our first mother’s day

little.  new. precious.

as you wiggle at my breast, eating and pooping. (already a multitasker. good job, girl), I ponder

how life turned upside down as you descended birth canal. you—this bundle of beauty—grew inside me?! my mind cannot know, this. now your tiny heart thumps near mine. your small bones. your mini kidneys. your tiny eyes that turn in their tiny holes. tell us, someone, how did soul enter child in womb?

sex, big belly, baby.

the world spun upside down when you came out of me.

like the first step off an airplane planted on fresh soil in foreign land—we’ve  upchucked old. welcome, new.

you were made to: fly out between my legs, fit inside my arms, flourish.

I am yours, you are mine.

I want to tell you life, to hold you infinity, to hug your smile and encourage your voice. each cell worthy, intentional, true. you are beauty! you are perfect! let no other voice speak.

as you sleep, time ticks.

I wonder the future: home movies you’ll make, wearing underwear as a hat, belting GOD BLESS MY UNDERPANTS! (like mother like daughter); bicycle cruises and crashes; cooking peanut butter in blender; dance fiestas; sleepovers; fountains of tears, peals of laughter.

May you soar.

May you see.

May you be all you’re made for.

child, I’ll love you, forever.

Advertisements

all we need

hundreds of pregnant ladies crowd into a ginormous elevator. destination: giving birth! each woman holds a basket, full of labor and delivery tools and postpartum recovery things. I look down at my empty hands. where’s my basket?!!! AH!

all you need is My Holy  Spirit…

the dark room quivers with night silence. my eyes awaken. a dream, it was all a dream. God’s voice still echoes: all you need is My Holy Spirit.

In my attempts to prepare for birth, I made scripture cards, like these:

IMAG1620.jpg

IMAG1621.jpg

I made freezer meals. I cleaned. I made snacks for labor. I made padsicles for afterwards. I even made a victory banner for the birth:

IMAG1618.jpg

I was basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to do everything myself.

…then the dream.

All I need is God.

So I stopped researching birth techniques. I put down the spatula and sponge.

I began pursuing the presence of the Lord. His peace.

IMAG1614.jpg

 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

in giving birth, in living life, in working, in walking, waking, breathing, one thing is necessary: Jesus.

without Him, it’s empty. with Him is fullness of life.

(now, remember the dream with all the preggo ladies?! it gets better!!)

two weeks after God gave me the dream, two of my dear friends showed up at my house with… A BASKET  of postpartum supplies. ahhahah! just like in the dream, I now had a basket! God has a sense of humor. these two friends cooked freezer meals for Andy and I to eat after the baby comes.  they cleaned the entire kitchen.

their simple  yet powerful act of obedience to God’s promptings brought tears of joy and repentance to my eyes. I felt so loved. so humbled. all those weeks of running around like a crazed chicken, trying to do it all myself, when all along God wanted to bless me through His people. a tangible reminder to trust the Lord. He is good and He always comes through.

if freezer meals and a basket of nursing supplies communicated love so strongly to me, what about the cross? I began to pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart more to the message of love found in Jesus–God’s own demonstration of love towards us.

Father,

thank you for your Son. we are humbled and grateful for His sacrifice. teach us to rest in your love. thank you. you are ALL we need… ❤

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 11.40.26 AM

 

A Mother’s Heart

I’m pregnant. About to pop, really.

Eight months or so ago, when the faint double pink line emerged from underneath my pee stream, I gobbledeecroomageaddeon! What is gobbledeecroomageaddeon!, you ask? Why it’s the feeling a woman gets when the test says yes. For some, gobbledeecroomageaddeon! equals elation. For others, terror. My gobbledeecroomageaddeon! was: there’s a herd of buffalos stampeding towards me but I can’t run because I’m a MERMAID!!

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 9.49.45 AM

Or something like that.

And so, as I attempted to flop my fin-butt away from charging, oversized mammals, it quickly became evident that I could not. JESUS, HELP!

I was not big-belly, serene mamamaid overnight:

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 9.48.09 AM.png

Nope.  That “pregnancy glow” was my sweat glands vomiting.

