Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Battle Strategy

This morning, I sat and nursed Jase in the back row of the sanctuary at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) as our morning class began hopeful he'd fall asleep and stay asleep for the remaining 45 minutes. I couldn't help but remember those first few weeks as a brand new mom sitting with Avery as a newborn, in the back row of the sanctuary at BSF just two short years ago.

So much has changed and happened since then. While I'm in familiar territory when it comes to the taking care of an infant thing, the rest of it seems incredibly uncharted, even though I'm 5 months into being the mother of 2, 2 years into being a mom, and almost 7 years into being a wife.

Confession: Most days I feel defeated. I don't feel defeated all day long. But, at some point during the day, I do feel that way.

I'm overwhelmed by this season. As sweet as it is. As much as I don't want it to end. It sounds like an oxymoron, I know. And, that's one of the reasons why I think it's so hard to navigate.

How is it possible to rise to the calling before me? Shoot- it's not even before me. It's on top of me, under me, pulling my hair, in my arms, 100% enveloping me 24/7 whether it's a tiny person or a mounting to-do list of tasks.

I mess up every day. Every day I have to apologize to someone. I am constantly falling short.

Why do I keep messing up? Why can't I figure this out? Why am I not capable enough?

Thankfully when the word "enough" enters my thoughts it's a trigger word for me to say, "That's enough, Enemy. Get behind me, Satan. And out of my brain and out of my house. Go, in the name of Jesus Christ."

If you don't know what triggers are, in the simplest way I can describe them, a trigger evokes the same response every time. You engage the trigger, BLANK always happens.

Well, I need triggers to remind me of my reality. Often it feels as though my reality is burp cloths and spit up and temper tantrums and clothes that don't fit and upset tummies and so on. This is part of my reality. Yes.

But, the other reality I need to be reminded of is that Satan doesn't want me raising kingdom builders.

Satan wants me to focus on my physical reality and dwell on my short-comings. Satan wants for me to believe the calling I'm desperately seeking to fulfill is impossible.

Triggers used to be something I had to avoid because they'd set my PTSD off. (Another story for another time.)

Now, I find myself needing to surround myself with them. I need triggers to remind me to look to Jesus first when I feel defeated. First when my heart is heavy. First when I have no idea what to do.

This morning both of my children were lying on our bed crying as I wiped noses and zipped up shoes and asked, out loud, "Why are you crying??" If I hadn't been committed to rocking babies while the leaders met for pre-class prayer before BSF started, I would have honestly thrown my hands up and said, "Forget it. We're just staying home."

And Satan would have won that battle.

But, thankfully, because I remembered I had made a commitment that commitment triggered me to remember my commitment to my kids to shepherd them and surround them with the teachings of Jesus.

So, I'm not keeping them at home and therefore not taking them to a morning of age-speficic Bible teaching because I feel overwhelmed.

Triggers.

Triggers to defeat the feeling of being defeated.

Triggers to encourage my spirit when my body is sore from lifting and carrying and holding little bodies all day and all night.

Triggers to remind me to stop and breathe and sometimes walk away and count to 10 and pray before I speak or act.

Triggers to remind me of my reality - that I live in a battle zone. Not a house full of toys and stuffed animals and diapers and dog hair, but a war college whose students begin as newborns.

I am raising kingdom builders. Why would I ever expect for Satan to let that go unnoticed? Why would I expect him to leave me alone while I do this great and hard work? 

For 10 years I avoided certain triggers because I knew that every time a trigger presented itself, I would experience a very unpleasant emotional response.

Every time.

10 years of bondage to the avoidance of triggers.

I got very good at avoiding triggers.

But something Satan meant for evil, is now being used for good.

Now triggers are a battle strategy instead of shackles.

So, you can take that one back to Hell with you Satan.

And yes, mamas who feel like you are drowning in whatever season of motherhood it is that you find yourself in - or non-mamas who still feel like you are drowning - you are allowed to talk to him like that. Claim victory in this battle over that Enemy - after all, Jesus already has.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done."
 - Genesis 50:20

Friday, May 26, 2017

Welcome to the World, Jase!

