyfilledpodcast
- Her blog: https://www.jennagriffithblog.com/
Tell us a bit about your family and motherhood journey.
I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I always wanted to have a family and raise a family. And when my husband and I, got married when I was 20, thought that we would spend a few years just being married but God had other plans for us and we had our first baby right after our one-year anniversary. So we really dove in fast. And then we had our second, 16 months after that, and we had our third, right around two years after that. So they’re all close together. We have three kids now.
I had postpartum depression and anxiety after my first pregnancy, I felt alone, and I didn’t know any other women who had gone through that. With my second child, I kept having all these problems but I really felt God speak to me when I got pregnant with her, that this would be a redemptive process and it would be a redemptive journey.
So, in October 2020, I started The Joy-Filled Podcast and it was really simply just, I was kind of feeling lonely. I just wanted something to do, something to pour into, and I really just had a simple mission of encourage, bringing encouragement to weary moms because I had spent so much time.
We’re never the only ones. There’s always somebody else because there are little tiny things, little things that I’ll mention and it’ll stick with somebody and they’ll tell me about their experience and it’s just such a cool reminder. God has really used it to remind me that we are never the only ones and our stories are valid and meant to be shared.
For mamas listening who are also in a similar season, I can imagine that there’s so much that culture & society tell us about what it means to be a stay-at-home mom. What would you say to the women who sometimes wonder if they’re doing enough or if they’re really walking in their calling and purpose?
Even though I say. You know, motherhood was always was my dream job and was what I always wanted to do. It was earth-shattering to me when I started feeling those feelings of like, is this it?
No matter what season of life, it’s easy to get caught in that we look forward to something, right? One thing that I have really learned and really try to do in my own life is to remember that our calling, it really doesn’t change no matter what season we’re in, our calling and our purpose, ultimately it’s to love Jesus and to make him known to the people around us.
When we take our eyes off of right now and put it back on eternity, then the assignments that we have we can do them with purpose and we can do them. Wholeheartedly unto God the thing about life is we have lots of different assignments, and right now our assignment is motherhood, but it’s not a forever assignment so don’t root your purpose in one single assignment.
Your purpose is in; it’s not in the calling. It’s in the one who calls you. So whether you became a mom on accident, whether you became a mom because you planned it, it still wasn’t you. God planned it and he placed you there.
Motherhood is hard – especially the season of motherhood with little ones. I think there’s often a sense of guilt associated with just admitting this. How can we love motherhood, even when we don’t always like it?
It kind of goes back to shifting our perspective and remembering that, you know, our, our purpose and our calling are not defined by what we’re doing. And also I think there’s this weird pressure on moms to just be grateful all the time and cherish every single moment. that doesn’t mean that we stuff down the hard feelings.
Hard does not mean bad. Hard is hard. Nobody loves their job, their assignment 100% of the time, and that’s ok. Instead of stuffing those feelings those feelings down, allow yourself to be human and to sit in those hard feelings. Take the shame off.
Making space for the hard really allows you to move through it and then you can get to the other side of the gratitude. And the cherishing it. And the loving it.
Feeling weak is an awesome reminder to invite the Holy Spirit into your motherhood and to invite God to partner and to walk with you. I don’t think mom guilt is always a bad thing.
Speaking of guilt, something I’m also passionate about is talking to moms about mom guilt and helping them process and work through it. We all experience it to some level so why do you think that is and what can we do to combat it?
So I kind of have some unpopular opinions when it comes to mom. if we look at the root of guilt and the root of shame – the first time people, humans, ever felt shame, it was because they did something wrong. It was because they were not like God anymore. It was because they knew that their sin was realized.
And I’m not saying mom guilt means sin all at. Guilt and shame it’s a tool that the enemy likes to use to keep us from God. You know when you begin to feel that guilt, whether it’s, you know, you saw a mom doing something and you wish you could do it like her, or you saw a post on Instagram and you wish that your house looked like that. When you start to feel those things, stop and think, what is the root of this?