My brain went something like this:

I have no idea what I’m doing. How can I be a mom?! I don’t know how to care for a baby. Let alone raise a child. What if this, what if that, what if….. GOBBLEDEECROOMAGEADDEON!!

With all things, God’s way is the truth. I gathered my placenta brain and opened the Bible.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 10.07.36 AM

BAM! 

Fear is not from God!

Father, I thank You that You have not given me a spirit of fear. I thank You for giving me a Spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.

Slowly, like the bun rising in my oven, God delivered me from fear by helping me respond in faith towards scripture.

IMG_2799.jpg

God gives us, not some, but ALL things needed for life and godliness!

In Christ, I have everything I need to be this baby’s momma.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Psalm 23:1

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

Ephesians 1:3

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

When curious friends, family, and strangers touching my tummy ask if I’m scared to give birth or raise a human, I smile and express gratitude towards God. Jesus changed my motherhood, my gobbledeecroomageaddeon!, from fear to faith.

 

 

Whispers in the Woods

Though my throat hurt and my head throbbed, though my 33 week pregnant belly ached and I peed every 10 minutes, the sun was out and God whispered: go to the woods. Before my husband and I left, I noticed new, much bigger stretch marks on my belly. A barrage of old familiar lies disguised as truth flooded my mind. Stupid. Ugly. Gross. “Jesus, teach me my beauty and worth!” I prayed.

We hiked five minutes into the tall trees and feathery ferns. I sat down on a mossy log. Overwhelmed by God’s beauty all around me, tears welled and fell softly down my face. “You’re SUPER pregnant,” my husband said. I smiled a little. While hormones were definitely raging, these tears flowed from a deep hurt being healed. God was again whispering: “all this beauty? I made it. I don’t make junk. I made you in my image, you are beautiful.”

As I waddled up the short path to the overflowing port-a-potty, my heart swelled with joy. I am beautiful. I am worth dying for. I am loved.

So are you, reader.

Thank You, Jesus!💞

Pregnancy Diaries: God is on the throne

Finding out you’re pregnant for the first time = hitting the climax of a rollercoaster then continuing on, being catapulted into the sky. Totally unchartered territory, like clouds and thinning air. A concoction of emotions spit up: ecstasy, joy, gratitude, and the morning sickness puke emotion–oh-crap-how-do-I-be-a-mom?!

then  you remind  yourself: bajillions of parents have given birth successfully, not broken their fragile two day old, navigated toddler tantrums, even survived their teenager’s ‘tude.

…wait. there’s a PERSON inside me! WHAT?!! A person the size of a sesame seed, according to my baby bundle in tummy app thing. How do I even. How do I even begin. How do I even begin to understand this! A sesame seed…

the first few days after finding out the news were filled with high pitched  phone calls with my girlfriends, constipation, thankfulness, and a monster erupting from deep beneath my skin folds. the fear monster, inevitably accompanied by his stinky friend, anxiety.

what if i miscarry? or preterm labor? or the other 408 bad things Google tells me could happen? not to mention all the stories I read online of excruciating birth experiences. an anxiety seeped in and began to constrict my joy, suffocated my heart. not to mention my years of insecurity mounting surrounding motherhood.

God! I cried, Help! Free me from fear and anxiety! Help me trust You. Make my body a safe, healthy, peaceful place for our baby. May I be a temple of Your Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus. 

at that time, a song came on Pandora: On the Throne by Kari Jobe.

I will walk through the valley of fear
I will walk through the storm
I won’t be overcome, I won’t be overcome

For the Lord is
He is able, He is faithful
Higher than the mountains that I face
Every season, I will press on
For God alone, is on the throne

I will walk in Your promise
Walk in Your victory
I will walk in Your power
I won’t be overcome, I won’t be overcome

For the Lord is
He is able, He is faithful
Higher than the mountains that I face
Every season, I will press on
For God alone, is on the throne

yes! My soul screamed in relief. God IS on the throne! At this, fear shrunk back and anxiety fled.

each moment, life and death are set before us. each moment, a choice. each moment, I can choose. I can choose fear, worry, doubt, self-centeredness, flesh. Or I can choose to trust God, to listen to Him, to obey Him, and to know: He is on the throne!

On The Throne by Kari Jobe