Hey there faithful readers, family, friends. Man, did we leave you hanging or what?

Last I posted, we announced that the baby we were expecting was a healthy baby boy, named Jase Alton. It's been about a month since Jase made his grand debut, and here I finally am, sitting with a few minutes of quiet while the babes take their afternoon naps, ready to share with you some of the details surrounding his birthday. I'm going to be leaving a lot of details out to spare the men / queasy readers. If my female friends want to know everything, come over with cookies and some decaf coffee, and I'll share it all with you. : )

If you go back several weeks into somewhere towards the beginning of Jase's third-trimester, there was a weekend when the weather decided to warm up. That was the weekend my swelling started. I had a lot of swelling with Avery's pregnancy, but as the weeks progressed with Jase, it became obvious to all on-lookers that this swelling was different. By the time I hit 36 weeks, I was ready to send pictures of my pitting edema legs off to McGraw-Hill to be featured in medical textbooks and was feeling all kinds of very unpleasant side effects - carpal tunnel so bad I couldn't cut bananas for Avery, numb arms (yes, entire arms), a steadily increasing blood pressure, head aches, and (ahem) this funky neuro thing that happened one evening that involved me seeing disco lights....

Praise the Lord, my blood pressure never exceeded the "border line," my labs were always within normal limits, and Jase sounded fine at every check up.

Regardless, as we got closer and closer to our due date, and the edema and all its side effects got worse, I made the decision I'd sworn up and down I'd NEVER make again... To be induced.

Between Avery's birth and Jase's conception I'd switched OB practices, and my new doctor had a different plan of action for my induction, which helped lessen my opposition to it.

(Right before leaving for the hospital.)

So, on April 27th (3 days before Jase's due date), David, my mom, and I stepped off the elevators right around 7am onto the L&D floor to check in and have a baby.

When I got to our L&D room, I was greeted by the sweetest nurse who was being precepted (which means she's a new nurse to that unit) by an amazing nurse with 20+ years L&D experience. I immediately loved them both and will always be grateful they were our nurses that day. (Shout out to Alisha for putting in a good word for us!)

They got things started by checking my vitals and hooking me up to the baby monitor.

How'd I look? Well, that borderline blood pressure of mine had passed the borderline, I was already having contractions, and I'd put on 2+ more pounds of fluid since the prior afternoon. Let's just say, we were all glad I was on the induction schedule. It was time to get this baby out.

So, my nurses helped me get as comfy as possible with the baby monitor and IV and BP cuff while laying on my left side and started my pitocin.

My doc sent word that he was on his way to break my water, so my nurses notified anesthesia that I was ready for my epidural. My doc had expected for things to go fairly quickly after he broke my water, so he had suggested if I wanted an epidural, to get it before he broke my water. My epidural didn't work 100% with Avery and remembering what I felt after being induced last time with it not working 100%, I wanted an epidural. So, even though at this point with Jase, I didn't need one, I was A-ok with following my doctor's recommendation to go ahead and get it placed.

I'm not going to go into the details of the epidural placement. Let's just say, it was a painful experience for everyone in the room. After they were done, as I was sobbing with my head buried in a towel, the anesthetist stated that mine was one of the hardest epidurals she'd placed in a very long time. Apparently my scoliosis gave them a run for their money. Long story short, even after a 2nd anesthetist came in to adjust my epidural, the only effect it had on me was a numb left thigh. I had complete mobility and sensation everywhere else.

My doc arrived during the epidural placement to break my water. After giving me a good bit of time to somewhat recover from the epidural placement and get my emotions under control, he broke my water (about 10am). And it was at this point when I realized my epidural with Avery worked a WHOLE lot better than I had given it credit for!

If I knew that only women would be reading this, I'd include some funny details at this point, but again I'll spare the men!

So, as to be expected, things really ramped up at this point. My contractions grew stronger and got closer together. Since I technically had an epidural in my back, and a numb thigh, I knew it was pointless requesting to get out of my L&D bed so I could move around. I was too high of a fall risk. I had my bed basically set at a right angle (not really, but with pillows it was), so I could sit as straight up as possible. Everyone took turns helping me breathe through each contraction. I had a point on the wall, and my teary eyes were glued to it.

