Thursday, February 28, 2008

Confessions from mommyhood

I know of no other calling in life where what you want to do and what you must do come to a neck-breaking collision more than in least I didn't think I did. Here's a story...
My futile attempts to keep the backseat of my car clean are dashed, Lincoln manages to dump every type of snack I hand him on the floor, making it look more like a pond of little goldfish than the floormats my husband once so cleverly negotiated upon the purchase of our car. I remember those days. Staying up late, watching movies from start to finish, eating hot meals, having clean clothes....ahhh.
But alas, I am pulled back to reality with the shriek of a 20 month old and a kick in the side from our unborn monster (remind me what we were thinking)...I go through my day, chasing, playing, carrying, monitoring all the while feeling more and more taxed as I realize I just want to take a shower, or get dressed without my laundry being quite uncarefully strewn all over my floor. What happened to my house? It used to be so clean. Why can't I read my Bible without hearing "all done" 40 times from the high chair next to me? I remember the days of hour-long Bible studies UNinterrupted. What IS that stuff on my shirt anyways--graham cracker? Cheerios? I find myself in my car eventually, running late for Bible study (a perpetual struggle for me of cosmic proportions) when I realize I have lost all ability to think rationally and start gushing tears. How did I get here? How did I get to be that crazy mom? When will my life be manageable again? After two kids?....heh heh. *sob sob sob*

I glance into the mirror to realize that my face is now completely soaked in tears and I know there is no way I can go into a building of wonderful sweet caring women and some of my closest friends looking like I've just been crying and not have to talk about it.
I open my glove box hoping by some unique twist of events that a pack of tissues has suddenly materialized in there, and find my hopes dashed. I stare apprehensively for a moment at the size 4 diaper I keep in case of emergencies (and trust me they are just that), throw my inhibitions to the wind (clearly a woman crying in her car is not in a position of high standing anyways) and I grab the diaper and begin soaking up my tears with it.
Here I am...sitting in my car...crying into a diaper...hoping desperately none of my friends walk by and I realize how comical the situation is and start laughing.
Am I this helpless? "Lord, I need a fresh word from you, I need to hear your voice. More desperately than I have in a while I need some intervention, some perspective. I am drained, and I need your spirit. I am completely sucking the bottom of the bucket. I need your voice"
And faithfully as the tides, it comes. Isn't it a thing of wonder that the God of everything stoops to wipe out tears?
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24
I realize this pursuit of being mommy is not unlike my walk with God. What other path can I seek to pursue that requires every ounce of my life and energy. That demands I sacrifice the things I once used to pursue so passionately for a cause outside myself that is so much more important to me? What other lifestyle is left empty without a complete emptying of myself, and requires a constant dialogue, a continual dependence, a relentless reliance on the creator of the universe? The two are paralleled in ways too clear to be coincidental.
The Lord is constantly reminding me that the things I used to pursue are no longer important, as a woman in Christ, I am supposed to serve, and in that serving lead my children and other peoples children (old and young) to see God. "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men," Ephesians 6:7 I can think of no greater calling that requires me to become less. "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30
To close, I quote my husband. In a card to our neighbors who recently found out they are pregnant John simply wrote this, "At first you'll feel like you've given up everything, but after a while you'll realize the things you've given up aren't nearly as great as the things you gain." And it is like.. "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" Philippians 3:8.
And all God's people said...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My favorite song

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Goodbye Little Maggie

It is much harder than I thought, saying goodbye to this little cat. We put Maggie (my cat of 9 years) to sleep last night. I hadn't totally prepared myself for it, but at the vet's office he said we could continue to treat the symptoms, knowing that it would never go away and would eventually come to this, or we could choose to let her go now. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, which sounds crazy because I know it was a cat.
But she felt like so much more than just a cat. It's strange in a way because it's almost like saying goodbye to a phase in my life. Maggie was around when I was 16. I remember sleeping snuggled up with her as a kitten (the only place she wanted to sleep was draped across my neck). She was the runt of the litter, and she had no clue. She used to go up to our giant lab and hiss right in his face as if he was the one who was supposed to move. And then when I got my driver's license I used to take her in the car with me for drives to be near her. She was there when I graduated high school and started college. And when I eventually moved out of home and got my first apartment, she went with me.
She was with me when I got married, she moved across the country with me, and was eventually Lincoln's little play buddy.
It's so hard to think that now she's gone and this next phase in my life, one where we welcome a new baby and eventually a new home etc., is one that she'll never be a part of. It's like I'm finally grown up and that part of my life is gone, it's kind of surreal.
She was such a fun kitty. I remember the first time she met John she hissed at him and ran away (very unlike my first reaction to him you can imagine). She was always good for a snuggle--especially with people who were not cat lovers. If you sat still for longer than 60 seconds, you could pretty much count on Maggie coming up and pawing at your hair, or sitting on your lap. I'd never seen her grumpy or anti-social--she was the happiest cat I'd ever met. She also had a knack for climbing into really obscure small places and not being found. We'd hear meowing in the kitchen for 2 minutes before we pulled out one of the drawers and saw her little face peek out. An for whatever reason she always looked like a kitten.
At a mere 5 pounds she was bigger on love and companionship than you could ever guess by looking at her. And we had a great time together.
I'm confident as the days go by it will be easier for her to be gone....but today it's hard.

Monday, February 04, 2008


It's pretty amazing to be faced with the menagerie of possibilities that your future child can be. Since we chose not to find out the sex this time (though trust me--every time the ultrasound tech told me I might want to look away so as not to find out on accident, I was staring intently at whatever I thought was a private part, convinced I'd see some hint--but to no avail) it's an even broader spectrum of imagination. Dark hair or light, straight or curly, boy or girl. And then with any assumption of one of the previous options, another flow of thoughts stem--ballet or soccer? , tomboy or mama's boy?, mini-skirt battles or (ugh!) making bike ramps out of plywood?
It's crazy to think that in less than 19 weeks, our lives will be changed so incredibly. Our baby will become our big kid (the thought is already making me cry) and we'll be carrying around another tiny little person, two carseats, maybe even a double stroller....and oh....sleep deprivation, how could I forget.
But what's more amazing is that right now there is a tiny little secret growing inside me that only God totally knows. There are weeks of everyone's lives, months even, where the only entity totally aware of who they are and what they will become is God. Right now my baby is totally known to the creator of the universe. He alone knows the hair patterns, the fingerprints, the tiny feet, the gender. And He has his own amazing name for him or her. Right on the other side of my stomach, separated to me only by skin and tissue and organs (mere inches) is my future son or daughter and I have no idea what they are like.
"To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all." -Anatole France