I say it’s time for an update.
Most of the time I pretend other people don’t read this blog. Most of the time I pretend I’m not a people. If you read this blog to find out how I’m “doing,” you’re probably not going to find out much. Because I don’t have feelings. 🙂
It’s pretty much true. Rock, island, and all that. I anchor according to what I know is true, and no matter how I feel, that always remains the same. There isn’t much to talk about. If I’m not feeling well, or things aren’t up to snuff, it doesn’t comfort me to talk about it. I think that’s the way some people use blogs. To work through problems, to vent, to find encouragement, or to be “real.” But I just like cataloging and thinking, capturing. So sometimes I do feel bad for not being a person on this blog. That being said, I thought I should put in an appearance.
So what’s up?
Well, for one thing, the game is on, and there is definite catching up to do. My life turned into a train wreck way before the baby was even born, like back in December. I had a hard pregnancy towards the end. The kind where you put your gut in a harness and find yourself napping on the floor in line at Joann’s, while waiting to buy Christmas presents. I think the flu hit me twice in January, back to back. I had only mentally given myself the go to have a baby, when it popped out a full 24 hours later. Twelve days early. I remember struggling with feeling ill, exhausted, outnumbered by messes and sugar ants, looking down the barrel of natural childbirth – and praying to God to give me grace. And this was His answer, “Sure…and you’re going to need it.” I’m not sure it made me feel better or worse. But I tried to learn my lesson. Trials are good for us. Rejoice. Square up and take them head on. Quit crying like a girl. God is faithful. And sure enough, my labor was ridiculously easy. Okay, tolerable. Not to mention, the Dude is my mostest favorite baby ever. That whole business of him not eating for three months? Entirely out of character.
Out of character and quite horrible. But I kind of felt like I was ready for it. My game face was already on. I didn’t even blink. I was a human zombie for three months, but I don’t think I cried once. Okay, I think my eyes did get a little sweaty in the hospital. And I think I had near panic attacks every time I thought he was coming down with pneumonia. No, it was just rhinovirus and a different cold/allergy every two weeks. He was always sick and full of all kinds of slime that kept him from breathing. Then I had three rounds of mastitis from exclusive pumping, a week of strep just to round things out, and the $2000 worth of inopportune dentist visits. But I distinctly remember having grace enough for it.
I think it even made me nicer. You know, depending on who you ask. (I’m still not that nice.) But it was a good refresher. God whips the rug out from under you and you get your priorities straight in a hurry. We live and breathe according to His grace. There is nothing between us and inestimable misery but His kind providence. We can do nothing on our own, and rely entirely on His goodness. Sometimes it’s when you’re pressed into the floor (after the rug trick) that you are closest to that reality. I hate to think that I needed to be suplexed, but maybe it’s true.
I was also reminded of the inestimable value of good friends. So many people were there for us. Sending Jimmy John’s to the hospital, showing up with a meal, babysitting, running kids to emergency dentist visits, taking them to the library, checking up on me even a month later saying, “Hey, we’re sending Cafe Ole’ to your house tonight, whether you like it or not.” (We liked it.) I especially appreciated the people who knew what I was going through, or who took the time to find out. It made me want to be that kind of person. Not so trapped in my own world that I can see when someone else needs a lift. I remember feeling particularly grim when a lady from church slapped me on the back and said, “Don’t worry, you can do it!” It was like, why yes I can!
“Encourage one another.” That is a thing. I should do that.
Mostly I was just reminded over and over to be thankful. I am so thankful for my children. So in love with my baby. So happy to be nursing. I can hardly look at his face without thinking, “Thank you Lord!” He is a dream. I have been thinking lately of how much I love babies. I don’t think someone who bumps into me on the street would really peg me as a kid loving kind of person. The fact that I have seven must be entirely accidental. But I loooooove them. And what is more, I allow myself to love them. I don’t try to quench my “maternality.” Or reason myself out of it. Like it was a bad thing, and it’s time to do something else now. God is the one who called me to be a mother. Being able to embrace motherhood with no guilt, no chains, no regrets – is exhilarating. Almost as though God has opened up my heart to love what, in fact, I love best. This is the best thing in the world. Literal BEST. And He has given it to women, not men. A gift, that we are encouraged to despise and harden our hearts to. But there is nothing better in the world than a stinking baby. Damn straight. And so I thank God that He has given me the grace to open my heart to babies. To enjoying children. To raising them. To being with them. It is one thing to say that motherhood is a high calling, but it’s another to believe it. Deep down, do you know that you have the best job in the whole world?
Other than that, I’m neck deep in the hard work. Summer is all music camp, VBS, golf, tennis, traveling, and what seems like constant interruptions. I feel like I finally got the house back in order after our week long trip north. Now it’s time to buckle down and concentrate on school. For some reason, I really don’t like buckling down. Ugh.
Not to mention, some people just don’t buckle.
But here we go.
(Not. Quite. Ready.)
Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. – Psalm 118:15-21