Sometime during the 2nd half of the 2pm hour, my doc checked me. I was at 8cm, and he gave my nurses the go-ahead to start setting up for the delivery.

Sometime during the 3pm hour, I couldn't resist the urge to push anymore. It was time to deliver a baby (ahem, without any pain meds)! So I started pushing.

During the pushing stage, my room gradually acquired more warm bodies. I already had two nurses and my doc and a nursing student who was hanging out with one of my nurses for the afternoon. But, two more nurses and three more nursing students joined the party as well.

Not long after I started pushing, I heard my doctor tell one of the nurses that Jase was anterior facing. I quickly went into the recesses of my nursing brain files to remember what that meant... He was face up.

So, almost everyone knows you want your babies to be head down when you're delivering them, but you also want for their faces to be down or facing the mom's back, which is called posterior. Anterior is the opposite. Anterior facing babies are (ahem) a little harder to push out.

So again, I'm going to skip a lot of the details of those 45 minutes and leave it at, it was a grueling 45 minutes, but I had the BEST birth team. We all birthed Jase together!

And, eventually, out he did come, at 4:07pm. All 8lbs 5 oz of him!

The entire room was shocked! Avery was 6lb 6oz. I knew Jase was going to be bigger - it was obvious. But I was thinking more like 7lb, max. Boy oh boy! Not even my doctor saw 8lb 5oz coming!

They let me keep Jase skin to skin on my chest for about an hour and a half after he was born while I downed graham crackers with peanut butter on them and at least 3 cups worth of a decadent combo of apple and cranberry juice.

That hour and a half was so peaceful. We soaked up every bit of our new baby and praised the Lord for how healthy and perfect he was.

(Daddy and Jase)

The next day, David brought Avery and my sister to the hospital to meet Jase. That was such a surreal moment - our first time to all be together as a family of four. Later that afternoon, once Jase passed his 24 hour tests, we were discharged and got to bring our sweet boy home.

(Avery seeing Jase for the first time.)

The following few days were filled with all the newness a newborn brings, even if isn't the first time to have one. Jase was doing great, Avery was adjusting about as well as she possibly could at her age, David was able to take several days off of work, and we had my mom and sister here at the house humbly serving our little family.

My recovery was very different than Avery's. I think I took two Ibuprofen while at the hospital after Avery was born because my doctor said it was a good idea to take some pain medicine. With Jase, I didn't need to be encouraged to take some Ibuprofen. I was watching the clock. And then one day, about 5-6 days after he was born, I started having a new kind of pain, and I ended up in my OB's urgent care with one-week old Jase in toe.

The culprit of my pain? Kidney stones / UTI / kidney infection. UTI / kidney infection = start antibiotics and keep an eye on Jase in case he came down with thrush. Kidney stone = grin and bear it. My go-to drug that always helps me pass them is Flomax, which is a no-no for breastfeeding mamas.

Unless I wanted to pump and dump and put Jase on formula for a few days, I was going to have to pass it on my own.

It was a hard evening, not going to lie. In some ways I felt like I was having another baby, only this time I was also nursing one at the same time.

My prayer warriors, y'all blessed me so much that night. Thank you for praying as fervently as you did. Either the 2nd stone was obliterated by the Holy Spirit or the shot of apple cider vinegar I took, or I passed it without feeling it (which also would be thanks to the Holy Spirit).

Since then, I've had to take a second round of antibiotics because the first one didn't clear my infection up. Prayerfully, I'm good now.

Also since then, we were so fortunate to get to have David's parents and sister come into town after my mom and sister left. I can't thank our parents enough for everything they did to make a way for us to have a grandma in our house every day the first two weeks we were home with Jase.

I've also been so touched by my friends here in Arkansas. I never imagined when we moved out here 5 years ago that I would have friends like these. Women who are so generous and selfless. Women who know I have this weird issue with asking for help, so they just tell me when they're bringing us dinner and show up with it or text me every couple days to remind me that they're there and available to come help me whenever I need them. With as physically difficult as this recovery has been compounded with the kidney stone / infection, to say I'm thankful is an understatement. Grateful. Thankful. Truly touched. And humbled. Thank you, dear friends.

