Sunday, May 26, 2013

Perspective

The past month seems to have been the hardest of this pregnancy. Nope, it's not the nausea, that's under control. It's not the exhaustion either (even though that does factor into it). It's simply the fact that I didn't plan this, I'm struggling to be a good mom to Sophia, and I just don't think I can do this infant stage again (at least, not right now).

Did you catch the repeating word in that last sentence? Here's a clue, it's used 4 times. I. That one letter, one syllable word that takes all of the focus off of the God who created and sustains me and puts the focus all on my finite self.

Do I think I know better than God? We tried for MONTHS to conceive with Sophia. We PRAYED like we've never prayed before for a miracle. Then it finally happened - that first positive pregnancy test! Oh what a joy to receive a blessing much longed for!

This second time around was different. We weren't trying. We weren't even praying (for conception). A sibling for Sophia wasn't even on my radar, though Brian said it was on his. We were simply surviving. We are still simply surviving. That handbook never made it to us in the mail, so we're flying by the seats of our pants trying to catch the learning curve of parenthood. Where is the joy this time?

Instead, I find myself concentrating on the difficulty of this season of life. Instead of thinking about how much fun Sophia will have entertaining (and being entertained) by this precious gift growing inside, I'm thinking about how I can't get food on the table, the living room cleaned up, or the laundry done. Just before we found out we were expecting, my energy had started to come back, my spirits lifted because I could finally DO something and be successful in my productivity! And then, the positive pregnancy test and morning sickness and exhaustion........and the THOUGHTS of MORE sleepless nights, crying babies I can't soothe, colic, reflux, showerless days and lonely nights. And that's where I've been camping out: in the darkness of the blessing.

So I've been on the search for perspective. God's perspective. Could this second child be an act of mercy toward me? Could God actually be demonstrating His love toward me by giving me a blessing that seems so difficult? Yes. The sleepless nights I've been asking God to remove might be removed sooner because we'll get through this baby season sooner. The crying babies won't cry forever because language acquisition for both will come sooner because we'll get through this season sooner. Sophia, who LOVES other people, might be entertained long enough by baby #2 that I'll be able to clean my baseboards, run the laundry, and unload the dishwasher!

So how do I get through today? How do I get through the teething-scream, boredom-whine, and neediness when all I want to do is collapse? Focus on God. I'm still not entirely sure how that really works itself out. But I want to change this perspective. I want to see things as God sees them - as blessing, mercy, and boundless love.

How do you press on? How do you conquer despite the "difficulty" you think you see? This is one time I really am searching for feedback/advice, but please remember to keep it positive....my heart is pretty weak at this point and I am earnestly seeking your help and encouragement.

For background sake, I spend the first 30 min of my day (sometimes less if Sophia is really wailing), downstairs at the kitchen table reading God's word (I'm in Chronicles/2 Samuel with the chronological year plan) and trying to eat some breakfast. I keep my journal handy. I've got verses on notecards that center on God's love for me, but I don't really get a chance to read through them during the day when Sophia's awake and things seem hardest. Sophia takes one nap a day, which I use to also nap. (One day when my energy returns, I'd love to use this time to be more productive, but for now it's about all I can do to make into the bed midday.)

Thanks.

11 comments:

  1. I love you, Lauren! Thanks for being so honest and for sharing your heart. Just wanted to encourage you... I don't have all the answers, and I'm not in your exact situation, but I do know what it's like to have a difficult firstborn.. specifically, a colicky, refluxy (um.. is that even a word?) baby that has a hard time sleeping. And... I know what it's like to have a whiny, teething, bored toddler. In other words... they're high-maintenance. It can be exhausting, especially when there are hormones involved (I cried so much about Landon's sleep issues when I was pregnant). And it's super hard when you feel like other people don't get it.

    But every baby is different, and so far Colton is a lot easier than Landon was as a newborn (maybe because I knew what to expect this time around?). I heard all kinds of stuff about how awful it would be with two, and so far, I love it. Sure, there are hard days and frustrating moments, but it's definitely not impossible and it's a whole lot of fun. And I bet that since Sophia is a people person, she will be great with baby #2!

    You're a great mom, Lauren. No mom is perfect, but that's the best part - it's not up to you! Y

    I am praying for you, friend. Keep focusing on who God is - He will bring you through this season! I read this great little bit of advice from a mom of two and actually posted it to my fridge to get me through some rough days: "God will never you give you more than you can handle... enough to grow you, but never enough to break you. Stay close to Him, and He will guide you through it all."

    (I'm also messaging you a really encouraging devotional I read when I was pregnant with C.)

    Hugs and lots of love!

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    1. BECCA, you need to move back to Greenville like now :) Miss you so much and appreciate your words of love and encouragement! I am a firm believer that God is the BEST personal trainer --- He really never lets take a day off, but when we look back at a year ago we're shocked at how much stronger we've become and how the "hard" stuff then is a piece of cake now. Love you friend!

