7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 7 – Legacy of Love

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 7 – Legacy of Love

Day 7 – Legacy of Love

If we’re going to pass anything along to our children, let’s give them a legacy of love. All of our previous prayers help build exactly that. Our actions and words are incredibly powerful. But our prayers will transform their lives.

Let’s create a home of love—love for Jesus, for each other and for others. I want my kids to always feel comfortable walking through these doors and sprawling on the sofa, even when they’re grown. While they’re little, I want our home to be a place of loving security and fun. As they get older, I want them to know that they will always belong here, and and that their hearts will always be safe here. I want them to feel validated, heard and understood. I desperately desire to keep open communication with them through thick and thin. I want them to know, that I am always, always on their team.

You are doing an incredible job! You are making a difference, even when you feel like what you’re doing is unimportant or overlooked. I see you, momma. We’re in this thing together. And remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so fill your own heart too.

Jesus, 

Help us to be mommas of love. Pierce the deepest parts of our hearts so that every area is transformed by the power of Your love. Show us how to be more like You, because You are the only perfect love. May we pass a legacy of love to our children, and may they always know my love for them…and above all, YOUR love for them! Thank you for the sweet little hearts in my care. In Your name, Amen!

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. Psalm 78:4

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 6 – Be Present

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 6 – Be Present

 

 

Day 6 – Be Present

As mommas, we are constantly pulled in different directions, with a thousand things vying for our attention—daily routine, housework, errands, social media, relationships, work, the news. None of those things are bad, but they do use our time and energy. They push aside things that we should make room for. They distract us from the things we should remain focused on. Have you heard the expression, “The days are long, but the years are short?” That’s not to say that we absolutely-totally-and-completely love every moment of every day. (I mean, have you ever experienced a Level 10 toddler meltdown at Target? Yeah, not enjoyable.) But I do desire to be fully present in their childhood. I want to be able to absorb the moments throughout our days, even if they feel mundane or ordinary. We can be tired and worn out (and even frustrated) and still be present. We can carve out quality time to spend with our kids one-on-one. We can make room for unplanned adventures to the park. We can put our phones down while they’re talking to us, or better yet, even when they’re not…and just be with them. Those plump, food covered, little faces are worth it. 

Jesus,

I pray You would help me be more present with my kids. I ask that You would reveal ways that I can show them I genuinely care, and that I truly love spending time with them. And on the hard days, instead of feeling like a failure, I ask that You help us to pull together and work through those days together. May they always know that I’m available to them, whether they’re dealing with a big problem, or simply want to talk. Please give me the wisdom to cut back the things that are stealing my time and energy, and dive more into time with You and my kids’ childhoods. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 5 – Compassion

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 5 – Compassion

Day 5 – Compassion

I think we would agree that our culture emphasizes the value of being important, gaining power, and getting ahead in life—even if that means using other people, or overlooking them entirely. I want my kids to be different. I want their hearts to be compassionate and tender. I want them to love the lonely, and show compassion to the outsider. 

When Jesus occupied our earth, he didn’t spend his time inside palaces, building a rapport with the “important” or elite. He walked dusty roads that led to dilapidated homes that sheltered marginalized people. He showed compassion to those who society wanted to forget. He also saw through lavish lifestyles and looked directly at people’s lacking hearts. He showed compassion to every single person he came into contact with—no matter what their status in life was. And that is how I pray my kids live. 