So, here we are. One month into life as a family of four. We're finally feeling like we're getting into our groove which I know is going to change a lot in June anyway! But, for now, we're getting the hang of it. We're learning a lot. And we're just so grateful.

I know many of you have been praying for us and our little family, and I thank you so much. We're feeling them.

To our local friends and family, don't be strangers. We're just back in the newborn trenches! We blink and 20 diaper changes later it's bedtime already. We'd love to see you and introduce you to our little guy. Just give us a ring.

To our out-of-town friends and family, we love you. We miss you. Thank you for your texts / phone calls / presents in the mail. You bless us.

Until next time, hugs and love from the Warford Family - all four of us. : )


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Introducing Jase Alton Warford

Oh BOY, were we thrilled to see this little guy today.

David and I are excited and incredibly humbled to share these pictures with you of our son, 
Jase Alton Warford.



Jase seems eager to keep up with his busy big sister. He was very busy bouncing and rolling and flipping around all throughout our ultrasound and wasn't shy to let us know that he is in fact a boy. 

If we had wanted to be surprised, it wouldn't have been possible! The very first image we saw, without the ultrasound tech even looking for it, was you know what.

We are praising the Lord this evening for a perfect appointment. Everything measures and looks just like it should. 

In the last few week's David and I have been spending a lot of time in the gospel of John, and week after week we've been reminded of Jesus' primary role in our life and in the Trinity - that of our Lord and Savior. 

Whenever we have discussed baby names in the last couple months, Jase was a name that kept coming back to David over and over again. When we looked up it's meaning, "the Lord is salvation," it almost felt like it was the name God had been laying on our hearts throughout our study of John. We just didn't know it yet. 

It is our prayer that Jase would come to love and desire to serve our Lord at a young age and that he would point others to Jesus, Savior to all. 

Alton is David's middle name, his father's middle name, and his grandfather's middle name. We thought we'd keep the tradition going. 

While we know full well that Avery really doesn't know what's going on, we love that she does point to my growing stomach every now and then and say, "Bay-bay." We also know that she is going to be a great big sister. Her affection for the dogs, her dollies, and those she's close with will surely spread over towards her baby brother. 

Our due date is still April 30th, 2017. Hopefully, we'll manage to get a couple updates out to y'all before then. 

In the meantime, as always, thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers. To our family and friends around the globe, we love you and are so glad to share our news with you.

- David & Lindsay

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Adding another pumpkin to our patch!

We have some news....!


We are humbled and grateful to announce that we are expecting Baby #2 April 30, 2017!


Hence one of the big reasons I haven't updated you on life's happenings like I promised I would in my last post. While the all-day-sickness with Baby #2 hasn't been nearly as bad as it was with Avery, I've still been functioning on mostly a priority level basis. 

So, let's back up a little. Way back. To Labor Day weekend. The weekend of Avery's 1 year old birthday party. It was such a special time celebrating the first year of life of our precious, spirited, sweet little one in our very own home with so many family members present.



That morning, David, Paul (my brother), and I ran to Kroger to pick up a few last minute things for the party. Well, I had been experiencing some nausea that week while running around town with my mom, who'd come in early to help get ready for the party. I, like I typically do all things, attributed the nausea to anything else. 

"It's probably just because I'm tired." 

"I didn't eat enough today."

"Maybe it's a little virus."

Oh, and on top of the nausea, my milk dried up that week too, but of course I attributed that to not eating enough and Avery self-weening. (This is actually a very cool story that I'll be sharing later this month over at Creatingagreatday.com. I'll post the link to FB when it's published.) 

Well, as I was about to lay down on the floor at Kroger in front of the floral desk trying to not pass out, David looked at me and said, "Lindsay, this is not normal."

We fetched a bottle of water and pressed on to party time. 

I felt like a pretty wimpy hostess with the waves coming and going. Thankfully, everyone still seemed to have a good time, and most importantly, Avery had a good time. 