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  2. Oh Lauren,
    I'm about to burst to tell you this. My childrens church lesson was just about Gods perspective. The title was Gods Spys...The story was about how Moses sent 12 men into caanan to scout out the land and the people. Remember only 2 came back with Gods perspective (joshua and of course Caleb)I explained that sometimes we don't understand Gods plans when we are running late for work and come to find out 5 minutes earler there was a wreck. God kept us safe. And wouldn't you know.... One little boy said why didn't he keep Dale Earnheart safe. Well then, we had to talk about God's time clock. I had 2 boys that their dads had passed...you see some things have to be address in Gods perspective I explained to them that the more that talked to God that the stronger the feeling would be that they would understand when something felt strange or indifferent that it just might be God trying to get their attention. I really miss the days when we had our conversations after school a few years ago. I knew when the time came you would be so different. and so focused on that baby and be and awsome mom. Try to be positive in this trust me all 3 of my pregancies were different. Gunnar was so different I sure he was a girl! lol Take this blessing and look through joshua and Calebs eyes. Take that land, Kill them giants! and eat eat eat all the milk and honey, and all them grapes they brrought back! Praise God! we can have that same perspective. Girl, You are in my Prayers! I love and miss you so much! Star.

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    1. Starlette, thank you SO much for your words. (I really loved how I could actually hear your voice and see your facial expressions through your comment!)It's funny that you brought up those after school conversations, because I think now how DIFFERENT of a teacher I would be: I would give more stickers, more hugs, and reprimand WAY less. I would cherish those moments of peace with the students and try harder to reduce the number of outbursts we had because the kids really just needed love, not my "perfect" discipline. I think about that a lot with Sophia and how I try to enjoy those happy moments, give more hugs, and focus on what really matters. Thank you for the impact you've had on my life over the years!!!!

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    2. Lauren,
      You are so awsome!I just knew you would see things different when you became a moma. Momas know everything!!!!!lol funny. Don't sell yourself short. Sophia thinks you're the best mom ever. And when she is 50 like me she'll still think (like me) that my mom is the best mom ever! Sometimes just alittle love makes the biggest difference. You Got It Girl!!! Love and Miss you so much! starlette

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  3. Well, Lauren, I'm out of the baby stage. My first two were different poles - but the first one (Emilie) was easy and the second one ...a challenge. Then, the third one came quite unexpectedly..and life changed again! You are choosing the important things! Sophia will probably not care that your baseboards were clean....but she will remember that you were there for her. Don't expect or try to be perfect...just be you. That will always be enough for me. Lean hard on your faith (as you are doing), and just keep doing the next thing...that's what keeps me going somedays....just keep doing the next thing. You are loved with an everlasting love!

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    1. Ruth - I just love you! You are an inspiration to me in a thousand ways. Thank you for your encouragement this past weekend at the church picnic!

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  4. Oh Lauren.....I wish I could reach through cyberspace and give you a hug. :) It is going to be ok! I'm not exhausted and overwhelmed from pregnancy at the moment, but I am the mom of 4 BOYS under 10 and so I can relate to your feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion.
    I guess the advice I would give you would be realize that God must have a sense of humor and although this new little one surprised you, he or she didn't surprise God. Remember the days are long, but the years are short. Try to embrace this time and enjoy it, even though it might be hard. I know some days you might feel like you are in survival mode, but you WILL make it through and that new little one will bless you and fill your heart with so much joy and love, this rough time will fade into a distance memory and I know you'll be able to look back and see how God carried you through. Remember Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope." I hope this comment has been a positive encouragement to you. I will be praying for you!!! Hang in there girl!

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    1. Your hug is gladly welcomed :) Jer 29:11 was the verse we clung to when trying to get pregnant with Sophia. It's interesting to me now how the Lord continues to use His word in new ways to revive my spirit and remind me that today is barely a blip on the radar. Thank you for your prayers. This past week was much better. ---I'm hoping the crash and burn of last week was mostly due to the hormonal roller coaster of being pregnant, but I know that my heart has been weary for a while. It's the encouragement and love from folks like you that remind me that weariness is normal and doesn't surprise our great God! He's already prepared moments of rest into the bigger picture, and this week has been one of those "restful" weeks. Thanks again!

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  5. First stop worrying about HOW it going to get done. Trust in God, put it in his hands, you know this, right? Then stop worrying about cleaning YOUR house! I heard a long time ago, a CLEAN house is not necessarily a happy HOME! You want a happy home, that's what our children need to remember, not us franticly/obessively doing housework! I was once OCD about mine, but realized, for me and my family to be happy I had to give something up! And it wasn't my family time!
    Good Luck, and prayers are with you. Congratulations on the new baby.

    Jan

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  6. First, congrats! I saw you were pinning pregnancy stuff, but I didn't hear you were pregnant. Second, I understand completely! We planned for our second but we had just started sleeping through the night. I won't lie, it's been hard, but then I see them playing together and it's all worth it.
    I'll be praying for you. Hopefully your energy will return soon. Oh, and never feel guilty about napping during naptime. I used to have so much guilt, but just recently I've decided it makes for a better me the rest of the day.

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