I have been a Mom for a whole year. Which is why I probably don’t need to explain my lack of timely blog posts..
This year with our Eleanor has been busy and so fun and a little messy (a lot messy) and I have lost my patience and kissed her face a million times and cried exasperated tears and combed her sweet little hair and sang her songs and taught her to clap and prayed for her. Oh what joy! I delight in her.
And…sometime in September, Matt and I will bring home another little girl, and then we will have two. TWO. When Vicki the ultrasound technician rubbed that warm jelly on my belly and moved the little senser thingy back and forth across my abdomen, I saw the screen and knew in .2 seconds that I was having another little girl. I cried happy tears and looked at Matt’s handsome face as he squeezed my hand and said, “Looks like we’re two for two.” We left the office that morning and I couldn’t stop smiling as I remembered my own childhood spent with my little sister at my side. I pray that just as Hayley and I are best friends, Nora and Little Girl will be best friends. It’s so terribly exciting, and also very frightening. Because let me tell you, I have serious doubts some days that I can even handle one. Thankfully, the Lord is so overwhelmingly gracious, and He will be my ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).
I have started trying to teach Nora to be sweet with her baby doll in preparation for the new baby. I tell her to hug her and kiss her and be gentle with her, and then I model the proper behavior by hugging the baby and patting her back softly. At this point, she gives the doll big sloppy kisses and proceeds to throw her on the floor. Points for sweetness, but BIG deduction for safety hazard. Hopefully, with five more months of practice Nora’s big sister skills will improve…
The Lord has taught so much from this year of being a mom. So much. I remember being eight months pregnant, excited to death to meet my daughter, overwhelmed with joy at becoming a family of three…and being pretty terrified. Mostly of labor (which, to be honest, I totally had the right to be). But I was also scared of not being able to protect my child from the unseen, I was nervous about getting her on the right sleep schedule, I was worried that I would become so focused on her that I would neglect my walk with Christ…you name it, I probably feared it.
After the delivery and the first few months of being a mom, my fears began to dissipate as I allowed God to gently guide me through each day. I began to “cast my anxieties upon Him” and I let Him care for me as I cared for Nora. Then I felt on top of the world for a while, thinking to myself, “I can totally do this mom thing. No problem.”
Cut to positive pregnancy test on my 25th birthday. All the fear has coming rushing back, but a little differently this time. My mind runs over all of the difficulties that come with having two children instead of one- doing ministry well, maintaining a strong marriage, making Nora feel special, hanging out with friends, visiting family, etc. I think I have come to the conclusion that pretty much everything is harder with two kids.
And people don’t always give words of encouragement. I’ve heard:
“Well this baby probably won’t sleep as well as Nora did. You may not get lucky twice.”
“Two girls? Good luck with the teenage years.” [*side note on the “teenage years” comments: Um. I know. I was a mouthy, prideful teenager. Thanks for the reminder that I have what’s coming to me.]
“Just make sure to get their nap times in sync so you have time to rest.”
Despite the occasional negative comment and despite my own fears, I cannot WAIT to bring home Little Girl! I am thankful that this year of motherhood has etched Psalm 23 ever more deeply into my heart. In fact, just like my grandma used to recite “The Lord is my Shepherd…” as she fed me when I was a baby, I recite it when I feed Nora her lunch.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (v.1-4)
I don’t have to fear anything, because the Lord not only promises to be with me and comfort me, He also gives me rest and restores my soul. Even as I write this, I am encouraged by the words of David. What freedom I have- to rejoice without fear! My personality naturally leads me to be anxious and worrisome, and there are times when I will struggle with fear. Especially leading up to the delivery (I’ve already had one labor nightmare, which doesn’t help).
It sounds like a strange thing, to be afraid of two little girls. Hopefully easier to raise two little girls than to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” right? Right?? If David can fearlessly walk through darkness and danger knowing that God is with him, then I can fearlessly and joyfully walk through motherhood knowing that my soul will find rest and that I shall not want. I shall not want for joy, or intimacy with the Lord, or mercy, or grace, or comfort, or rest, or strength. I shall not want.
Praise God for His gifts that require courage and strength, and that teach us not to fear. I have learned so much about God’s character from one little girl, I can only imagine how much I will learn from two.