After everyone had left, and my sweet family had cleaned up our entire house, we took the rest of the evening easy and put Avery down early.

The next morning, I couldn't have felt better. I was up before everyone. I even mopped the floor, ran to Kroger, and to a local donut shop to pick up sustenance for some of my out of town family members who'd be helping David seal our deck later that morning. 

While cruising through Kroger, I passed the pharmacy and saw the pregnancy tests on the wall. And then I stopped, David's look and comment from yesterday repeated in my head. I grabbed the cheapest one, tossed it in my basket, checked out, and headed to the donut shop. 

When I got home, David and I sat down to enjoy a little breakfast. The sausage, egg, and cheese croissant I had ordered for myself was not going down as easily as I had thought it would. The waves of nausea returned. When David asked me what was wrong, and I told him I was feeling a little nauseous, his response was pretty priceless... "Lindsay, the last time this happened, Avery happened."

I told him I'd bought a pregnancy test that morning, and since I wasn't getting anywhere with the croissant, headed to our bathroom. 

Well, there was no waiting 90 seconds like the instructions said. The results were instantaneous. 

We were pregnant!

Praise be to God! Another baby!

And He, in all His infinite sovereignty, gave us another gift that day and the following. Because our parents and siblings were in town for the birthday party, we got to tell all of them in person our special news. (Except sweet Erin, David's sister, since she was due back at work later that day and was already at the airport by the time I was struggling with that croissant. Thank goodness for FaceTime; we still got to share with her face to face the following day!)

Because I had been nursing Avery when we conceived, we had no way of knowing how far along we were in the pregnancy. (So, yes ladies, in case you didn't know, you can get pregnant while nursing!) We were absolutely blown away at our ultrasound appointment a week and a half ago to find out we were already 10+ weeks along! And, another praise, thus far baby looks great. 

We took Avery with us to our appointment and into the ultrasound suite. It was so fun watching our littlest baby flag his/her arm and Avery reply with an enthusiastic wave back. 

To answer a few questions...

Will we find out the baby's gender? Yes, but not until closer to Christmas.

Do we have a preference? Just a healthy baby. : )

Do we have a feeling as to what the baby is? David's thinking boy, and I go back and forth!

How far apart will Avery and Baby #2 be? 19 months

We are so excited to finally be able to share our family's news with you. And as always, thank you for your prayers. 

Until next time,

Lindsay

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Catching Up

I find myself with an hour of quiet, during the last bit of daylight, all to myself. My long list of things to do involves nothing absolutely pressing. And with it being too late to exercise (otherwise I'll never fall asleep when I try to), I have the opportunity at this moment to choose to do absolutely whatever I want for the next hour. And I have chosen you, dear readers, whom I have neglected for the past 7 months. : ) Hello. I've missed you. The following is my attempt at catching you up on the last 7 months. It is fairly raw, and no where near as polished as my posts for you normally are, but in a sense, it kind of reflects where I am these days. Raw, efficient, no-nonsence, grateful, tired, in love, and possibly more dry-humored that ever.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you've been able to keep up with me a lot better than I've kept up with you. If you don't, then you might not know that back in March we bought our first home and moved to another town right outside of Little Rock. It's a very cute little city that we live in. At times I feel like I'm at Seaside, Florida meets Silverthorne, Colorado. You'll have to come visit to see what I mean. The first week in this new house was the first time I felt 100% at peace living here in Arkansas, to be completely honest. My prayer is that we will be good stewards of this blessing and that we will leave this city / community / street better than the way we found it. 

In the past 7 months we've learned a lot about ear infections and baby asthma and essential oils and sleep habits and home ownership and time management and emotional management and other people and ourselves and each other. 

David has completely blown me away. I have only ever seen a couple other men work with the same diligence, integrity, and humility that he demonstrates. 

My Maker has poured a supernatural amount of strength into me each morning and then each evening as I put our little one to sleep. Just in the last week she has consistently started only waking once to two times during the night. (Insert clapping hands emoji.)

