November 19, 2013

The Therapeutic Elephant

You don't ever get over something like your parent dying. You never forget it. It's always on your mind. Especially during the happy times in life such as having a child. The loss of a parent never gets easier and life doesn't just go on. Rather life takes on a new normal and you just learn how to live in that new normal. Not because you want to but because you have to. There is no other choice but to roll with the punches and keep trekking along. But you always remember them, you always think back to the happy memories you shared and the moments of regret you would take back in a second if you could. 

Expecting my first child, my son, has mustered up a gazillion thoughts and feelings but the strongest is just how much love I have for him and how much love my parents have for me. To think that my parents love me as much as I love my son is overwhelming. To think that 29 years ago they were as excited about my arrival as I am about my child's puts who my parents are in my mind into a whole new perspective. I don't think you realize just how much you are loved by your parents until you have a child yourself. At least I didn't realize. 

It makes me very sad to think about my son not growing up with his grandpa around, very sad that my dad won't ever experience being a grandfather. Because his granddaughter and soon to be grandson would have brought him extreme joy. He would have adored them. My dad loved babies and children. He loved us and made it very clear to both my sister and I, every day, that we were his greatest joy. It makes me very sad to think that my dad is possibly feeling sad for missing out on this exciting chapter in his daughters lives. The chapter where they become mothers and he becomes a grandpa. He's supposed to be here for times like these and he's not. It's sad and it's not fair but I wouldn't change his place beside our Saviour for him to be beside me. 

So instead I pray and I remind myself of my dads faith and our Saviours promise. I remind myself of my eternal home and I think about the day where I am welcomed into heaven. And I think about my dad waiting for me with outstretched arms and his joyful smile. 

My son is due to be born on what would be my dads 61st birthday. I would love nothing more than for my son to share his birthday with his grandpa. For that day to be something my dad has shared with him and to be a piece of my dad my son will have forever. So will you join me? Will you join me in my prayer?  

October 22, 2013

The Ferocious Beast

Today I am 27 weeks pregnant. This is the last week of my second trimester. Its bittersweet. It makes me a little bit sad to think about how fast and quickly this pregnancy has seemed to go by but it also makes me incredibly excited to meet this little boy who has been growing inside of me for the past 6.5 months. 
I've been feeling really overwhelmed emotionally since about week 24. I've spent a lot of time inside myself sorting through my thoughts and emotions and trying to narrow down all that I'm feeling and all that is swirling around inside my mind. I've come to realise that I have two perspectives as I approach motherhood. My mind persepctive and my heart perspective.
and both perspectives are one heck of a ferocious beast. 
It has really hit me this week that whether I'm ready or not I am about to enter into the world of motherhood. And let me tell you, it is a world that is filled with so much beauty and mess all at once. I absolutely hate to say this but as I approach this new adventure and blessing in my life, never have I ever felt so much pressure, ridicule and judgement mixed with support and encouragement from women and mothers. And it kind of breaks my heart. Is motherhood honestly about the "mommy guilt" and comparisons and the constant feelings of failure and just not measuring up? Because I know God did not create it for this intent or purpose. Why are women feeling this way? Why are mothers feeling guilty over their choices and parenting decisions? Why are mothers feeling as though they've failed even if their child is thriving?
Why do I already feel this way and so far all I have done is grow my child. Surely I haven't messed up already, have I? But I feel guilty, and I feel like I am being watched and I feel...pressure. 
In larger social settings I have not often experienced women coming alongside each other as mothers and encouraging them and supporting them and caring for their heart. I have seen the expression of guilt and failure when asked if they breastfeed, cloth diaper, sleep train, use swaddles etc etc and I can't help but wonder why it matters. Why are those the questions being asked in the one hour over a shared cup of coffee? 
It is a beautiful thing that children occupy their mothers hearts and minds - mine already does! - but as a woman and (sort of) mom I want to be asked how my heart is. I want to glean from other moms and women their experience from motherhood and this most important job and not exactly their choices and reasons behind every decision.
Of course it is important to talk about the practicalities of motherhood and parenting but in the right time and place, no? With the select few who you trust and look up to in their parenting. Who share a similar heart and perspective and not just for the sake of gossip. 
I am purposefully trying to lay down my second guesses and trust in the deep rooted feeling that I will just know my son and we will understand each other and that God will supply me with the grace and wisdom needed to parent him best. I am reminding myself to remember the truth that no one will know my child and his needs as well as I will.
I am reminding myself that I am not parenting my son for myself or for others but for the glory of my Saviour. And isn't that what motherhood is about?

October 20, 2013

this man.

this man,
he rises with the sun and is the last to rest.

his hands are calloused from hard work and sacrificial labour and long hours and creativity.
they are calloused from work
and efforts of love
and a servant heart.

this man never rests. 
he moves and thinks and does at a constant rate and motion.

this man serves.

this man lays down his life and his own desires and wants and dreams again and again.
he dies to me every day of his life.

he is the image and example of strength and perseverance and determination.
he holds the weight of the world on the foundation of Christ.

this man never complains and his chin remains high

he gives and he gives and he gives.
he spreads himself thin but he never gives in.

he never gives up.

this man never admits defeat.
he is a warrior of strength and courage and heart.

this man leads imperfectly to the perfect Christ.

he holds every ounce of my wellbeing in his hands with gentle care

he is patient and he is kind.

he knows not of the days to come but steps faithfully forward into each day, holding my hand
into the heart of his Saviour.

September 23, 2013

Motherhood Monday

Sometimes I am so overcome with emotion thinking about my son. Some people will certainly say that is due to pregnancy hormones but I know there are others out there who just get it. Who know exactly what I am talking about. Joel described our son to me the other night and it just pierced my heart.  He said to me that this pregnancy, having a child, our son is not just the next step. Our son is not just the next phase in life. And I knew that he is one of those people. My husband is one of those people who just get it and who just knows how I feel about our little boy already. 

For whatever reason The Lord feels as though Joel and I are prepared for taking on the challenge of raising this child. He is not ours to take for granted because it was never a promise that he would be ours in the first place. He is not our reward for being obedient either. And on those sleepless nights and challenging days he certainly is not our punishment. He is our gift and he is our blessing. He just is. 

This little person does not belong to us, he is not ours to keep, but he has been entrusted to us from Him. It is our job to care for him and love him and raise him up. And I pray, and trust, that God will equip us to do just that. 

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archers hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so, He loves also the bow that is stable. 
- Kahlil Gibran 
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