Dear Jesus,

You are a compassionate God. You enter into our brokenness and don’t shy away from our pain or difficulties. Please soften my kids’ hearts to be compassionate like Yours. May they always view people as valued and loved. When they have the opportunity to show compassion to someone, I ask that you open the eyes of their hearts to recognize it and take action—even when it’s not the easy thing to do. Mold their hearts into the shape of Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:127 

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 4 – Unwavering Faith

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 4 – Unwavering Faith

 

Day 4 – Unwavering Faith

We will do anything for our children, won’t we? Even the quietest momma has the potential to become an angry momma bear when the situation arises. When they’re babies, we childproof our homes to keep them physically safe. As they get a little older, we can try to bubblewrap them (Not literally, of course. That would be weird. Hilarious, but weird), but we know we can’t keep them from scraping their knees, or running into walls, or breaking bones. Our desire to keep them safe goes deeper than worrying about scraped and bruised knees. One day, our little ones will walk out into the world. They will go off to school, college, get their own apartment, move across the country…or even across the world. We won’t always know exactly where they’re at or be able to guard over them. If you’re like me, even the idea of them experiencing heartbreak, or trials, or pain, or devastation, rips my heart out. But the beauty of Jesus is that He will always see them, know exactly where they’re at, be in every detail of every situation in their lives…and He cares for and loves them so much that He died for them. We may wish we could absorb pain for our kids, but Jesus actually did. That doesn’t mean they’ll experience a pain-free life, but it does mean that they will have the greatest Comforter and Protector by their sides.

When trials come, when heartbreak happens, when sadness and grief enters into my children’s lives (and all of that will happen), I want them to be able to navigate through it with Jesus. I desperately desire for their faith be anchored so deeply inside of their hearts, that leaning into Jesus comes as naturally as breathing. We can’t create faith for them. We can’t make them trust Jesus. But we can do 3 things. And these things will change everything:

  • Model unwavering (not perfect) faith in our own lives
  • Teach them Scripture
  • Pray, pray, pray

Merciful God,

I know You love my kids more than my own human heart can. Jesus, pursue them. Grab a hold of their hearts and strengthen their faith. May my own faith and relationship with You be authentic and real, and pour over into the lives of my children. Holy Spirit, show me specific ways to nurture their faith and continually point their hearts to You. I ask that You cover them, go before them, and show them Your love in tangible ways. Even while they are very young, speak to them. Build their faith, Lord, so that they never let go of You. Instead of using all my energy worrying, remind me that You have secured them. Instead of viewing my kids as something to keep safe, help me to see them as arrows to be released into the world. Give me wisdom on how to parent them in this way. In Your name, Amen.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 2 – A Love for Jesus

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 2 – A Love for Jesus

Our world holds a fluid definition of love. It’s constantly shifting, changed by circumstances, and dependent on a feeling. In a world that displays a thousands examples of what love isn’t, we fiercely desire for our children to know the One who is Love. We want them to love Jesus with every fiber of their being—to hold tightly to eternal things, loosely handle temporary things, and to have the discernment to know the difference. We want their love for Jesus to be their anchor so that when the waves come, they remain steady. Even greater than our own desire for our children to know Jesus, is Jesus’ desire for our kids to know Him! His eternal love for them far exceeds our love for them! Pretty incredible, isn’t it? I can’t imagine a love for my babies that is fiercer than my own. And yet, the love of God is deeper, stronger, fuller. It stretches before creation and will extend unchanged through eternity. He is madly in love with them. He died for them. He will pursue them.

Jesus,

Help me instill a love for You inside my children’s hearts. Help me to model a passion for You. And when I mess up, help me to be an example of the power of your forgiveness and grace. May my good days and my bad days reflect Your love for them. Show me ways to nurture and encourage their relationships with You, without trying to control or perfect it. May my words and actions help build a foundation that only You can build upon. Thank you for loving my children even more than I do. In Your name, Amen.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 1 – Sibling Bonds

7 Prayers of a Joyfully Exhausted Momma: Day 1 – Sibling Bonds

Day 1 – Sibling Bonds

The bond between siblings is a powerful one. Oh sure, there are wrestling matches on the sofa, and arguments over whose turn it is to use the coveted blue sippy cup…and attempts to duct tape your sister to the wall to see if it actually works (or so I’ve heard.)  But beneath the healthy quarrels and natural arguments, there’s an intertwining of heartstrings—a deepness that only siblings share. Some days that intertwining may seem tight. Some days it may seem loose. Other days it may seem completely undone. But despite whether or not our kids “get along” everyday, we want that bond and connection to put down deep roots. We want our kids to grow into adults that love, respect, encourage and protect one another. We want kids that are always on the same team—Team Family.