Honestly, I know we're doing things better now; we've kicked some bad sleep habits and used some sleep training with her. But, I really think it has more to do with her just feeling better. The sweet thing teethed her entire 9th month of life. That 8th tooth moved at a glacial pace. Also, we haven't had an ear infection for so long I would have to look at Instagram and count the days backwards to figure out when she had that last ear washing to tell you how long it's been. So, for now, there are no ear infections, no asthma flare-ups, and no teeth coming in, so she's eating better (which is a whole other thing in itself) which I know has to be helping her sleep better. And this, in turn, helps us sleep better. (Praise the Lord!) 

She free stands now. And she "talks" to the dogs. We bought her a pusher-walker thing over the weekend, and she took to it like a tick on a hound dog. She flips the little things that move around on the front and bounces and twists and moves her hands to the songs.

She loves to laugh. 


She loves music. She always has. 

She loves books and turning the pages all by herself. 

Somehow my little baby turned into a toddler all within the course of a couple weeks.

A couple weeks ago she was barely eating solid food. (Honestly. I'm telling you, it was a whole thing getting her to eat solid foods.) Now she eats more at dinner than I do.  

This morning she got into the fireplace and got soot all over her hands and around her mouth. David and I were laughing about it as I sat her in the sink to wash her off, and she looked at me with a smile, and I saw David's face in that smile. It completely took my breath away. 

David and I are not touchy people. When we take the love languages tests "touch" is always very low for both of us. Ask my family- I've never been a "hugger." 

She loves to hug. She is so affectionate. She hugs her dollies and her stuffed animals, and I just melt every time she hugs my neck. I am now a touch person because my daughter is a touch person. I have grown into it. 

I try not to worry every night when I put her to sleep about what might happen tomorrow. I have to pray about it immediately otherwise we'd never leave our house. What is happening in our world and in our country right now... Satan wants us to be scared. He wants us to stay in our houses. But I refuse to give him that. I lived long enough in fear. So I tell him to go back to Hell and leave my mind alone.

I've asked God a lot of WHY questions in the past 7 months. Sometimes He gives me a response, and sometimes He doesn't. And at both times I'm left asking Him to find me faithful. 

To find me a good steward. 

To find me a good and faithful steward. 

And to give me strength. 

Because I cannot do it all, be it all, know it all, or have it all. 

And that has been a dry piece of humble pie to swallow. 

But, gratefully, I've swallowed it. Because God has been doing a renovation of our hearts and minds here in the Warford house the last 7 months. We are no where near being done. In fact, in the big scheme of things we might only be on the back end of demo day, but I am grateful for the work He is doing here. 

I feel as though in these last couple weeks we finished one chapter of our story and are moving into a new one. And I'm excited about this chapter. Hopefully, I'll be able to check in with you and share more with you about what is going on at the Warford house during this one. 

Until then, 

Lindsay 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

All I Need...


I have had more "ah-ha moments"
In the past 3.5 months than perhaps in my entire life. No exaggeration. Every day it's, "So this is why my mom friends do / are _____," or "That's why my mom did ______," or "That's why they make _____." 

Those are about other people, but I've had countless about myself. They've been tough waters to navigate, not gonna lie. Learning about yourself and fielding off Satan's lies about yourself can border one another. 

This morning, God finally blessed me with perhaps the biggest "ah-ha moment" yet. 

"You're too focused on you." 

And YOU doesn't just mean Lindsay, it means Lindsay's list of things to do (doesn't matter if they all include doing things for other people or just the baby even), Lindsay's goals (no matter how noble), and Lindsay's desires (even if they're for other people).

I strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman every day. Every day. But one thing I can guarantee is that she did not become the woman she is without a daily heart to heart with her Maker. 

And that means it went both ways. Not just, "Oh Lord help me be a better wife, a better mom, a better business owner, a better friend. Thank you for the blessings in our life. Please continue to bestow them upon us." No, there was a, "Speak to me, Lord." And then she stopped talking and just listened.

In the hustle and bustle of new motherhood, time to just sit and listen is incredibly hard to come by for this go-go girl wearing many hats. I'm grateful God  finally just interjected- "Hello! Stop. It's time to stop. I've got a few things to say to you, child."

