You have turned my mourning to dancing! Psalm 30:11
I sat down to have quiet time this morning, bible open, shallow breaths, doing everything as quietly as possible so as not to wake Judah from his morning nap. I have been thirsty for time with Jesus lately, truly feeling like a deer panting for water next to His river of life. Dying to drink deeply…
This season is exhausting.
I read in Ecclesiastes this morning, journaling as I went, sipping my coffee.
I found myself jotting down the words “I want to thrive, not simply survive, Jesus!” That wordplay sounds like the line from a motivational speaker. But this morning it was the earnest, desperate plea of my soul. Lately I have felt like I’m drowning. I am tired, hungry both physically and spiritually, weary from these long days. Just when I thought my sanity was running thin I decided to take up the responsibility of a new ministry at church with some of my sisters, we’re sewing dresses to send to Peru and Guatemala. This was too sweet of an opportunity to miss out on; to bless sisters in another country and commune with sisters here at home while we learn a new skill. But the beauty of walking with Christ is that just when I think I might break from the weight of everything on my plate, He gives me new strength. But even still, it’s hard to shake this feeling that I’m slipping under, unable to come up for air.
I have been mourning my “former life”, my pre-baby, worry-free existence. I was well rested and took my free time for granted. I was “thriving.”
When I wrote that desperate plea in my journal, I felt His gentle whisper…like a warm wave over my whole body.
This season is for surviving.
Simply surviving, clinging to Him for life, working through this so that when things settle down at times I can collapse confident that I worked as hard as I could and embrace His peace.
“The days are long but the years are short…”
How many of you mothers have heard those words from a veteran mother?
I can attest to one thing, the days are long. I am all too guilty of watching the clock and counting down the minutes until David gets home. This motherhood gig is no easy feat. When people would say, “no one is ever really ready for parenthood,” I assumed they were referring to the practical side of things (monetarily speaking, raising a child is a huge undertaking). But I now understand what they meant. I was so ready to love a child, kiss and snuggle my baby endlessly, but I wasn’t ready for the sacrifice involved. Sure, it would be hard. Sleepless nights and all. But no one could prepare me for the all consuming, exhausting, completely amazing journey that motherhood is. Like the pain of labor, you must walk through it yourself to truly appreciate its trial and its beauty. Any bystander who witnesses birth can see just how mindblowingly precious it is! The counsel of mother who has gone through the “ring of fire” and experienced the feeling that you are simply going to break in half brings you closer to the truth, yet you still have to walk through it yourself to really understand the adventure.
I was nursing my baby down for a nap a couple of weeks ago like I do about four times a day. Laying next to him, watching his eyelashes flutter, feeling his warm, squishy body snuggling against me. It had already been a long day, I hadn’t eaten much, and I needed a break. I was dreaming of the bowl of oatmeal I would make myself once he was asleep and I was able to sneak out from under him. The time had come for me to make my getaway, he was fast asleep. I slipped my arm from under him as carefully as I always do, but he rolled over and caught my shirt. Still asleep, but holding on and trying to snuggle in again. I wanted to cry. I desperately needed to walk away, gather my sanity and get myself some sustenance so I could carry on. Even though I lost the battle that time, I snuggled my baby closer and felt so grateful that I was able to have this precious time with him while he is still small.
I am fighting for gratitude in this war against my flesh. The flesh that says my life pre-baby was better. We are in Denmark now visiting family and having a little vacation just us three and I’m remembering our trip here a little over a year ago. I was aching for a baby last time, every time I saw a mother pushing her stroller through the streets of Copenhagen I would crave that for myself. Now I walk among the danish mothers, a mother myself.
God is so good. He hears my desperate, sometimes selfish pleas. He gave me the baby I had been dreaming of! Even though it’s hard work, this is the life I have dreamed of for so long! I have so so so much to be grateful for.
This season is long and hard and I sometimes feel I can’t catch my breath. But this is the season I am in, and it won’t last forever. He’ll only be little for so long and one day, when he doesn’t need me so much anymore and I am miraculously well rested, I will be longing for sleepless nights and him needing me.
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Despite the challenges and how much I miss the ease of my old life, this is not the time to mourn.
Even if I’m weary, even if I’m just surviving, this is a time to dance.