Carter is 4 weeks today! Looking over the pictures from this past month, I am amazed at how much he has already grown and changed. He is definitely getting some chubby little cheeks! I can’t help missing those first few days when he was so new and tiny, but I love anticipating his daily progress and growth.
Those who know me know that I thrive on juggling many activities and constantly being on- the-go. We all joked that motherhood would be the only way to slow me down. I worried a bit, as I am sure my friends and family did as well, that I might go stir-crazy being at home all day. That I might find the daily cycle of feeding and changing diapers to be monotonous. That I might discover motherhood to be different from the glorified image and expectations I have had in my mind for years. That I might be…well, disappointed.
What I have, in fact, discovered over the last four weeks is that I must be exactly where God wants me to be.
I spent Saturday simply taking care of Carter and doing seven loads of laundry (yes, I really did let it pile up that high!) And I unexplainably felt a deep sense of joy in these simple duties. Scott said this past weekend that he has never seen me this happy. Is it that this sweet baby boy has completed me or brought ultimate joy? No, I don’t believe that’s it. While we prayed desperately for a child, and while I absolutely adore my son, I believe the reason I am so full of peace and contentment is that I am finally where God presently wants me to be. I am no longer skipping between God’s path and my own. I have surrendered this stage to Christ, and I am looking to Him for guidance not just on a weekly or daily basis, but moment by moment. This doesn’t mean my life is suddenly perfect. I still feel exhausted many days. I have doubts about whether I am being the best mother I can be and making the right decisions for Carter’s sake. I still struggle to find balance with regard to spending time with Scott and with God. Concerns still weigh on my mind and heart. But I am finally taking time to be still, to rest. I no longer have an agenda other than meeting Carter’s and Scott’s needs. I don’t think I ever realized before now how selfish and self-focused I can typically be. What freedom there is in putting “me” aside and actually living out God’s will at this stage of my life.
A couple of years ago, I began viewing life in terms of seasons. It is much easier (and less overwhelming) to commit to a responsibility or activity for a specific season of time. Or to embrace change as a new season. Like all changes and new experiences, this early phase of motherhood is a season. I will likely find myself returning the focus to myself in months to come. I will be worrying about my post-pregnancy body (okay, so that’s already happened), comparing my mothering “techniques” to others, pursuing my dream of writing and speaking to young women, trying to revive a social life, and so on. The awe of bringing a child into this world will cease, daily stresses of life will begin to mount, and I will probably begin to chart my own path once again.
I pray that you, as my friends and family, will hold me accountable when the “old” me begins to seep in. I pray that you will boldly remind me to be still. I pray that this blog entry will guide me back to the truth that God’s will is always far better than I could ever dream up myself. That when I am at the center of His will, even laundry and dirty diapers can make me feel like I am on top of the world.
When I sat down to update the blog, I certainly didn’t intend to pour all of this out. Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable and to share my heart. One more thing before I close, the whole reason I began this post…. I have been trying to sing to Carter as much as possible despite the fact that I am tone deaf. (Carter doesn’t seem to care – at least not yet.) It never fails, however, that as soon as I launch into singing, I forget all of the lullabies and sweet songs that I know are packed into my memory somewhere. So I need your help. What are your favorite songs to sing to your children? Also, I never learned many hymns growing up and would love to teach some to Carter. Please share any hymns you love (I do have a hymnal.) There are so many, I don’t even know where to begin. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
(Check back in a few hours for new pictures. I have to upload them from our desktop computer.)