Wednesday, January 29, 2014

motherhood. the trenches. & five years in.

Tomorrow, I will have been a mom for five years! Lets face those of you veteran moms, that's a small start but to me it seems like quite a large feat.

My heart & mind have found themselves in places that no other venture has taken them near.. not.even.close.

From the beginning I went from pain {cue contractions in the middle of the night} to the most immense joy {meeting carter jude} to more pain{the glorious epidural wearing off}.

Once we made it home, enter many new emotions including: how the heck do I take care of this child, "where's the manual????!!!!", why is he screaming and why do my 'feeding tools' hurt so stinking bad. {no one told me that part}

Over the past few years my emotions have run the spectrum... from how could a human being bring me so much joy to frustration [even anger] when I can't have what I want (most selfishly) or when I can't get a child to obey for the life of me, I guess {after many years of babysitting} I thought that part would be easier.  wrong.

But.... there have been a few things that have kept me going, I couldn't {never in a thousand x a thousand years} have done it had I not had these supports in place. This job is hard but it's a gift and one that {in my right mind} i wouldn't trade.
props to....

1. My husband.
When I look back at the pictures taken pre-pregnancy Carter, I can't help but laugh. Who are those rested & impossibly cute love birds who don't have a clue what they are getting into. But each step of the way Luke has been there. If it was holding the screaming baby just after we sat down for dinner or it was him telling me I looked amazing when I looked like an unshowered disaster with puke on my shoulder. He has loved me well as I have rookied through these first five years.

2. Our family.
They have loved our babies & us so graciously... They have helped us in the newborn stages, so that i can get out to buy groceries & do ministry & stay sane. They love our kids fiercely & our kids are thrilled by the thought of mommy & daddy going away because that means they get to have fun with family. What a gift.

3. Gods Word.
I think you gain so much understanding in the significance of God sending his son for you when you become a parent. When you put yourself in Mary's sandals for all of five minutes and imagine what she went through... Yep, no words. Gods Word has been a lamp unto my feet, refreshment for a weary soul, truth when I was giving into self pity or discontentment.

4. Friends.
Thank God for people sharing in this season of life with us {unshowered, puke-wearing, lack of sleep understanding to name a few commonalities}. Women who listened to me and loved me right where I was at. Friendship is a bit, no I mean a lot messy because it's life. but, its good for the soul. Whenever I have had day of 'isolation' I recognize my need for the people God has put right beside me, we get to help & bless & love one another. we can't do it alone, that's for sure.

5. Grace.
Over five years i have learned that i need grace more than i ever knew that i needed it. perfection isn't attainable, perfection is instead impossible.  That i need grace upon grace upon grace everyday, because without it, i am just a mess of a mom. 

The truth is I crave time when my name is Kristen rather than Mommy.   but then once I'm in Kristen mode I just can't stop talking about the little fellas who call me Mommy. I need to grow immensely as a mom, news flash to anyone and everyone i have not arrived.  the short list includes:yell less, be more patient, teach more through life experience, feed them healthier, give more grace...

The truth also is: I wouldn't trade these last five years, for anything. More money, identity in something the world values more than a stay at home mom, less dark circles under my eyes.  Nothing would cut it.  I know that at the end the day these children will be a lot of the sanctification process for my spiritual life {that is if these first five years are any indication of the next many}. And you know what? i'll take it.
Cheers from a tired, happy, desperate for a shower, crazy for my little men,

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