My husband and I are alike in many ways, but Matthew is a creature of habit while I require some spark of spontaneity in everyday life. He could happily scarf down a PB&J for lunch everyday, while I constantly change up our grocery lists because I tire of foods so easily. He can watch episodes of The Office on repeat, while I get bored watching shows I’ve already seen. Matt thrives on routine and rejoices in the mundane in a way that I envy.
Which is why being at home with Nora was difficult at first. I was busy— but I felt like I was always feeding her, changing her, or soothing her. When Matt would come home from work I would practically force him back out the door to go out for dinner or take us on a walk or do anything just to get out and do something different. Some days, I was a mommy on autopilot.
But then I think about how God’s heart rejoices in routine. He created the sun to set and rise and He made the seasons to come every year without fail. Psalm 74:16-17 says, “Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” The Lord delights in seeing His creation do the same thing over and over again.
At the same time, He makes each day new! Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” On a similar note, Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 3:23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…” Each day we can ask the Lord to satisfy us with His love and show us His mercy again. What gladness can be found in the faithfulness of the Lord! Every waking of the sun brings new mistakes, new mercies, new moments, new opportunities, new experiences, and new triumphs.
I’ve discovered that (as with most things in life) we have to walk in balance. We can find happiness in the mundane trappings of life, while at the same time soaking in the newness and uniqueness of each day. I have since learned to drink in deeply and slowly every bath time, every feeding, every smile. Now my gaze lingers on her face for longer, I hold her before bedtime a moment more, and my hugs and kisses have multiplied. But also– each day is a new opportunity to wake up and be the best, most joyful mother I can be. I am learning to take sweet pleasure in our daily ritual, while at the same time asking God in my heart, “What new do You want to show me today? What can I learn? What adventure do You have in store for today?”
Life can be so enjoyable when we balance excitement for the future with true contentment in the present. Instead of just waiting for what lies ahead, I want to savor each moment as it happens. One great thing about babies and kids is how they are continually captivated by the same things. Games like Peekaboo and Hide-and-go-seek never get old, and they constantly say things like “Throw me again, Daddy!” or “One more time!” For some reason, Nora is completely fascinated by lights and ceiling fans. She tilts her head and looks up at them no matter what house or room she’s in. We can learn from children what it means to find the most ordinary things completely riveting. I want to be the kind of mother that lets herself be constantly delighted by what life brings her way.
So I am learning from my husband, who finds peace and comfort in routine. I am learning from my daughter, who is fascinated by the ordinary. And I am learning from my Father, who is exuberantly joyful to spend every day caring for His children. My prayer is that this daughter will learn these lessons and live in such a way that she cries to her heavenly Father every night, “That was so fun, Daddy! Again!”