And stop and listen I did. Right there on the bedroom floor while my baby looked right back up at me. 

I find it absolutely overwhelming- this relationship I have with my Maker. Because if this was any other relationship, I would have given up on ME a long time ago. 

Then I look down at my baby, sleeping in my arms, and I get it a little bit more. How many times would she have to mess up and break my heart before I would stop pining for an intimate relationship with her? 

I can only imagine the magnitude of Mary's feelings each time as she peered down into the face of her little baby. 

What a place... The love a mother has for her child. The love our Maker has for His Son. The love our Maker has for us.

Can you imagine looking into that space? Not just in the stable, but en route to and while they lived in Egypt after He was born. All of these precious moments you have with your baby being enveloped by His own love for you as your Savior. 

I look down at my daughter and wonder, "How can this baby I'm holding ever love me more than I love her?"

And then I get God's love for me a little bit more.

And I'm reminded that a cat nap, a cup of coffee, a snack, crossing another item off my list of things to do, achieving a goal, alone time with my husband, fellowship with girlfriends, seeing my family.... None of these things, even if they're all lumped perfectly together will be enough. The only thing that will truly sustain me, truly meet all of my needs, is Jesus. In all I do, He must be my primary focus. 

"It's so elementary..." I wrote in my prayer journal this morning. You'd think after 20+ years of following Christ I wouldn't be having one of these basic "ah-ha moments" this morning. 

My baby stirs and stretches and drifts back to sleep, and I realize getting back to basics is exactly where God wanted me to be this morning. 

As a new parent, did you find yourself with "ah-ha moments" around every corner? Please share in the comment section below. 💗

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dependence

This morning I walked into Kohl's with nothing but an umbrella and my purse, and it felt so strange. No baby, no stroller, no baby carrier, no diaper bag. I felt so incomplete. Thankfully, I knew Avery was perfectly safe and warm and cozy at home with David, away from the rain and the wind I was traversing through to run errands. 

She is such an extension of me right now- so still fully dependent on my care (especially since she isn't taking a bottle). And I love it. I love that intimacy. It convicts my spirit as I realize this is the same intimacy God desires with us - 100% dependency on Him. "Cry out to Him," has taken on a whole new meaning. When my daughter "cries out," I run to her, I pick her up and hold her against me and repeat over and over again, "It's ok. I'm here. Mommy's here. I've got you."

Is that not God's heart for his children as well? So much so that He gave His only child as a sacrifice so there would be no separation between Him and me? So that when I cry out, He can see me? He can say to me, "I'm here. I've got you." 

I get it in a whole new way. In the quiet of the night, when it's just me and Avery nursing at 2am, I get to sit and rock and meditate on things like this. It's the only time when I feel like I really have time to process all of the feelings and thoughts I have these days. 

We know about all of the wonderful things breastfeeding does for baby and mom, short and long term, but one thing that you won't find on any list of "pros to breastfeeding" is that it forces a busy-natured woman like me to sit and be still with my baby. It forces us to work together. Avery doesn't latch well if there's a lot of noise around, or if I'm stressed. She nurses best when it's quiet, and I'm relaxed. Thus far, some of the sweetest moments I've had with Avery are at 2am when she's in my arms before she latches. 

1 Corinthians 3 randomly kept popping up in front of me this past week. And, as I read it each time, I was reminded of God's perfect design and His heart for Avery. The first few verses that refer to breastmilk aren't about God's timing, but the Lord used them to remind me of the gift I have been given in getting to breastfeed my baby, to stay home with her, and to be the one that runs to her each time she cries. God's desire is that there will come a day when she won't depend on me 100%. God's heart for Avery is that she would come to depend on Him 100%. 

So, during the 2am feedings, that is one of the many prayers I speak over our little one while remembering He desires that same level of intimacy with me as well. 

As much as I like to think I can do it all on my own, I learned really quickly after we came home from the hospital that I couldn't. And as much as I wanted David to be able to meet every need of mine so I could meet every need of her's, that's not God's design either. 

It's amazing how something so small can teach you so much in just 7 short weeks.