There’s something to be said for mothers who have their 3rd child not too far after their second… it feels like the first! It’s a new experience that stretches whatever boundaries or limits you established before. I thought I had reached a pretty decent place of “motherhood” until the day-to-day experiences with our newborn showed me how pliable I still need to be (duh! I haven’t even gotten to the middle school years!) However, what’s been more awakening than the 12am and 4am feedings are grand lessons this tiny baby has been teaching me… no doubt just a tool from God to teach me about ME.
No, sorry… this blog will not be about me sharing details of my labor (the hardest of the 3) or postpartum experience (again… the hardest). What I do want to share are the little (but major) revelations the last 11 days have given me (11 days… that’s it??).
With every one of our children- from confirmed pregnancy to birth, prayer has been at the forefront. Praying about their name, destiny, health, etc. What I realized with our 3rd arrow/son is that prayer is timeless- its action and its answer. I haven’t had “times” of prayer lately simply because it has been needed so much throughout the day/this time period that it’s become like a continuous conversation… even going beyond what’s “needed”. What marks it lately is seeing prayer answered only to have something else come up, forcing me back to my knees before Him like, “Yep. Was just here, but I got another one for you…” I DO believe in God’s power, and prayer lately has been my marker- how much do I REALLY believe? Not just about prayer but about Him being a Healer, Provider, Sustainer… like every name related to YAH has been tested in prayer, making me really see do I see Him as those things or are they just names I’ve learned? I can remember doubting God as Healer and leaning more on some thing the doctor had said. I told my mother who was in the delivery room with me. Even in that moment when I physically was out of it myself to pray and spiritually doubted Him, my mother (who was there beginning to end) took out her oil, anointed me and my womb then prayed. I was strengthened to believe simply because of her faith, even if the outcome wasn’t picture perfect. So, that’s why my prayer times have been endless. I talk. I listen. He speaks. I cry. Ask questions. I listen. He speaks. I get frustrated. I talk… just this repetitive cycle of dependency… much like the cycle of our new bundle of joy, which leads me to my next revelation…
Babies are the most selfish yet dependent creatures on earth that God says to become like in order to inherit His kingdom, which doesn’t come without HUMILITY. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this, but I believe the selfishness part is not a negative thing but more of a, “I KNOW I NEED you, so I’m going to cry until you take care of my need” thing. And this is why Jesus says we must become “as the least of these” or “like children”- because from birth to accountability, they have their selfish desires fulfilled by crying or calling out to parents/caretakers whom they DEPEND ON, TRUST and BELIEVE will take care of them. My baby NEEDS to be fed, changed, attended to. When one of those needs arises, he cries until I or his daddy meet that need. As a believer, I have NEEDS (which I’m still trying to sift the “wants” out of) but often times don’t cry out to God to meet those needs. I try to do it myself- like when the baby is hungry and tries to meet his need by sucking on his hands/fingers. Our independent actions are just like that- actions done ourselves- that simply state, “I do NOT DEPEND ON, TRUST and BELIEVE You will take care of my needs, so with my knowledge and/or resources, I’ll take care of them myself.” This doesn’t work- for the baby or for the believer. The need is unfulfilled. However, if I were to cry out to God/my Abba, I know He would meet it… like the persistent widow. The judge gave her what she wanted because she kept “crying out” for it. Why do you think the Word of God tells us to “cry loud and spare not”? So, as exhausting as it is to have to meet my child’s current need of nursing every 2-4 hours AND staying dry, I get it. He’s just showing me true humility- believing/trusting and crying out to Abba for my needs and watching Him fulfill them better than I can.
- Husband’s leadership.
Back in January/February of this year, my husband and I made a decision to simplify our life and downsize. This was a hard decision for me, not because of the simplifying part- I had no problems doing that. It was trusting my husband’s direction I had issues with. I felt he was looking at homes too far away or not designed well or in a difficult neighborhood or whatever other excuse that hit my “why this is a bad decision” list. However, now- 7 months later, I think I get it… because, you see? We had no idea we were expecting our 3rd child and would need to simplify our lives to financially prepare for it. Nor did we realize in having this third child how much help my parents and sisters would be! I see why we live where we live now and how my husband’s obedience is paying off and probably will continue to. I see it when my sisters stop by and we talk or they play with their nephews. I see it when my mom comes by, talking and sharing stories on the couch. I saw it most powerfully when my dad and my husband worked together to fix the van a few days ago and even when my dad crawled on our living room floor to play face-2-face with our newest bundle of joy. I see it when our neighbor’s boys talk/play with our boys or when the lady with two dogs punctually waves/speaks to us. I see it when I drive our oldest to a school I thought was a dream. I see it when I pray for and minister to a fearful mom I never would have met if we didn’t live where we live now. I could go on and on. But one thing I’ve realized is that even though I can’t see what’s ahead, God does. This same God has also commanded my husband to lead and entrusted HIM with vision to get us to where we need to go… even if I/wife don’t always like or think it’s the right way.
So, my time for now is up as I prepare to meet the sounds of a “humble” baby who needs me. Until next time, to every mom… new and “new again”, listen and watch. Your beautiful baby is teaching you lessons that have less to do with being a mom but more to do with growing who you are in Christ.