Dear Jesus,

You are a God who ties hearts together and strengthens relationships. I pray that my children’s love for one another would continue to mature as the years go on; that they would be able to rely on, confide in and encourage one another like only a sibling can. No matter how different their personalities are, Jesus, I pray that their love and bond always draws them closer to You and to each other. Give me wisdom as a momma on how to nurture these bonds and create a tight-knit home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3

No, I’m Not Enough

No, I’m Not Enough

 

You are enough.

I’ve heard and read those words a thousand times. And they’re nice, aren’t they? This idea that I’m sufficient the way I am. But as I ran across those words the other day—you are enough— something caused my eyes to linger over them. I examined each word, confused by the prickliness I suddenly felt by the statement.

You are enough.

“But I’m not enough,” I thought to myself. “I’m not.”

Over the course of the past year, I’ve experienced an amazing truth…I am not enough. And it has been one of the most freeing, empowering, beautiful truths that the Lord has graciously revealed to me.

My motherhood is currently the most important, sacred task I’ve been given. I’ve always wanted children even when I was a child myself. When inquiring grown ups would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always answer, “a mommy.” (Well, there was a period of time when my answer also included “a doctor” but as I got older I realized that I’d have to deal with blood and germs and death on a regular basis, and the whole “doctor” idea fizzled away.)

Now that I am a mommy, I desperately want to do this parenting thing well. And boy, do I try. I give it everything I’ve got. I muster up energy when I’m already running on fumes. I give 100 more kisses and cuddles and tuck everyone into their beds when I desperately just want to melt into my own bed. I want to teach my babies about Jesus and build their faith and love for him, even when I’m still learning all of that myself.  But even when I give it my everything, it’s still not enough. And that’s because I am not meant to be everything to everybody all the time. I can’t be. It’s not fair to me, and it’s definitely not fair to my little people. Or to anyone else for that matter.

It is only where I end and Jesus begins that true fullness, complete satisfaction, and enoughness is found.

(No, the word enoughness isn’t actually a word. And yes, I just used it…and will probably use it again.)

I have come to the edge of my own limitations—as a mom, but also as a woman. Things I’ve always avoided because I wasn’t “enough” to do them. And yet, that is exactly where God has called me to—beyond myself. (He tends to do that, doesn’t He?)

I remember a conversation I had with God last year that changed everything. I was preparing to speak at the hospital I miscarried twice at. I knew God had given me this holy opportunity. I knew I had to do it and that I needed to do it. And really, I wanted to do it. Yet, I kept explaining to God that I wasn’t enough to do it. “I’m not qualified enough to talk to these people. I’m not eloquent. I’m not an expert on the issue. And I’m definitely not super excited to bare my soul to a group of complete strangers.” And just to make sure God understood how inadequate I was, I ended my thought-conversation with God with these words: “I can’t do it. I’m not enough.” Just as clear as I had tried to make a point, I heard His response…every single word.

“You’re right, you can’t do this. You aren’t enough.”

I was a little taken aback with God’s response. I expected something a little more glitter-and-rainbowy. Maybe a supernatural energy boost or perhaps a spiritual pep talk with words like, “No, my child. You are enough. You are amazing and you can do this! Now get out there and be awesome.”

But nope. Didn’t hear that. At all.

“You’re right, you can’t do this. You aren’t enough.”

But that wasn’t the end of his statement. There were 3 more words: “But I am.”

I’m not enough, but he is.

I can’t do this, but he can.

And just like that, the paralyzing fear of not being enough melted away. The weight of my own limitations dissipated. Any hesitation to walk in obedience was replaced with a new boldness. The only things remaining were my willingness, and God’s ability.

