mom to mom * 37 weeks and counting

the COUNTDOWN has begun. Grafton will be here before we know it and our lives will be forever changed.

37 Weeks, Here I am! in all of my glory, two hearts, full of life - filling full to the brim every day with hurting hips and a heavy belly... but truly, when I step back and even when I look at this picture, I sigh with thankful, relief and i think, grace, grace, God's grace...
37 Weeks, Here I am! in all of my glory, two hearts, full of life – filling full to the brim every day with hurting hips and a heavy belly… but truly, when I step back and even when I look at this picture, I sigh with thankful relief and think, grace, grace, God’s grace…

praying – O LORD let Your goodness be my good, for I am nothing good without you.

praying – O LORD bring this little man in Your perfect timing (and please let Tyler be home!!).

praying – O LORD hold me together.

And this morning, when I was feeling particularly weak, like going back to bed would be the best plan for the day, but that’s not a realistic option, since, though Leland is a good sleeper, I didn’t think he was going to sleep his day away.

So I sat down, wet, clean hair and taut, unmoisturized face, on my couch, hungrily ate a bagel with cream cheese – which, after I was done, I only wanted another – and mustered up the motivation to flip to the Psalm of the day. I have been reading through the Psalms; I’m in Psalm 114.

It reads…

When Israel went out from Egypt,

the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,

Judah became his sanctuary,

Israel his dominion.

The sea looked and fled;

Jordan turned back.

The mountains skipped like rams,

the hills like lambs.

What ails you, O sea, that you flee?

O Jordan, that you turn back?

O mountains, that you skip like rams?

O hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,

at the presence of the God of Jacob,

who turns the rock into a pool of water,

the flint into a spring of water.

Mustered motivation turned to trembling fear of the great Lord… who, even in my weakness, makes me His sanctuary through Christ; who whispered to me, “Don’t turn back; don’t give up now. I am the Sovereign Lord who orders, masters, creates, sustains everything. Even your day. Even your heart, beating for two.”

And He makes me want to cry with how GOOD His love is for me.

I read through the Solid Joys,  John Piper’s iPhone devotional for today on my phone and thought…

Lord I want to be ravenous for Your joy, held together by Your peace. Not attempting to be sufficient in my own strength; not trying to simplify my life by my own means and therefore only ending up frustrated and untethered.

— And then I did something unspiritual and checked my email.

I read one of my favorite bloggers Kelly, at the Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking, (I do not personally know her, but from her writing and her blog’s look and her look; from her pictures and from all that she shares, she just seems so gospel-centered and grounded, very humble and heaven-seeking, and I just know we’d be friends whenever we have the chance)…

The title of the blog ”  For When Motherhood is Kicking your Ass

Now, I must say, little ole southern proper Christian conservative has a hard time typing a** but honestly that’s what she wrote, y’all, and honestly, that’s what makes me smile and like her through her blog.

Through this unspiritual act of checking email, something some say to swear off until you have read Scripture, exercised, and eaten a healthy breakfast, the precious Holy Spirit spoke right to me.

To my mind, thinking, I KNOW ministry is more than life but, LORD have MERCY, I don’t know if I can do this – this letting Tyler go half way around the world and be a mommy to two little loves… I DON’T THINK I CAN!

To my heart, feeling already defeated and it’s not even 8AM yet.

To my body, sore, achy, and heavy, swollen with child.

And I just praise the LORD…

I invite you to go read her blog post, where Kelly just spelled out love to me today.

She encouraged me with her words :

“This is a letter to the mom who feels weary and burdened and broken today.”

amen. amen. amen.

I mean, that was her opening sentence, and my little blue eyes just started welling up. This is for me, right now…

“Friend, know that you aren’t alone. ”

I replied to Kelly and to the Holy Spirit, I know, but I feel like I do a lot by myself. What’s that mean in light of the reality that I am not alone? And what of when Tyler leaves? And … thank you for being with me, Lord. You are my ever-present Help in time of need.

“Motherhood is hard.”

And o so good. And o so hard. It is so true in mommy-life that the light and momentary afflictions are outweighed by the eternal weight of glory… but sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed by the various trials (and the fact that it seems like the next only three weeks are going to fly and to drag by…)

Kelly finished her post :

Brokenness is the beginning of grace, and boy are our kids going to need to know how to extend and receive grace. The grace of God, the grace to navigate relationships and life and love, the grace to forgive us one day for all the mistakes we will make. We learn about grace together, big knees and little knees knelt together on cheerio laden floors.

Survival mode is okay. You aren’t planning any paper bag crafts or cooking a four star meal, you are just making it through until bed time. Maybe tomorrow will be easier, maybe it won’t. Survival mode is okay.

It’s okay to need help. Whether it’s from friends or family or a Molly Maid or ordering takeout or making an appointment with your family doctor. We weren’t designed to be independent and perfect and alone. It’s okay to need help.

And finally, let’s commit to remember these days. I am so thankful for women in my life who remember what it was like to have little people at their feet needing them all day and are willing and able to stand in the gap and help me and encourage me through this season of motherhood. Commit to remember, so that one day you can hold a friend’s baby while she showers alone.

Keep going, mama bear. You can do this. 

To the Lord and to Kelly I silently replied, yes, and thank you so much for the encouragement. Sweet Jesus, this is just what I needed. You, through even a blog post, in an email. Any way I can get You, Lord, I’m so grateful.

Today the Lord has been and is so gracious to me – His grace sustains me today and preserves me into tomorrow. I trust in His evidenced grace for all of the tomorrows, … this is where He calls me to surrender.

To trust in HIM and lean NOT on my own understanding. To be led by Him, to follow Him, to lean into Him, to be enveloped by Him.

So, in the precious, perfect, preserving, patient love of Christ, I will not turn back; I will not give up. I will let Him lift my chin to gaze into His eyes, keeping my nose to His, fearing His name, walking in His ways, all all all all by His great, glorious grace. His grace for today… His grace that will meet me tomorrow.

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