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Narratives of Grace

    New Morning Mercies

    I’m fine.

    Like perfectly fine.

    I have consulted with medical professionals. I don’t have postpartum depression. The hormones have settled. I smile most of the time. I get a decent amount of sleep at night (if you consider six or more consecutive hours decent, which I do).

    Although my kids still cry and whine hourly, I now only cry once or twice a month.

    We get out of the house daily. I exercise at least three times a week. I am back at work and loving my job, as usual.

    Yet, my day-to-day life feels hard. The cooking, feeding, and cleaning feel endless. Whatever structure I had created for rest and alone time with one or two kids is now demolished. The tasks of everyday life feel all-consuming, and they drain every last drop of my patience, strength, and energy.

    For a while I was asking myself, “Why does this feel so hard?” but I think I’ve figured out the answer.

    I’ve never done this before.

    I’ve never been a working mom with three kids.

    I’ve never cleaned a house with three kids in it.

    I’ve never done laundry for three kids or fed three kids or gotten three kids dressed every day.

    I’ve never disciplined a three year-old while trying to teach a two year-old her ABCs while ensuring the four month-old gets adequate tummy time.

    It’s a new level of complexity I have not yet mastered.

    I have never done anything like this.

    And when I think of it like that, I’m actually kind of proud of myself. Because I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m doing it anyway. It’s really hard, but it’s getting easier day by day. I wake up each morning and pursue the day with all the joy and strength I can muster. I know I will be spent by nightfall, but I rely heavily on those new-morning-mercies.

    Three kids under four years of age. It often feels like a burden on my back, but instead I choose to wear it as a badge of honor.

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    Saturday Snippets

    I love to read gentle, truthful Christian views on homosexuality

    Because God calls some sisters to seminary

    You become what you eat

    Apparently, this dress is amazing

    I don’t need these anymore, but these cute maternity jeans are on super sale…

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    A heartbreaking and beautiful infant loss story

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    I don’t want to die

    Learn the rules so you can break them..

    When minimalism collides with daily life

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    It’s Too Soon…

    When Zianne was four months old, I took a trip to Texas to visit my girlfriends. On my first afternoon in town, on the way back from the airport,  my friend Sarah and I needed to nurse our babies who were just a few weeks apart. We stopped by another friend’s house, because she had a new baby as well. We figured if you are going to breastfeed, why not socialize at the same time?

    We sat in a playroom on various chairs and couches talking about the ups and downs of motherhood, especially those first few overwhelming weeks with a newborn. As the conversation went on, I eventually asked this question: “What’s the most irrational thing you did in your first few postpartum days that you can laugh at now?” Sarah shared something, and then I talked about how Micah tried to coach me in breastfeeding (and I got mad and then bawled my eyes out). Then we looked over at our other friend. She was feeding her baby who was just five or six weeks old. It was her second child. And she said softly, “It’s too soon. I know I’ll laugh someday, but I can’t just yet.”

    I immediately regretted my question. Here I was with my chubby, sleeping-through-the-night, four month-old first child asking a fresh mom of two if she’s already laughing about the crazy season she’s still weathering. Yet her humble, honest answer sticks with me all these years later.

    Because now I’m the one living in the too soon.

    It’s too soon to laugh about how we had three babies in three and a half years.

    It’s too soon to reminisce about the time we moved when the youngest was just eight weeks old.

    It’s too soon to think fondly of raising young children or smile at the thought of their dirty faces and the crayon markings on my sofa.

    It’s too soon to remember how those early years shaped me… how God slowly taught me patience and the grace of a gentle tongue.

    It’s too soon to recollect on the hours, days, months spent nursing on my couch, on my bed, in the front seat of the minivan or to chuckle at the times I spent an hour getting the baby down for a nap only to hear her crying five minutes later.

    It’s too soon to talk about how I balanced my marriage, motherhood, and a job.

    It’s too soon.

    Someday I will wax poetic about the little years and the funny things they said. I might dive into the sea of nostalgia from time to time and let those waves of remembrance wash over me… their chubby thighs, round cheeks, pacifier lips. I will think of how God used these baby years to make me a better woman. How the days were hard, but good. How my hair started showing strands of gray, but my heart was being refined like gold.

    Someday I will say those things. Think those thoughts. But not today.

    It’s too soon.

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