I realized if I’m going live life according to my own limitations and boundaries, my soul will always be malnourished. I will only see a fraction of what could have been. And if I rely solely on my own abilities, resources, and circumstances, then I have no need for God.

If I want to experience fullness, abundance and enoughness in my life, I need Jesus. Because he is the only source of those things.

I’m the right mom for my kids, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to be a great wife, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to walk alongside other women who have lost babies and comfort them, but I’m not enough. He is.

I want to step out in obedience to God’s leading, no matter how rocky the terrain, but I’m not enough. He is.

Am I loved? Totally! Am I valued? Absolutely! Am I enough? No…

…but I know the One who is. And He is all I need. He is all you need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

He Covers

He Covers

As I laid in bed with my daughter telling her stories before bedtime, we could hear the thunder getting louder. At first it was so faint, she was unaffected by the distant rumbles.

A few minutes later, the claps of thunder got closer and louder. She stopped for a moment and held still, realizing a storm was beginning to pass over us. “Can you get closer to me, momma?”

A couple more booms and she interrupted our story. “Momma…can you get your arms and hands and hold me?”

I moved as close as I could to her and wrapped my arms around her, holding her head close to my chest. I could feel her nervousness in the tension of her little body. I hated that she so scared, but I loved being right there with her—guarding over her, wrapped around her. We finished our story and I sang our nightly lullaby. Ever so slowly her breathing softened and her muscles relaxed.

Even after she fell asleep, I laid there for a few extra minutes absorbing the sweetness of my girl’s words—“can you get your arms and hands and hold me?” I loved that I was her security. I loved that I was the one that brought her comfort and peace. I loved it because sometimes…I just need that too.

Whether it’s been one of those days, or I’m in the thick of a really challenging life issue, there are times my heart begs God, “Can you please just get your arms and hands and hold me?” Some days I just need to feel that comfort and security wrapped around me and covering me completely.

God, can you please just get your arms and hands and hold me?

God’s Word says that he is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1), our rock, fortress, deliverer and shield (Psalm 18:2). The entire book of Psalms is overflowing with people’s pleas for God’s rescuing, as well as declarations of God’s faithfulness.

After I lost our first baby six years ago, I laid in an ER bed trying to process the emotional and physical brokenness that I had just endured. The chaplain walked in to talk with us. He laid a mint green shawl down the length of my body, covering me. It was crocheted by a hospital ministry and given to mommas who had just lost a baby. Over the next few weeks, I held it, I wrapped it around my, and I covered myself with it. And every time I physically covered my body with it, my heart was being covered too.

As humans, we all have this need to be covered in different ways. We need shelter to cover our families. We need clothing to cover our bodies. We need bandages to cover our wounds. Maybe you’ve even heard the expression, “I’m covering you in prayer.” We are all in need of covering.

Even now, as I pray at night, I ask God to cover my life and everyone and everything in it. Cover it with his protection, his blessing, his anointing.

When it seems like darkness is swallowing the world, He covers.

When evil threatens the security of our hearts and minds, He covers.

When anxiety attempts to steal our peace, He covers.

It doesn’t mean that the pain dissolves—but He promises to cover you with comfort. It doesn’t mean that brokenness disappears—but He promises to cover with restoration.

Our God is a God who covers. He sees and knows and covers. His love covers you and it destroys fear. His light covers you and it drives out darkness.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

The Truth About My Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

The Truth About My Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

ppd

My baby. She was finally here. She was healthy and in my arms…and she was perfect.

We bought a new home only 3 weeks before her arrival. It had way more space than our tiny, one bedroom condo. It was a place to finally call our own. A place where we could paint every wall hot pink if we wanted to because it was ours. There was room to grow. It was perfect.

Everything was perfect…except it wasn’t.

The immediate months following my transition into motherhood were hard. Really hard. I constantly wondered how every other new parent was able to handle it all, while I was slowly crumbling.

