Baby girl turned 5 months old yesterday!
A few days ago, Jeff was working on the computer and suddenly turned to me and said, “Sweetheart, these past three years have flown by.” They really have- these past five months especially. One of the women in a small group I’m attending has a 10 week old, and I can hardly remember when our daughter was that small or in the newborn stage.
If you ever want to see a miracle happen in front of your eyes, keep track of the way a baby develops. Not only has baby girl more than doubled her weight since birth, it’s mind blowing to see the changes that have happened from week to week as she’s reached different milestones. She went from not being able to focus her eyes or control her arms to knowing how to look at an object, grab it, and shove it into her mouth before mommy or daddy can take it away. From sleeping and crying all day to learning how to play, laugh, and respond to our voices. Each day is a joy and gift from God. I love seeing Jeff be a daddy, playing, singing, praying, reading the Bible with her. I love being a mommy.
A lot has changed these last five months. I can’t just run out the door with my wallet, phone, and keys in my jacket pocket. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since the second night we came home from the hospital when my mom took care of baby girl for the night. We’ve definitely gotten stronger- my arms are probably bigger as I’ve been weight training, lifting 7 lb 11 oz to, we’re guessing, now at least around 17 lb, all day. And Jeff and I are now in the “young parents” category. Along with that, Jeff began working full-time in two churches as the English pastor.
There is much I have learned. I’ve learned how to remove a dirty onesie without taking off all the winter layers of clothing (accomplished today at church by the grace of God!) I’ve learned how to simultaneously feed a baby and type with one hand (which I’m doing right now). I am learning how to be a wife, a mom, and how to be both at the same time. Jeff and I are learning to prayerfully plan and talk to one another in how to deal with issues of time pertaining to ministry and family life. I am learning to set healthy boundaries but not be selfishly demanding, to be honest about my needs but not to live just in order to protect myself.
Yet with all that has changed and all I am learning, some things have remained the same. Either the day before or the very day that I went into labor, I made a list of what would not change after my daughter was born. People say that having a child changes everything. With all the excitement of finally meeting our baby girl, the uncertainties that came with her arrival, and a future that looked completely different than anything I’d experienced up until then, it was necessary for me to remind myself of what was firm and sure. Among other things, I reflected on how God’s steadfast love, my need for him, and the truth of his Word would not change.
It is still a battle to trust and place my hope in God. While before it was an issue of control and learning to trust God with what I should do after I graduated or who I would marry, now it’s trusting God to help us to raise our daughter and trusting God to lead my husband when he makes decisions for our family. I still need to remind myself that life and death are in his hands, just as I did during my pregnancy, when I am tempted to worry about worst-case scenarios. I still need like-minded sisters around me to encourage me and carry burdens with; admitting my weariness and need for help before others keeps me humble before God and in the position to receive grace. I am still called to be a part of what God is doing in this world and made to live for his glory. He is still gracious to me when I fall into self-centeredness and I still need forgiveness as the selfish desires of my old self are exposed in new life circumstances. I am still being conformed into the image of Christ day by day by the work of the Holy Spirit. He has not given up on me and his purposes in my life.
When I said the “this is going to change everything” line to Jeff right before baby girl was born, he said to me “no, the gospel changes everything.” It is a comfort thus to me that in the midst of all that I still need to learn and all that is ahead, the biggest decision of my life has already been made, the biggest change has already happened, and that day-by-day I am just living in and out of these eternal unseen realities by the grace of God, who alone does not change.