Will My Heart Be Big Enough?

Can I handle 2 children? 

How will my toddler react to the baby?

What will become our new norm?

Will my first trip to the grocery store with both girls be a disaster?

Will I ever get out of the house on time?

Will I ever want to leave the house again?!

How do I get my little darlings up those stinkin’ stairs??

Am I ready for this?

Will I EVER be ready for this?

These questions were a sample of the slew of thoughts and concerns that swirled around my head when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. Although I could now say I had baby experience and was confident in my ability to care for my #2, in many ways I was still entering into the unknown.

I had no idea what this new little one’s personality would be like, and with my toddler and I doing absolutely everything together, I also had to adjust to the fact that it would no longer be just the two of us enjoying our quality time while daddy was at work each day.  I’d finally settled into a nice rhythm and found a good balance, but there was going to be a new girl in town. Her much anticipated arrival meant there’d  be a lot of changes made to our daily operation, but I knew we’d be alright. The truth is, a change in our schedules, or plans for the day paled in comparison to the deeper uncertainty brewing beneath the surface.

Would I have enough love to go around? Would my heart be big enough to fully embrace this precious gift, in the way I had her big sister?

As her mom, the obvious answer was Yes, of course!, but still I pondered.

I’ve seen the fanfare and excitement dwindle from family and friends when baby #2 or 3 or 4…is announced. I’ve heard parents go beyond observing the differences in their children to making blatant comparisons of them, listing the reasons why one child was clearly better than the other. I have witnessed the harmful and damaging effects of favoritism, and wondered if I too would be susceptible to any of these behaviors.

The love for my babies was there from the very moment I knew their sweet lives were growing inside me, and I prayed and prayed that I’d be able to equally and adequately express that deep love to both my girls.

On the day I met my darling Lily, I had no doubt that this blessing was just as special as the first gift I’d received, and that Our Heavenly Father had certainly hand-crafted her just for me.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭14‬ NKJV)

She was perfect in every way, and my heart embraced her without a single doubt or hesitation. 

image

7 months later, she enriches my life in more ways than I could have imagined. I get lost in her eyes, and hold her close at every opportunity. I cuddle with her, smell that baby smell, and stroke her soft skin whenever I can. I love on her with every fiber of my being, and that same love, that profound, unconconditional, and ever-growing love, is given freely to each of my daughters.

I will do my best to model after God, who loves all his children, and gives so much to each and every one of us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭32‬ NKJV)

As they continue to grow and mature, my prayer is that, as their mom, I too will grow and mature. This is an area that I will constantly be seeking direction from the Holy Spirit, with the hope that the day will never come when a child of mine wonders if she’s good enough to receive all her mama’s love.

Where are you in this motherhood journey? Is this topic of favoritism or ‘enough love’ something you’ve ever wrestled with?

BE BLESSED and travel well in Him!

Manna For a Mama’s Soul

Sometimes I feel like I have NO IDEA what I’m doing as a parent.

I wonder if I’m doing too much of this or not enough of that.

Was I too firm here or too lenient there?

Are they eating the right foods?

Are they learning the right lessons?

Am I doing anything right?

Ahhhh! The list is maddening & it goes on an on.  

But God!

In the midst of the crazy thoughts swirling around in my head, God allows me to witness precious sights like this.

image

My toddler initiated reading time with her baby sis, & read every book she could find for her. To witness such a simple, yet endearing sight was like the Lord telling me that I’m doing just fine.

As the Holy Spirit begins to flood my mind with God’s precious promises, I am reassured. My girls will be alright because even with my minor (and major) mess-ups, He is right there.

He is right there leading and guiding, teaching and protecting, comforting and loving me and my family. He will never leave me nor forsake me, and He is my strong tower and solid rock!

On a day that I’ve been struggling with some things spiritually (Satan, you are defeated!!!), this sweet, sweet sight was like manna to this mama’s soul. It opened my eyes to the beauty of all the simple, yet marvelous things going on around me, and helped me to soak in the warm embrace of my Father’s unfailing love.

Thank you, thank you Lord. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’.                                                                                     Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

BE BLESSED!!!

Music Monday: Jesus is Alive

Easter Joy!

Easter Joy!

Yesterday was FULL. Full of life, full of fellowship, full of biblical truth, and full of lots of food! As I celebrated the risen savior with my church family, this song was on repeat in my head. Yes, Easter has passed, but Jesus is alive every. single.day. Let us remember this truth and hold on tightly to it all year long!

Glory hallelujah, He’s alive!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (‭I Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭3-5‬ NKJV)

BE BLESSED!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral, Take 2 (Childhood Doesn’t Wait)

She is comfortable and so calm. Sleeping on my warm, cozy lap. I think of moving her so I can be more productive.