Sometimes its actually conviction, a nudge to be better, and that’s a good thing, we just misplace it and don’t know what to do with that nudge to be better.
Instead of turning to guilt and turning to shame. We can take that root feeling and give it to God and allow him to refine us and to make us better.
Appreciate other moms for what they’re doing and appreciate what you are doing too. But also if you start to feel guilt and you start to feel shame, look at the root of that. Because often it’s simply just wanting to be better and that’s okay.
What are some ways we can connect with our families and invite more joy into our homes?
I think that after dealing with postpartum depression, I was completely on the other side of joy. And I began learning and being curious about joy and diving into the fruit of the spirit and all of that and what is joy.
It’s easy to get it mistaken for happiness or a fleeting feeling. The regular definition of joy it’s dependent on circumstances, but the biblical definition of joy is actually dependent on the character of God. We can have joy in every season because our joy is unchanging because the character of God is unchanging. It just goes back to rooting yourself in him, and it just flows out.
For me, joy looks like making an intentional effort every day to read his word, listening to songs, and putting music loud in our house. Worship all day long – that changes the atmosphere in our home quicker than anything else. Asking God for joy, for perspective is so crucial in our everyday life.
How can we pursue peace in seasons of busyness?
Partnering with God and walking with him, changes everything. That’s how we find peace amidst the chaos and, and peace when it’s so crazy because. I have three under four, so peace is not always very evident in my life but it is in my heart. Peace is not dependent on my circumstances.
As moms, we kind of set the tone a lot of the time. Yeah. And so if we’re chaotic, if we’re hectic, if we’re frantic, if we’re stressed out, that’s going to carry out into our home and that’s going to carry out into our kids. We have to be the oak tree in our home; we have to be solid because our kids are looking to us.
One thing that I started doing was documenting videos on my phone, it helps me reflect with gratitude on the day. I take little snippets throughout my day off just like three seconds, four-second videos of really sweet things and really peaceful moments and then I look back on them and just savor the little moments, that really add up and help me to reflect on my day with gratitude.
What are some of the daily routines and habits that help you manage your home well?
I’m not the most organized person; very rarely my house is completely clean. I had to just lay down some of that perfectionism and some of the desire like your home is meant to be lived in. It’s ok if it looks like kids live there. I think Instagram has created this Idealistic version of what homes are supposed to look like and a beautiful home is awesome but we can have it and have fancy things when we are empty nesters.
But some of the things I do, very simply and practically, is that I do a load of laundry a day no matter what – I don’t let it pile up. Another of my favorite routines is tidying the livings space and the kitchen before I go to bed. During the week I like doing easy breakfasts and then I read my Bible because I like to meditate on it all day long and write some passages out in my planner and on my phone and all of that. So I like to read whether or not my kids are next to me.
Another thing that I do is keep all of my get ready stuff in a basket so that I can take it wherever I need to be. I can get ready in the kitchen, I can get ready in the living room, I can get ready in the bathroom, we live in like a split level townhouse, and so our bedrooms are upstairs and all our living spaces downstairs, which makes it difficult to get ready in my bathroom if my kids are awake because I don’t want them tearing up right my room I. I want them in the living room where they can easily play and have what they need. And so I started keeping all like my toothbrush and my toothpaste, my, you know, face wash and everything, my makeup. My hair stuff, everything in a basket, like everything that I would need for just a simple morning that way I can get ready while they’re getting ready for the day. It really helps me just show up and start my morning with intentionality.
What are some ways that you take care of yourself in motherhood?
I love a good skincare routine. I love to take my time. I actually learned how to do it, I feel like I’m giving myself a facial. I love baking and finding recipes, those are things I can do with my kids.
For me, getting ready, putting in nice clothes, and makeup, is such an act of self-care because it feels like I’m holding onto this piece of me that is true to me, not me as a mom, not me as a wife, not me as fill in the blank, but just me.
Bringing back those things in your life that are true to just you as an individual. I think that’s a really important thing. As moms, that’s a really important thing for us to do.