I am a Jesus lover and an eyes closed, hand-raised worshiper. And I’m sorry, but I can make no apologies about it. Because He changed my heart and my world despite my flaws, which are many.

I’m a ring bearer. At the infant age of just seventeen, I held his shaking hands and promised my life to him. And I’ve failed him. And he’s failed me. But almost two decades later, we’re still holding hands.

I am a kid counter. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Because, that’s right, they’re all mine, I have ten in my crew. Five boys, five girls, plus mom, plus dad, and dog. And to keep up with them, I count them when we get in the car. I count them when we are at the store. I count them in their beds. I count them when we pass the stranger who shakes her head, eyes wide, and actually says out loud, “I’m glad it’s you and not me!” I smile politely and hear her suck in her breath when I reply sincerely, “Me too.”

And because I’m a kid counter, I’m also a forehead kisser. I wipe noses and bottoms. I snuggle with toddlers and picture books. I Netflix binge with teenagers. I’m a blood-curdling scream birther and a one eye-brow raised, lay-down-the-law giver. I refuse to be a sibling referee and sometimes I exasperate. And sometimes I’m exasperated.

But I’m a joy seeker. Or maybe I should say that I’m a joy seeker wannabe, which is why I’m here typing black words on a white screen, hoping you’re a joy seeker wannabe too, and that you might like to come along with me on this journey to find joy amidst the chaos of mom life.

If you do want to join me, I’d love for you to take a moment to subscribe to my email list. I’ll send you this freebie for doing so…

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..and you’ll get my weekly blog posts sent straight to your inbox. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and I hope you will, because even though my family is my reason, and my God is my strength, I’ve always found my inspiration in other mothers and women. Conversations and networking with you are like lifeblood.

I’m happy you’re here and I hope you’ll return often.

Shanna Clark