Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Becoming A Momma

I've been writing this post in my head the past couple weeks and I'm going to try to finally get it down on paper (...does this count as paper?). It may be less organized and more stream of consciousness so bear with me :)

Little Kate is 3.5 months now and time is going by so quickly...I want to stop in this moment and reflect on what's changed, how I feel, and what I am thankful for.

First of all, I absolutely love being a mom. As someone who was extremely excited and so happy from the very moment I found out I was pregnant...I still could not have imagined how much I would love being a mom. I find myself thanking God throughout the day for blessing me with this role. I feel like I am becoming more of who He created me to be - that I am becoming more like Jesus every day and more of the woman that I was designed to be. I don't know if I've ever experienced such a role change like this that so quickly changed me but only in the best way possible. It's impossible to describe but it's beautiful, mysterious, and wonderful.

To be completely honest, one thing that I always worried about before motherhood was that it would be too hard to serve another person so completely. As a believer, my life is not my own already. I am called to love and serve God above all else. As a wife, I am called to love and serve Rob before I love and serve myself. But obviously I have selfish moments where I choose myself above Christ and above my husband. As a mom - I knew that I would not have the option of those selfish moments, and that scared me. Let me tell you - it has been such a pleasant surprise to find myself serving someone else all the time and loving it. It is such a relief to not be thinking about myself nearly as much. Sure there have been some painful moments where I lie in bed maybe a few minutes too long while Kate is screaming to be fed :) But overall, it has been a welcomed change.

Another thing I worried about was that my love for Kate would be in competition for my love for God or my love for Rob. But it has been so wonderful to experience that as my love for Kate swells in my heart, I immediately feel praise and thanksgiving coming from my lips to God. It has softened my heart in a way I needed (after a somewhat stressful and tumultuous year) and has brought me closer to the Lord in a way that I am so thankful for. As my love for the Lord has grown, I have also more clearly seen my need for Him daily - which is always a good thing. And as many of you mommas can attest, experiencing parenthood together has also brought Rob and I closer and made me love him even more deeply. Rob and I were just talking last night about how we feel like as great as things have been the past 2 years, we feel like we are really hitting our stride as a couple now that we are parents. I love watching him care for and love our daughter. He has totally owned his role as the leader of our family and has constantly pointed me to Christ in the midst of this huge life change.

While I find myself more joyful and perhaps the happiest I've ever been, there have also been some new challenges. I could not have anticipated the "mom guilt" that would come along with this sweet little bundle of joy. Oh my goodness - it is overwhelming at times. But praise the Lord for the wonderful community He has surrounded me with who can encourage me and point me to Christ. I'm still processing what it means to be a "good" mom and how to let go of being perfect and/or caring what others think of me - and I know that will be a life-long journey. But I also know that it is making me more like Christ and more of the woman who God created me to be.

I also could not have anticipated how alien and foreign my body would become to me through the process of pregnancy and motherhood. When I look back on how much my body has changed and gone through over the past year, it is crazy! The whole process is beautiful but almost unbelievable. I have loved what all the changes have brought but change is still difficult and hard to adjust to, especially when it is your own body. I'm not even talking about wanting my old body back - praise the Lord for His grace that I am not stressed about dropping all the baby weight yet or trying to be a super skinny mom. My body is just not my own and that's a crazy concept to get used to.

I am so thankful God has given me this gift of being Kate's momma. I do not take it for granted. I know I have done nothing to deserve it and it is really the Lord's grace in my life.

And my heart aches for the women out there who long to be mothers. I could not write this post without stopping to think of and pray for those of who are unable to have children right now, for whatever reason, who long to so badly. I know the pain is real and deep and I am praying with you that God would give you this gift. And I also pray that He would give you grace and comfort in the meantime.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My New Job

I think that this is pretty common knowledge by now but I wanted to make it blog-official. :) I have a new job! And I am so so excited about it!

First let me back up - the plan all along from the beginning of when I found out I was a pregnant was for me to return to work part-time in my same position. My bosses were so incredibly understanding and accommodating and generous to work with me and I was thrilled to be able to continue working in a job I loved. I don't have any free options for childcare since all my family in the area works full-time (or lives too far away) so the plan was for me to work primarily from home, coming to the office frequently to check in and for meetings.

Due to some changes in circumstances, I was unable to return to my same job after Kate was born. For awhile, we tried to see if other positions might work. I was anxious to keep working there and to stay in the same wonderful community that I had known and loved for so long. The staff was my family. They were the main community I have known since I graduated from college almost 5 years ago. I had worked there for 4.5 years.

But during the same time that I was talking through some different positions with them, the Lord began to do a work in my heart and in Rob's heart. Maybe he wasn't calling me to return to work in the same job. Maybe that was what I wanted and what was most comfortable for me. Maybe he had something new - something better - for me, even though I didn't really want it.

After A LOT of praying, talking, list-making, and pondering, Rob and I decided that I would start my new job as a full-time stay at home mom. And let me tell you - I LOVE it. I mean, LOVE it. By staying at home, I not only get to take care of and nurture my sweet little girl, but I get to take care of our house, cook meals, meet neighbors, and support Rob in his ministry in a way that makes me feel like I am doing exactly what the Lord is calling me to. I finally feel like I am not being pulled in a thousand different directions. While some women may be able to juggle a full-time job, be an awesome homemaker, a supportive wife, and mom - I simply could not. I don't have the capacity for it. And now that I've stopped comparing myself to these other women (who are awesome and just have a different capacity than I do), I am so much more at peace.

My New Job

Financially speaking, we are definitely in a tight spot and we have had to make quite a few sacrifices to make it work for now. I think I will definitely be looking for creative ways to make some extra money to help out (no thank you, Mary Kay) but for now, we are living with less and learning to trust the Lord to provide. It's so good for me to remember that everything comes from him and we have been seeing him provide for our needs in very tangible ways.

So that's the update for now. I actually cook meals now (poor poor Rob was very patient for the first 2.5 years of our marriage), and I am loving the all-day baby snuggles. I feel so blessed that the Lord has called me to this season right now.