Get more done.

Do more.

Go more.

More, more, more.

But this time I remain still. I feel the gentle movement of her shallow breaths. I giggle as her baby drool seeps through my pants. I’m grateful for the fan whirling above me, to offset this additional body heat. 😀

She won’t always fit on this sacred space, and I won’t alway make the choice to let the rest go, and simply enjoy this sweet baby, as she’s lumbers and dreams on her mama’s lap. 

image

Childhood Doesn’t Wait

I was sitting on a bench
while in a nearby mall,
When I noticed a young mother
with two children who were small.
The youngest one was whining,
“Pick me up,” I heard him beg
but the mother’s face grew angry
as the child clung to her leg.
“Don’t hang on to me,” she shouted
as she pushed his hands away,
I wish I’d had the courage
to go up to her and say…
“The time will come too quickly
when those little arms that tug,
Won’t ask for you to hold them
or won’t freely give a hug.
“The day will sneak up subtly
just as it did with me,
When you can’t recall the last time
that your child sat on your knee.
“Like those sacred, pre-dawn feedings
when we cherished time alone
Our babies grow and leave behind
those special times we’ve known.
“So when your child comes to you
with a book that you can share,
Or asks that you would tuck him in
and help him say his prayer…
“When he comes to sit and chat
or would like to take a walk,
Before you answer that you can’t
`cause there’s no time to talk
“Remember what all parents learn
so many times too late,
That years go by too quickly
and that childhood doesn’t wait.
“Take every opportunity,
if one should slip away
Reach hard to get it back again,
don’t wait another day.”
I watched that mother walk away
her children followed near,
I hope she’ll pick them up
before her chances disappear.
—–Kathie Phillips Davis

Visit this page for more, and please take a moment to check out my previous entry for this challenge!

BE BLESSED!!!

 

The Sting of Rejection

image

My eldest daughter has cried A LOT this week. While some of it can be chalked up to the melodramatic  of a threenager, I am acutely aware that she hasn’t been feeling her best. Just when we overcome one health hurdle, we seem to be hit with another. Last night it was in the form of an intense earache, and my heart just hurt for my poor girl.

We’ve already claimed her full and complete healing, as well as healing for the rest of the household (now my dad is fighting something off…sigh), and we know that it’s done. So as we do what we need to in order to help the process along, I want to be right there with my child.

I want to be the one holding her hand, rubbing her head, and swaying her back and forth in my loving arms. I want to bring her sweet comfort, and I want my voice to soothe her to sleep as I assure her that she’ll be better soon.

All I want to do is see her better and help her in anyway I can, but unfortunately that’s not what she has in mind.

During this trying time, her numerous tears have also been accompanied by the proclamation that she doesn’t want her mommy.

Now I completely understand the toddlers can be fickle, but this is new territory for me. I’m pretty used to my bonafide daddy’s girl exhibiting preference for her wonderful, hands-on father, but in her times of distress I’ve always been the one she’s turned to. At least I was. Now she screams & cries for me to go away, and if her dad is around she has no problem banishing me (or at least attempting to) from her presence. It’s one thing to see my child sob because her tummy hurts or her head is throbbing, but when her big salty tears are rolling down her cheeks because she is offended by the very thought of her mommy sitting next to her on the couch, I can say with all sincerity that it breaks my heart.

In this case the sting of rejection feels more like a dagger.

As incredibly well adjusted as she’s been, maybe this is her way of responding to the constant attention her baby sister gets from me. 

Perhaps she’s relishing this time with my hubby before circumstances change, and as a good man should, he makes her feel safe and protected. 

I’m not jealous of their relationship, and the truth is we have plenty of mother/daughter bonding time. In fact, by the end of some days I’m ready to send her on her way to whoever’s willing to entertain her! 

Still, this time the rejection hurt.

Talk about a new found appreciation for my own mother! I never thought I’d be having that “no matter how hard you try, you can’t get rid of me because I love you too much” conversation with my 3 year old.  Well I have, and as long as there’s breath in my lungs I will continue to ensure her that I won’t be going anywhere!

Hurt feelings won’t change that.

Harsh words won’t change that.

A string of bad days won’t change that.

She’s stuck with me for life, and even as I fight back my own tears, mommy’s love remains steadfast and unconditional.

I love this picture, even though moments before we took it my toddler used those hurtful words once again. "I don't want mommy."

I love this picture, even though moments before we took it my toddler used those hurtful words once again. “I don’t want mommy.”

How do you handle the sting of rejection?

Take comfort in the greatest example of unconditional love, shown to us by our Lord and Savior.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭38-39‬ NKJV)

BE BLESSED!!