The sleep deprivation alone was enough to break any person into a hundred pieces. But there were also the changing hormones, the new dynamic between me and my husband, and the heavy responsibility of being another human being’s everything. And on top of it all, came the constant arguing, the deep anxiety and the paralyzing panic attacks. I felt so sad that I was almost numb. The scenarios I worried about were not only irrational, they were extreme.

It was all balled up together like a bowl of tangled, spaghetti noodles—everything intertwined and knotted. One thing seemed to affect another thing which led to another, and another and another. I couldn’t find the beginning or end. And I could no longer decipher an irrational meltdown from a logical concern. It was all the same. I was tired and empty and felt completely alone.

I resented my husband for not doing more. Not taking the baby more. Not cleaning more. Not helping me more. But when he offered to help, I didn’t even know which of the moving pieces to give him. I was juggling it all and if I handed off the baby, or gave him one task or chore or action, the whole thing would fall apart. It was just easier if I did it. I felt myself getting dangerously worn but I felt too guilty to stop. There was no solution—I either resented him for not helping or I felt gut-wrenchingly guilty for asking for help. I was the mom. I was the one who was supposed to be able to do it all. Right?

But the single working part that I had become starting breaking. One person can only go or do so much before they just…can’t anymore.

And that’s where I found myself. I couldn’t. I barely recognized the woman in the mirror. Even worse, I didn’t like her anymore.

I longed to be a momma my entire life, so needing help felt like I was failing at the one thing that I always aspired to be. Nobody told me it would be this hard. Nobody told me that parenthood would test the endurance of my marriage, challenge my emotional and spiritual condition, and make me question my own self-identity.

I had heard of “baby blues.” What a cute, non-threatening label. I had also heard of “postpartum depression.” That term sounded more medical and serious, but still, I didn’t truly know what it was. I had never even heard of “postpartum anxiety.”

My preconception of postpartum depression led me to believe that it was uncommon, and when a woman did experience it, it was within the first few weeks of having a baby. I was far passed the few weeks mark—my baby was 5 months old—so it had to be something else. Maybe motherhood just wasn’t as natural for me as I thought it would be. Maybe I needed to get away for a while. Maybe my husband and I were growing apart. Maybe I was just losing it.

I wanted to be a mom and I loved my baby and I was healthy and young. I had a new home, a great husband, and beautiful healthy baby. What was there to be depressed about?

Yet, I was suffocating. I hadn’t expressed my feelings to anyone. Not to the degree in which they were exploding inside of me. All my mommy-friends looked like they had their lives together. It seemed as if motherhood was a breeze for them. They were happy and organized…and showered. I was barely functioning.

And after 5 months of feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted, I realized it wasn’t getting better. In fact, everything was getting worse.

I wasn’t just tired. I wasn’t just feeling the newness of being a momma. I wasn’t just “in a funk”.

It went deeper. So much deeper.

Finally, I met my breaking point. “I need help. I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. I wasn’t crying for help with the dishes or housework or holding the baby. I needed help with my entire life. My marriage, my mind, my body.

I called my doctor. I called my pastor’s wife. I called my mom. I talked to my husband. I went to a professional counselor. And I began to open up with the moms around me. Just saying those 3 words were freeing in itself—“I need help.”

The moment I began to feel the warmth from the intentional support of others, my hope and clarity began to restore. I had existed in hopelessness and helplessness for so long that hope felt…strange. Strange but wonderful. Like a precious friend you haven’t seen in years—you know them well, yet don’t fully recognize them.

Because there were so many different kinds of issues and struggles going on inside of me—and because new pains had mixed with resurfaced ones—it took everyone on my “team” to help me. My husband, my pastor’s wife, my counselor, my doctor, my momma-friends. Each person helped me in different, vital ways. Each contributed a level of healing.

