what I need most as a new mom

In a little over four months, I’ll become a mama.

Aside from a few years of being in denial about wanting children (and in doing so, thinking I was protecting myself from the possibility of never getting married), I always knew I wanted to be a mother. As a child, baby dolls were my toys of choice. I dressed them in real baby clothes, powdered them with real baby powder, strolled them around, rocked them, cleaned them, and even had a couple baby scrapbooks to document, well . . . I’m not really sure.

I would ask my parents and grandparents to take me shopping so that I could be sure I had all I needed to be a good mother. And, in all my seven or eight years of wisdom, I thought I was doing a pretty good job.

And now here I sit, as baby Finley squirms around inside of me, tossing and turning and making me smile with every kick and punch. The footage of her recent sonogram stays pulled up on my computer because I just can’t seem to ever tire of watching her move and seeing her little heart beat. It brings me to tears when I think about what a miracle she is – every bone and ligament and cell placed right where it’s supposed to be by a God that loves her more than even I, her own mother. I am in awe at the purpose with which He knit her in my womb and am so honored that I get to be a part of her life.

In the moments when I’m not a basket case over the sweetness of this gift, I think practically about the things I need to mother her well. Some things are similar to what I used on my baby dolls at seven years old, but there’s one thing I never thought of until one of my long drives to work.

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You could say I’m an adult.

I’ve lived on my own for a few years, during which time I’ve bought my own toilet paper (that, my friends, felt like a really big adjustment). I’ve graduated college, work a full-time job, and have been through the processes of buying a house and a car (thanks, hubs). I know how to chop garlic and how to iron and how to take care of myself and my husband (for the most part because – hello – always learning).

I was raised by my parents and now I’m in this place in life where I’m doing it all on my own.

That seems to be our mindset, right? Or, our goal, even? Our parents raise us and once we’re raised, their work is done, and we go out on our own and all the sudden are able to make these really important decisions and finish our race in all of our adult-ness. Until we mess up, or realize we don’t know what the heck we’re doing.

I guess what I never thought about when pondering my list of needs as a new mommy is the truth that I’m always going to need to be parented.

On a drive to work one morning, I fought with God for at least half the way about a decision I wanted to make. You see, I really wanted to stop at Chick-fil-A and get a biscuit, even though my husband and I agreed to one meal out per week, to keep ourselves within a good budget, and I’d already had lunch out the day before. But there were hormones and hunger pangs and I just really didn’t want to wait that extra ten minutes it took to get to the office and toast a frozen waffle. And so I fought.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t stop and get a biscuit (that day), but as I drove past the parking lot full of people enjoying all the Jesus chicken, I felt in my spirit God say to me, “Let me parent you.”

Oops. Talk about humbling.

You see, maybe my parents’ job is finished in their raising of me (and to that they probably say ‘hallelujah because that was tough’), but I should always make room for God to step in and have the final say-so.

I’m about to be a parent, but I still need parenting.

When I’m wanting a chicken biscuit that’s unhealthy and dishonors our budget, or when my lack of sleep as a new mom gets the best of me, or even when He tells me to keep saying yes when all I want to say is no.

When I’m adjusting to parenthood and need some direction, when Tyler and I are making big decisions for our little family, when we’re doing all we can to raise our baby girl in a corrupt world, or when nobody told me being pregnant resembled feeling like an exhausted whale.

Later, when Finley is growing too fast and I just want time to stop, or when Finley’s a teenager and has a smart mouth (this’ll be payback), or when she has her first boyfriend (Lord help my sweet husband), I’ll especially need the comfort, direction, and guidance from my heavenly father.

And just like when we were kids and fought our parents’ instructions because we didn’t understand them (I hated that curfew), sometimes the Holy Spirit will whisper something that makes no sense and we have to have the humility and the obedience to follow anyway.

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In what areas of your life do you need to invite and allow God to parent you today?

I have some specific areas that come to mind for myself where I’ve been extra stubborn, and I’m praying through that today.

I so hope you’ll join me, because to let God in is to welcome freedom, and I don’t know about you, but I always need more of that.

Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful. The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools. -Proverbs 16:20-22


small, but big

Today for lunch, I went to one of my favorite spots. I got cozy in my booth and enjoyed a much-needed hearty meal for the first time in months (thank you to my appetite, who decided to make its grand return this week).

As I waited on my food, I heard buzz all around me, coming from business meetings, mom-to-mom lunch dates, and other chatters. Slowly but surely, I began to feel lonely.

It occurred to me, however, while I sat with my hand propped on my hungry tummy, that I wasn’t alone at all. There’s a little life inside of me.

That’s a small, but big thing to process. Kind of like the idea of having a baby in general.

My baby is small (the app on my phone says he or she is the size of a plum – how cute!), but so, so very big. Big enough to change my focus, how Tyler and I use our money, and the way I function (hello, hormones and dizziness). Big enough to give my body a second heart beat, and to make me feel as if my own heart could burst with joy, excitement, or fear at any given moment.

With great purpose set by God, this little life lives inside me, small but big.

And the more I think about it, my life should be that – small, but big. 

There are times when I should stay small. Under the shelter and in the safety of my Father’s wings, in the humility of my need for grace, in the quietness of His presence.

Other times, I need to be bigger. In loving people out of my comfort zone, dreaming God-sized dreams, having faith that moves mountains, and answering calls on my life that are so much bigger than me and my ability.

Small, like that little whisper you hear when Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. Big, like the amazing and perfect love our Father lavishes on us. Small, like the baby boy who entered this world with great purpose. Big, like the most captivating and sacrificial “I love you” that anyone could ever say.