Category: Parenthood

Pray for May

(For the record, the catchy title to this post was that last thing to be written before I hit publish. I do love a good rhyme almost as much as I love alliteration.)

I discovered while Matt and I were away on retreat that I’ve forgotten a bit how to pray. I remember the theory of course, but it seems like my quiet times with God have gone the way of coffee visits with friends: we still get together, but part of my mind is always on stand-by, ready to leap from the conversation into mothering at a moment’s notice. It’s hard to achieve any depth.

This isn’t a challenge that I saw coming. Sure, there are a ton of resources and articles out there about all the other relationships that change when you have a baby, from your husband to the family pet, but no one warned me it would be harder to connect with God.

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This sums up most of my attempts at “quiet time” with God.

One of my challenges now is that I expect to fail at really connecting with God, and so I hardly even try. I do pray quick on-the-go prayers, and I do occasionally flip through my Bible. I even started working to re-memorize Hebrews 12, but all in all I feel my soul getting a little bit malnourished. I don’t want to wait for things to go completely off the rails before I give my best effort to connect with God, and I don’t want to give in to the nagging voice that says spiritual mediocrity is something I just have to settle for in this season of my life.

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Baby Discipline

Matt took a course on family ministry this semester, so we now have a 650 page textbook on the topic. I have been out of school for long enough now that I can read through academic material without my brain and soul shutting down, and as I was flipping through Matt’s textbook (Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide by Diana R. Garland), I came across this excerpt which was, shall we say, very timely 🙂

Despite what the commercials and movies tell us, love is not a feeling. It is a way we decide to act. We cannot force ourselves to feel love – we can’t force ourselves to feel anything. A baby crying for the third time since parents went to bed may not invoke feelings of love, but parents do not wait to act until they feel like doing the loving thing. Instead, they choose to act in love. In such ways, children “discipline,” or influence, the behavior of parents.

Maybe one of the reasons people think it is wise to wait a while after getting married to have children is not just so you can travel unhindered but because it gives you practice at acting loving when you don’t feel like it. Just as it can be a rude awakening the first time you don’t feel lovey towards your spouse, it can be scary to not feel lovey towards a tiny infant who depends on you for everything. I have a really easygoing baby, an extraordinarily supportive spouse, and a great network of people who sincerely care about me, but there have definitely been times when Torre has needed more from me than I had to give. I expected motherhood to stretch me, and it has, but it has been different than what I expected – both harder and easier than I thought it would be.

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(Lack of) Great Expectations

Five and a half weeks in, I still love spending my days with my baby. I think a big part of that is being okay with taking each day on its own terms as it comes. At 10am I might think it will be a super productive day, but at 3pm I’m staring at the exact same to-do list I started with. On the other hand, at 10 am I might resign myself to a day with nothing accomplished apart from the continued survival of my offspring, only to be happily surprised at 3pm to have grocery shopped and done laundry. I’m learning over and over that you never can tell quite what a day will bring.

Of course, some days

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The Sea is Not Full

I was struck by Esslesiastes 1:7 this week:

All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.

Endless cycles are part of nature – the sun rises and sets, seasons change, the rain falls and the wind blows. I remember when I was in grade 5 or 6 being amazed at the idea that I could be breathing air molecules that Cleopatra had breathed, or Shakespeare. It still kind of grosses me out to think about sharing air with all the people on a bus.IMG_2002

But that’s reality, and it applies to our human lives as well as to nature. We breathe in and out all day long, but it’s never enough;

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Growing Up Isn’t Sad

I was hanging out with Torre the other day (as I do every day now) and got a little nostalgic thinking about how quickly he’ll grow up. He already holds his head up when we hold him against our chests, and he is so strong in body and will that I doubt it will be long before he can roll over and crawl around and start causing mischief. Part of me is excited and proud in advance for how he’ll develop, but I know it will be bittersweet as he becomes more independent and more challenging to parent.

new sproutAs I was thinking all this though, I wondered to myself why this tinge of sadness accompanies the milestones we celebrate. When we see the beauty of a blooming flower or a towering tree, nobody thinks to mourn the seed.

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