100 Days, Round 2: 79-70
If you are new and don't know what this is about, just go to the very end of the post (or search for " What's This About? ", less the quotes) and check 'er out!
Days 79-70 - Thursday, July 12 - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Well darling girl, I have to admit a mom-fail here. This week was very long, very hard, and, to be honest, while I talk to you and pray for you and really just love feeling you move in me every day, the energy to get out the computer and write at the end of each day simply wasn't there. There's this guilt part of me screaming, "Lazy! And you say you love your daughter...tsk, tsk." But then there's sweet Jesus, reminding me of grace that is abundant in him. Something in me highly doubts that when I compile these entries into a book for you someday you'll think I loved you less because I had a hard week. And even if there's a reason for you to go that route, I'd rather go to Jesus and let him redeem it now.
So, allow me to write one post that sums up what I've been (at times painfully and begrudgingly) learning this week. I can really best explain it to you in a really awful story that has Jesus' redemption all over it.
Watching the EEs was really hard this week. No one child was necessarily all that naughty or high-maintenance (any more than any toddler or infant is) but at times all three children was quite overwhelming. I understood much better the harried mothers who find something so simple as going to the Post Office (will we even still have those when you're old enough to comprehend these writings?) to be like a vacation of sorts. The six month old boy is having a really hard time adjusting to not nursing so he's very easily upset and wants to constantly be held once he wakes up around 10:30 am from his first nap. This makes the tasks of feeding and attending to the two toddlers extremely difficult and at times I have no choice but to give him tummy time and let him cry at least long enough to quickly get food in front of the toddlers and then again when they need to be cleaned up. It's pretty much the worst feeling ever but I don't really have any other choice :(
So, then, there was an afternoon where your brother was enjoying his favorite new activity: climbing. There are a few items that your daddy and I realized we can't just put away (like his monitor) and it's best that he learns certain boundaries as opposed to not having anything to be told, "No," to. Roger kept trying to get back into the corner he's not allowed into and I really needed to change youner-EE's diaper. I finally had stopped y-EE from crying and even had him smiling and laughing. I laid him down to change him and he started crying again. Just then Roger chose to climb back up onto the chair and go for his monitor. I'll spare some details, but suffice it to say that things escalated to a screaming y-EE with no diaper (and Roger had knocked down his clean diaper out of reach), a very determined and disobedient Roger (he understands "no" but he simply doesn't care at times, and this was one), and a very frustrated me.
About the third time I had to get Roger down I was harsh and mean and frustrated and disciplined him angrily. I was not patient or gracious and all I could think about was how if he would just obey for 1 minute so I could change y-EE's diaper then I could hold and soothe y-EE while calmly disciplining Roger, and going over our routine of why it's good that God gives us boundaries and that even though Roger doesn't understand it now I am under God's authority protecting him from the death that would await him if I irresponsibly refused to set good, wise boundaries for him.
When I was mean, though, Roger just lost it. He does have a tender heart and he had never heard me use the harsh angry tone I had, let alone me roughly moving him and forcing him to go where I told him to. For as much frustration I felt in the moment I was harsh with Roger, I felt about ten times that much shame when I calmed down. At first I didn't cry out to Jesus, I just felt like this was it--this was the moment I became angry, scary mama who Roger would fear and not love and trust and feel safe with.
Praise Jesus, because his Holy Spirit is far more gracious and patient and kind than I can ever be. He gently reminded me that it's not me perfectly "keeping it together" under extreme heat moments that will show the Gospel to you and your siblings. It is repentance--the grace from Jesus to admit that I'm a sinner, I was wrong to listen to my own sinful heart and not cry out to Jesus in the moment for the grace to be patient and loving and kind, and that I need to ask for forgiveness and the grace that Jesus' Holy Spirit can impart to your tender little hearts to forgive me--that shows you the Gospel.
It will do you no good for me to try and be a perfectly loving and gracious mama. The times that I seem to keep it together by my own strength will be coming from a polluted well that leads to my own self-righteousness and if it's not coming from Jesus then it's not truly loving. It's tainted and yucky and gross. The times that I can't keep it together and sin against you will cause you to resent me if I don't repent, and then you will harbor ungodly feelings toward me. It's not that I'm entitled to your forgiveness, but if I choose not to repent then I am essentially choosing to be that which I most fear--an ungodly mama whom you cannot and should not respect nor trust.
Praise Jesus that he spoke to me so clearly. I honestly wasn't even going to him at the moment--I was wrapped up in my own thoughts of feeling terrible and he simply interrupted them with his truth. Perhaps this was an answer to my many prayers that Jesus won't let me wallow in my sin and ignore him but that he'll graciously intervene quickly and not let me continue in my sin. Regardless, I am grateful and thankful that Jesus loves me--and you--enough to speak to me even when I'm not asking him to.
There are many other things roiling about in my heart, but this is what I wanted most to share with you. I know that there's not actually a biological chance of having three of my own children this young and this close in age, but oof! Raising young children is hard, it is beautiful, it is painful, it is joy-filled, it is humbling, and it is very sanctifying and refining if indeed Jesus is worshiped through it. If you are ever a mother to young ones yourself, sweet Juliet, and I do pray that one day you are, I pray that you learn from me and can see Jesus at work in me through these words (plus as you look back over your life with me raising you) and that, in turn, he works in you.
For now, though, the massive back pain I have been experiencing these last few weeks is to a point where I must bid you adieu for this post and, in hope, thank you for your grace in allowing me this one, long post to suffice for 10 separate days of posts as I intended at the outset of this series.
Love you, baby girl. Today marks 30 completed weeks of pregnancy--roughly 8-12 to go!
What's This About?
If you weren't around for it, when I was pregnant with Roger I did a blog series when I reached 100 days remaining until his due date; I knew then and know that September 29, 2012 is really just a placeholder that means very little, but it was fun to count down with Roger. I decided that I'ma try to do it again with Juliet. Now that I have a lovely 15 month old keeping me on my toes I might not be able to hit every single day the way I did with Roger but I still plan to give it my best!
So here we go! The lowdown: I'll keep one post per "decade" of days, updating with the current day at the top each day. Day 10 plus any bonus days will get their own posts until the day our beloved Juliet Elise arrives! And, as with Roger, they'll be addressed to her personally.