The kids

The kids

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A little depth...

The onsie doesn't lie!

The following is sort of a journal entry that I wrote when Emerson was 3 weeks old. Typically I write things like this for myself...which was the intention with this. However, I am realizing that my thoughts in this journal entry reveal so much of what is really going on in Garrett and I's lives and hearts right now, and while cute pictures and anecdotes are also a part of that, I am feeling the desire to provide some depth too (which I'll be honest is not the most comfortable thing for me).

Having your first child is a very surreal experience. I don't know what I thought it would be like, but I am fairly certain that I could never have imagined what the past 3 weeks would be like (Emerson is 3 weeks old today). To be honest, the first 2 weeks of Emerson's life my focus was mostly on myself given my physical condition. Sure I shared a hospital room with Garrett and Emerson during that time, but I mostly thought about how much pain I was in rather than on the fact that I was suddenly a mother that now had a person who had been entrusted to my care. I'm pretty sure this became a reality to Garrett much quicker than it did to me since he had to do EVERYTHING in those first 11 days.

Even over the last week as I have begun to feel physically much better, my focus has mostly been on providing for Emerson's physical needs. Garrett has been back at work for about a week and half now, so I have assumed the primary role of feeding, changing, playing, washing, and attempting to get Emerson on a schedule.

This is a massive shift from what my role in our marriage, my family, and in my life in general was a mere 3 weeks ago. Three weeks ago I was a wife that kept the house clean, stocked with food and necessary supplies, and made sure the clothes were clean. I was also employed and I LOVED my job, the people I worked with, and the fulfillment I got from my role there. Three weeks ago, I was a wife, a daughter, and a sister. Today I have a hard time keeping up with things around the house, I can't really leave the house to keep things stocked because it messes Emerson's schedule up, I am for the most part jobless, and I am now a mother.... the mother of my husband's daughter, the mother of our parents treasured granddaughter, and the mother of our siblings first niece. When my husband gets home from work I am tired and just want to leave the house to be alone for a while.

Looking back I realize that I spent the majority of my pregnancy preparing to take care of Emerson's physical needs...between all the baby showers, preparing the nursery, and getting the car seat installed correctly, I rarely stopped to think about the drastic change that her arrival would bring to me emotionally and spiritually. I say rarely because I definitely thought about and acknowledged these things, but they were definitely not my focus and what consumed my thoughts. I knew my roles in life would change and that it would be hard but that is about all I knew.

All that to say...the past few days have been difficult. As soon as I think Emerson has gotten on a healthy schedule and seems content, she will spend the next 3 hours screaming. I should note that as far as babies go, I think we have it fairly easy. For the most part she is content, happy, and easily soothed. However, I don't know that anyone is ever prepared to hear their child cry for 3 hours straight for no apparent reason.... I mean just a little fussiness at nap time is difficult. Especially for someone like me who is very routine and regimented. If she would just stay on schedule...if she would cry for the same 3 hours every day, even that would be better because I could make it part of my routine. I am learning I will never get her on a schedule where something unexpected does not happen every day or every 2 hours for that matter. Garrett and I are blessed to have great friends and family that have been extremely supportive, coaching us and talking us through many of these issues.

In addition to of all the great council we have gotten, the Lord has been faithful (as He always is) to speak some tremendous truth over me today. Today like yesterday and many days before, I am tired, running on 5 hours of sleep broken up into 1.5 to 2 hour segments. And of course after Emerson's 9:00 feeding, when I really just wanted to lay on the couch drink coffee and watch the Today Show, she began screaming about 30 minutes into her nap (I don't think she was ever really asleep). So I changed her, burped her, rocked her.... still crying. So, I thought I know she is only 3 weeks old but maybe for my own sanity I will try to read her one of the 50 books we received as gifts. Emerson's Great Uncle Julian and Great Aunt Beverly gave her this book called The Tiny Bear Bible. It is a sweet little book where the momma bear paraphrases 11 different stories from the Bible to her little Tiny Bear. The first story paraphrases the creation story............

God Makes the Whole Wide World

Genesis 1-2

In the Beginning, before time began,

God was right there, and He had a great plan.

He flung the stars into space! He painted the sky!

He lit up the sun! He taught the birds how to fly!

But the crown of creation, He saved for the end:

He made Adam and Eve, and became their best friend.

Yes, Tiny Bear; God made us, too!

As I sat there reading to my 3 week old, knowing that she had no clue what I was saying (although she was staring at me intently), I bawled. I bawled in gratitude that I have a God that created me because He wanted to be my best friend and He wants to be my daughter’s best friend. I went on to the read the next 10 stories to her...stories that told her that God always keeps His promises, and He promises to: love and keep her-now and always, to help her always, to keep her safe and never leave her, and to always be her friend, regardless of the choices she makes.

As I sat in the glider, that I probably spent too much money on, holding my daughter and crying in thanksgiving of the Lord's goodness, I felt like a mother. I realized that my identity has not changed although my roles have... The Lord, our creator, is still my best friend and He is with me always and the most important thing I can do for Emerson is to let her know how much He loves her....without condition.

The past 10 months have been so affirming for Garrett and I in what we believe. Do I believe that God really created this earth, yes I do. Pregnancy was more a testament to me of that than anything I have or probably will ever experience. Do I believe that God created us because He wants to know us and be in relationship with us...yes. Just as Garrett and I wanted to have Emerson, not as some science experiment to see what we could create and then abandon, but to love and know and never to leave (no matter how exhausting and frustrating it can be at times...she is still fussing 20 minutes into nap time right now).

Is loving and providing for Emerson convenient for me...heck no. I can't get through a meal, take a shower, write a blog post, or sleep for more than 2 hours without tending to her...and I NEVER stop thinking about her and making sure her needs are met. In fact, in the time it has taken me to write this I have changed about 5 diapers, fed a child twice, been thrown up on, washed multiple bottles, held and rocked a crying child, and listened to a crying child when I couldn't get her to stop (even now). Do I think the Lord created us because it was way. He created us because He wants to know us, all of us, even the irrational difficult parts...that is what love is. Loving us enough to give us the choice to choose a relationship with Him or to abandon Him...and continuing to love us regardless of what we choose.

Everyday I spend with Emerson, I begin to understand a little more about the depth of the Lord's love for me, which leaves me even more in awe of the fact that He sent His son to die for me...I can't even imagine.

I pray that I will not see my role as a mother as simply a provider of physical and emotional needs, I may never really feel like a mom if that is what I reduce it to. For me, I will feel like the mother God created me to be when I begin to put my child's spiritual well being first...never ceasing to pray that she may know her true Father in a very real way. I want her to know that she will never be alone and that she is loved in an unfathomable way regardless of the choices she may make along the way...the Lord created her to be His best friend!

Mark 4

The disciples thought that they might drown.

Their tiny boat tossed up and down.

"HELP! Wake up! Quickly! Lord!" they cry.

"This storm is big. Those waves are high!"

Jesus said, "Stop!"

The waves-obeyed!

Why had they ever been afraid?

The storm was big, but God was there.

Just like He's with us, Tiny Bear.

I pray that as a family we will never forget that God wants His best for us, and that no matter how big the storm is, He is there. Here is a little video of my Tiny Bear...I feel so blessed to get to wake up to this every morning!!!