He was up til 10:30 fighting sleep. She woke up at 10:30 coughing and needing cuddling til midnight. Although tired, I crawled into bed for a few short hours feeling blessed by 2 sweet babies. Jeremy put his arm around me and said, “You’re a good Mom.” He’s kind to me like that.
Then another one of those late night questions came to mind as my eyes closed, “But am I a good wife?”
Years ago I used purple marker to write out a quote I read in a book. Then I taped it to the wall. It’s made 2 moves with us and looks crinkly on the sides. The words read, “The wise woman remembers she will begin and end as a wife.”
We’ve added 4 kids since then and that thought still challenges me. I will “begin and end as a wife.”
One day these little people will move. Jeremy and I will be left alone. Will the years of parenting have wedged themselves between us forming a void we struggle to cross? Or will these tiring days and nights have brought us closer and more in love?
I ask these questions because I honestly wonder. There are good days and bad. There are seasons where we seem as in love as we did in 1999. There are others where we are too tired to even talk. Marriage is hard. We often miss that message in the bliss.
But it’s worth it. To take time. To listen. To sacrifice. I can look at Jeremy and see more than my husband. I can see him as Christ’s special treasure. The one He willingly died for. The one He loves. I can look at myself in the mirror (still rocking maternity clothes) and say the same thing.
We can offer each other imperfect love because we are loved perfectly. One season at a time.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
(1 Corinthians 13:7)
Here’s a new song that gets me every time…Broken Together. Enjoy!=)
He’s crazy about her!
He breathes in bed beside me. He breathes in his pack-n-play beside me. The first Pollard boy I fell in love with. The last Pollard boy I’ll fall in love with. I didn’t plan on meeting him at 18. I didn’t plan on having him at 34.
They are both grace to me. God’s goodness to the undeserved. And so are Stephen. And Caleb. And Jonathan. And Esther. And this bed. And the food we eat. And maybe I could go on til the little clock ticked 3 am. All this is grace. Every bit of it.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
All this grace is overwhelming me at late night feedings. It’s burning a hole in my heart and changing the way I see life. Grace. Who knew it could do that?
Amy Carmichael wrote of John 1:16-“The picture before us is as of a river. Stand on its banks, and contemplate the flow of waters. A minutes passes, and another. Is it the same stream still? Yes. But is it the same water? No. The liquid mass that passed you a few seconds ago fills now another section of the channel; new water has displaced it, or if you please replaced it; water instead of water. And so hour by hour, and year by year, and century by century, the process holds; one stream, other waters, living, not stagnant, because always in the great identity there is perpetual exchange. Grace takes the place of grace (and love takes the place of love); ever new, ever old, ever the same, ever fresh and young, for hour by hour, for year by year, through Christ.”
And Spurgeon once said, ” As long as I am out of hell I have no right to grumble.” Doesn’t that make every moment grace?
Dear God, please help the rivers not to rush by so quickly that I miss the water. May I plant myself by the stream and moment by moment absorb grace. May I take cupfuls of it and share it with others. And when the water is rocky give me strength even still to call that grace.
It was raining as Stephen and I drove to Durham for Kenan’s 1 month check-up. He chose to ride along while the others stayed home. We talked about simple stuff…soccer season, school, brothers, Esther. Then he said something that made me stop, “You’re just always so busy.”
He wasn’t being cruel. I can’t even remember how the conversation went that direction. But he spoke his heart, so I listened.
Yes, I’m busy. There are bottles and diapers and school and…and…and. Will it ever stop?
My oldest is getting, well, old. I dread the day Jeremy and I become “uncool.” Even now I sometimes find myself struggling to enter his world. He’s growing up, and as our first, I’m just not sure how all this works.
So I choose again to stop. To do what needs to be done but to avoid being “so busy.” I can sit and watch him play video games a little each day. I can take the time to listen to a story he wants to share. I can if I will, and everything else must wait.
Life is busy. Time is short. They are all growing. What am I going to do about it?
“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.” (Psalm 103:15-16)
Word search with his Great Grandma
The room was quiet when I finally put words to my tired thoughts…”What if we can’t do this?” Jeremy hesitated then answered, “We can. We will.”
We had just finished the 2 am feeding. As my eyes closed Jeremy’s answer formed into this question…”At what point did I ever think I could do this?”
I have lived a life of self-sufficiency in so many ways and on different days. Am I kidding myself to roll over any morning and think I can parent these blessings the way I should? Have my feet hit the floor more days with good intentions and plans but no prayer? Is God my back-up plan when life goes haywire?
Forgive me, Father.
At 5 am Kenan woke again hungry. As I rolled over I prayed, “God, I can’t do this. Can’t. I’m counting on grace today. In the scripted. In the unexpected.”
And somehow in admitting my desperation there was peace. In finally accepting weakness strength took over.
May I not take grace for granted. Every piece of life’s tapestry is a gift from His hand. Every breath I take is pure goodness from Him. Yes, I’m bound to get tired. But He’s there waiting; wanting me to admit defeat and accept His strength.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Sweet babies of grace…
We watched her crawl around the room the other night. Polka-dotted pajamas. Unruly hair. She’d grab her blanket and roll around on it. Jeremy and I laughed outloud. She is Christmas morning to us every day.
And I said to Jeremy, “We missed this with Stephen.” Because we did. We were so caught up in figuring things out. I was so managed by all the books I had read. And to think that then there wasn’t Facebook or blogs or all the other condemning resources that tell us the “right way to do things.”
So I’m writing now (as before) for all the first-time Moms. Breath deeply. You can’t do this perfectly. Your baby isn’t perfect. Some days you will wonder at this wonder of a child God has given you. Some days you will wonder if you’re really cut out for Motherhood. You will tire and get mad and leave the house more times than not without makeup or clean hair.
We’re only 8 years in but already I long for the moments I missed with Stephen. I’ve been told time only moves quicker as they get older. Heaven help us.
May we see these children as blessings from God. May we admit when we’re bone-tired. May we let His grace flow into us and through us.
God, help me not to miss these moments.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)