Sprouts Turns One!

The past year has been a roller coaster of experiences. I’ve cried tears of both joy and frustration. I’ve marveled at this little child’s innocence and then at her sinful nature of defiance. God has blessed me beyond measure by allowing me to mother this sweet, giggly little girl.

And in the past year, I have learned so much about Him through parenting her.

I’ve learned about mercy and grace and love and discipline and thankfulness and joy.

I’ve learned about prayer. I pray for her soul, that she will grow to know and follow Jesus Christ. I pray for her mind, that she will learn to obey and grow to be self-disciplined. I pray for her body, that she will sleep well, eat well, be healthy, and grow in strength. I pray for her purity in a world that revels in sin. I pray for her future, that she will know the love of a husband in a Christ-centered marriage and will someday also know the pure joy of motherhood.

And then I think of this (John 3:16):

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

My love for her, though great, is dwarfed.

And then, I pray she will know His love for her.

Because there is none greater.

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The Kiss That Melted a Mama’s Heart

The Background

hair and bows and books

hair and bows and books

Since the holiday traveling ended, Sprout has had some sleep issues. I can’t pinpoint a single specific cause, there is just so much going on right now. I think it is a combination of teething, natural sleep regression, and separation anxiety possibly spurred by our travels. Whatever the cause, she has been up more during the night over the last few weeks than she ever was as a newborn.

I have been attempting to balance patience while instilling new sleep training with mercy in getting through genuine teething pain and discomfort. I’ve felt guilty, at times, of being too harsh with her. And then other nights, I feel like I have done her a disservice by letting the training take a back seat. I have cried tears of frustration and anxiety, wondering if I’m doing the right thing or just making everything worse.

But you know, sleeplessness will do that to you.

The Redemptive Story

fingers that hold

fingers that hold Mama’s heart

This morning, after a night of fewer, but still many, wakings, I brought Sprout to our bed with me. I knew she would not go back to sleep, but I just needed to close my eyes a few more minutes. [I should say here that she was safe, could not fall off the bed. Also, I’ve never been able to sleep with her in bed with me, so I did not fear that I would inadvertently doze off and leave her “unattended” on the bed.]

She babbled and rolled from me to the wall, and back again. She laughed and chewed her pacifier. Then she grew quiet, and I felt her scoot towards my head. She was close enough for me to smell her sweet milky breath.

Then, she blessed her mama with the gentlest kiss in all the world. I opened my eyes just in time to see her smile softly. And then she rolled back toward the wall, mumbling about “bad-oh” again.

My eyes filled with tears as my heart puddled in my chest. I stroked her soft hair and kissed her forehead before she had the chance to scoot away. And I thanked God for her right then.

God’s Love in One, Sweet Kiss

This little kiss means more to me than that darling girl could ever know (at least until she has her own little darling, perhaps). In one swift moment, I was reminded of so much.

Every minute spent rocking the teething pain away is a deposit in her love-bank. Every hour I don’t sleep is an investment in her. Every step back to her room to return a thrown pacifier or enforce training is a step of love. Every lullaby-hymn at 2 AM is sung right into her soul, laying a foundation for her to someday know the sacrifice and love and mercy and grace wrapped up in the Cross.

Now, I am wondering… how many minutes has God spent soothing my pain? How many hours has He invested in my life? How many steps has He taken to enforce discipline in my life, with love and mercy and grace? How many reminders has He given me of His ultimate sacrifice and what that means for my future beyond this earthly existence?

I cannot count them.

room to learn, explore, and grow

room to learn, explore, and grow

And now I pray that God’s mercy and grace and love would flow through me to her. I pray that God would give me strength and diligence to thrive in what is only the beginning of Parenthood.

I pray with a bursting heart of thanksgiving, adoration, and awe for this little life.

In This Chair

Chair

this chair

In this chair, I rock;
My sweet baby I see.
Eyebrows, ear lobes, toes that wiggle;
A frown, a smile, and a giggle.

In this chair, I nurse;
Day, and nighttime, too.
She roots and pats and even whines;
For the comfort that I provide.

In this chair, I weep;
Such tears I’d never known.
Tired, weary, and petrified;
Yet even these things pass with time.

In this chair, I pray:
God, keep this little one.
Protect her slumber, day and night;
Reveal to her Your shining Light.

In this chair, I love;
How much? Words cannot say.
What precious moments that we share;
I rock my baby in this chair.

Sprout has Sprung

Sometimes I still can’t believe it: she’s here, at home, tucked into soft blankets wearing clothes I washed for her.

And I still can’t believe that I birthed her. Amazing. The most humbling, awesome experience. There are no sufficient words for the emotional highs and lows I experienced during those 12 laborious hours and the first few hours that followed. All I can say is that God brought me through it all, and He has blessed us beyond measure with a healthy, beautiful baby girl.

Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
his love endures forever.
(Psalm 106:1)

We Are Dust

gardenia, soft and sweet

gardenia, soft and sweet

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

~ Psalm 103: 13-18 ~