Friday, April 12, 2013

Newborn Confessional: A Prescription for Peace Without Spiritual Drowsiness

So it's been a week and a day since my daughter was born. And coincidentally, it has been a week and a day since my water broke in the middle of my last blog post.

At the time, I didn't know that fewer than 15% of women rupture before going into labor. This further proves my theory that our new addition, little Miss R, has a flair for the dramatic. Like I said in the hospital, "How very Hollywood of her to arrive in such a fashion". And if I am honest, I wouldn't mind having another artistic thespian to pal around with someday.

But regardless of who she becomes, this tiny bundle of life has already begun transforming our family unit. A climate shift has taken place. If you are a parent, you too experienced a shift in your home the moment you walked your baby through the door. And this shift continues to evolve every time a new little person is added to the family roster.

And while newborns sleep a bazillion hours a day in the beginning, you can't ignore the fact that the mere reality of their presence instantly and irrevocably changes everything. 

No matter if you have recently become a parent for the first, second, third (or so on) time; each child brings an entirely new layer of love into your home and along with it a new layer of complication and unhinged humanity.

In my case, I can tell that God has favor on this little girl already, because he has injected me with a large dosage of certified calm. I can't explain it any other way than that.

I was a basket-case with my son in those first few months. I was frazzled and confused. I am sure I had elevated blood pressure and I wore my sweaters inside out for weeks. I started crying when a man in Starbucks told me that it would get easier. I can't even imagine what my appearance revealed to this man in order to prompt such a verbal life preserver. Whatever the case, I can guarantee you it wasn't pretty.

I also distinctly remember yelling at God in my parked car during a downpour when my son was hysterical (again) and I couldn't figure out why. I think there may or may not have been balled fists involved.

So why the calm now? My daughter cries too. My daughter needs her diaper changed at a Richard Petty pace too. She needs my attention too, even more so in some ways than he did.

So this placid presence of mind that seems to have hovered below the surface until now-- had it always been there or was God saving that extra dose of grace for this season? Maybe I was being submitted to the full spectrum of newborn emotion when I had my son in order to get me to this point with my daughter.

I've known that this pregnancy and child was going to be different. How? Because it was clear to me that I was different. My son had transformed my heart. He had given me heart surgery- and I had discovered that I was weak. Unprepared. Selfish. And immature. His presence in my life was stormy at times- but it was one of those tumults that resulted in a smattering of discovery. Much like wandering a sparkling beach moments after a ferocious gale to find ruddy starfish and waxen sand dollars.

I hope this blog doesn't come off "braggy", because just so we are clear-- I know for a fact that I haven't become some sort of beacon of peace by osmosis.

I know for certain I am not the one willing myself to enjoy nighttime feedings. I am not the one who seems to have stretched the stitches on my capacity to love my son and daughter when I thought I was going to have to divide my emotions between the two.

I can only attribute what is happening to me in this moment as a heaping of joy. God is going berserk with blessing on our little family and sometimes I can't contain the happiness I feel. If this fact makes you want to vomit (or at least roll your eyes)- I know there is plenty of time for challenges up ahead. But in this moment, I choose to embrace the happy.

All in all, I must have matured somewhere along the way, because I only have more responsibility and personal demand than I did when I only had one child. And even though I'm nowhere near fully mature in my faith (or in life really) at least I don't feel like a teeny weeny sapling anymore. I think I am more like a gangly teenager tree.

It's ugly and unruly at times, but the potential for full growth is there.

With the help of our amazing church, true friends who love Jesus, and my commitment to pursue who this Jesus character really is--I am changing. This has been instrumental in helping me become less of a selfish brat and more of a selfless mom.

Wherever you are- whether fully enjoying your children no matter the age or the stage or you are wearing your sweaters inside out while trying to steady a sploshing wine glass; believe this: you are being transformed if you allow God to do His amazing work. Every moment you spend as a parent is preparing you for what lies ahead.

And let me tell you a little secret. What lies ahead is good. He planned it that way.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

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