My doctor and I came up with a 3 week plan. Three weeks of counseling, being intentional with what I was eating, how I was exercising, spending time in the sunshine, allowing myself time to be alone. After the 3 weeks, I would have a follow-up appointment to reassess how I was doing and see if there was any improvement. If there wasn’t much improvement, we would then discuss incorporating medicine. It wasn’t night an overnight “cure” but within the first few days of starting my new routine, I noticed an improvement. I could already breathe easier. Because this was an ongoing process, I remained intentional with my self-care routine and stayed aware of how I was feeling.

My senses felt crisper. I was living again, not just surviving. And it happened because I spoke out.

Postpartum depression and anxiety can vary in appearance from momma to momma. Its heaviness can gradually grow like single grains of sand slowly piling up. Or it can come on very suddenly. There isn’t a definitive list of emotions or symptoms and there isn’t an exact timeframe as to when it can happen. And I think that’s why it can go undetected or ignored for so long.

If you’ve recently had a baby—even within the last year—and you feel overwhelmed, hopeless and completely empty to the point of feeling like you can’t function as a person, I encourage you to speak up for yourself. Talk to a professional. There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. I know that you want to be the absolute best momma to your baby. I know you may feel guilty asking for help or wanting to take time for yourself. But in order to fill up the ones around you, you have to be filled yourself. Caring for yourself—mind, body and spirit—should remain a top priority. I’m not sure why there is still such a stigma around postpartum depression but I can tell you with complete certainty, you are not alone, you are not failing and there is nothing to be ashamed about. I promise you, there is help nearby and things are going to get better.

When New Becomes the Normal

When New Becomes the Normal

mom-love

This particular feeling of transition is familiar to me. The waiting game. The anticipation. The dreaming and preparing and eagerness and anxiety. The constantly being on edge, while trying to distract myself and not think about how I’m constantly on edge. It’s e x h a u s t i n g .

Oh yes, I know this feeling well. It’s a mixture of heartache as well as over-the-moon excitement. A haze of surrealness that we are in the last days of being a household of 4—transitioning to a household of 5.

I felt this right before each of my daughters were born too—this strange place of savoring every moment of how life currently is while impatiently awaiting what will become our family’s new normal.

I can’t remember life before my youngest daughter. It is like she has always been here. And I surely can’t remember life before my oldest daughter. I am convinced life started the day she born and it is the life that I have always wanted to live.

However, these were not my sentiments right before they were each born. During the days leading up to their births it was more of an, “OH. MAN. How the heck am I going to do this? I barely have my act together right now. Like, barely. And I’m supposed to add another human life into the mix!? This is not going to be pretty.”

But sure enough, after a little bit of time (and tears and small victories and slowly conquering the learning curve) I moved from the scary newness to a more confident rhythm of life. Trust me, we still had those days. We still have those days. I don’t think the frequency decreased. I think maybe I just figured out how to handle them better. I’m not sure. Either way, I’ll take it.

And soon…it was normal. Life with a baby was normal. Then life with 2 kids was normal. And now, with faith that that truth will continue, I know life with 3 kids will become my new normal. And eventually, the details of life before our son will become foggy. Because he will be the perfect puzzle piece that our family was missing.

As I was drying my girls’ hair this morning, (there really is nothing like the smell of fresh babies right out of the bath) one was swaying back and forth singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at the top of her lungs—the other one was playing a music game on my phone. And as I ran my fingers through their hair, I held my breath a little. My lungs captured that air so very tightly. And I didn’t want to exhale. Because I loved that moment. And I love our family dynamic right now. I love my full days with my 2 little best friends. And even though those full days can be hard and wearing full days, I love them just the same.

But eventually I had to let out that precious breath and when it did my heart exploded with these words…

You are losing nothing and gaining so much. The joy of life is going about to be multiplied. Life will look different, but it will be better.

I am settled into that place—that place of absorbing the right-now as well as the soon-will-be. And I am thankful for both, because both make me a mom.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24