taken and disney land in february.
enjoy the season you are in, because soon enough it'll be gone - and you won't get to relive it (for the most part) until kingdom come. people will move on and grow up. the great gift, the ache of singleness, will be stolen by a boy - and those moments with God will change. alone time will be eaten up by baby cries, dinner making, and long work days. the feelings you have can only be recorded in that moment with that vibrancy. and the season you are in, whichever it may be, is an invitation to encounter a facet of the Lord's heart... and if not seized properly, may be missed.
with that being said, i am now in a season under these titles:
husband to a hard working laymen.
mother to a boy under one.
a small entrepreneur to a growing online design business.
a bondservant in a small, yet ever expanding house of prayer.
what i wanted to do, was make a post about the hard parts of this season - mostly under the umbrella of being a first time mom. these "difficult aspects" do not lessen the joy of the season, the love i have for my son, or the enjoyment i have of all the craziness this and that brings. i do think, however, it's helpful for other moms or to be moms or whomever to know that, as John Piper says, my outlook on these times are always a "fight for joy". Every day I have the oppurtunity to interpret life's "situations" as negative things or sovereign experiences orchestrated by the hand of God for my good.
the latter makes a much happier Tiffany, and even more, a way better mom, wife, and friend.
so here ya go:
1.) finding alone time. i am having to rewire my brain and heart to fellowship with God amidst the day to day activities. this is SO difficult for me, and i thrive mostly in my relationship with the Lord via studying (books out, pens out, concordance out, etc) the Bible and writing/creating. both of those activities are impossible through out the tasks of the day. however, talking with the Holy Spirit, praying in the spirit, singing the Word and along to the prayer room is NOT impossible, and i would like to be more effective at stopping - remembering He is within me - and walk my day through with Him. and also, carving out time early in the morning or late into the evening to spend time with the Lord the way that works best for me.
2.) Figuring out what you are doing is pretty hard. Let them cry it out? Don't let them cry out? Hold him all the time? Teach him to play on his own? Let him sleep with us? Force him in his crib? Give him antibiotics? Let him take a pacifier? So many questions you have to wade through and answer for yourself. Ultimately, you will know in your spirit what is best for your baby, and I'm sure it becomes even more specific as each child comes. But the journey has rather difficult moments...
3.) Marriage with a baby. What the heck?! This one is crazy, because we were so use to it being Ricky and I. Just learning how to fight for time with each other and to stand up against becoming functioning business partners instead of lovers and best friends is a obstacle in itself.
4.) Finances. I mean, obviously, the Lord will provide - but that doesn't change the fact our income was cut in half. Yikes! Staying at home is possible, when you live simply, very very simply...
5.) Nursing is hard at first. It seems like a distant memory now, because nursing is God's greatest gift to my mommyhood. It's so easy (no lugging around formula, etc.), it's one of the greatest bonding experiences (though can also be achieved through loving bottle-feeding time with baby, as my sister always shows me), and it's so healthy for Amos and I. But, it was hard. It use to hurt so bad I would cry. It's inconvenient at times... (breast pads? ewww, no thank you.) It means Ricky has to share my chest with his son (let's be honest...).
6.) that horribly aching feeling you get when you realize you failed. uhhhhh. one time i watched some show on my computer, and when it was almost over i thought to myeslf, "did i honestly just let that junk (just pointless nothingness about nothing) go through the airwaves into my home, and hover over my precious baby's little spirit and soul." Uhhhhh. fail. tears. uhhhhh. it's just the worst. and it happens a lot, because i'm super far from perfect and i'm struggling to love God wholeheartedly on my own, let alone for the sake of my son. Jesus, help me.
7.) the juggling act. dishes. laundry. bathroom scum. healthy grocery shopping. meal planning. skype with friends. weddings. vacations. lesson planning. etsy message responding. designing. the list only grows. and the time you had before is now cut in 1/2, and then another 1/2 - because you have this precious baby who wants to play, and be held, and eat, and go for awesome walks. scrub the tub instead of kiss my babies fat cheeks? i'd rather not.
8.) so the other day, i was watching this documentary about the life of kid's in foster homes (most of the stories of the girls i work with in juvenile hall) and i was reminded how SICK our world is. i mean honestly. incest, rape, immorality, murder, selfishness, greed, hatred of God, rebellion, and the list goes on and on. the world is hungry to raise amos in its ways. it's crouching at the door. it will, soon enough, begin placing little seeds of lies in his head. it will have random friends tell him random things that no little kid should hear. this is life. and the thought of it makes me want to weep for days and days. it makes me want to never eat again, and fast for my child's heart before God. of course, the proper response is intercession matched with trust in God. but even so, the thought of our children getting hurt or broken is the most terrible, terrible part of parenthood.
and so, these are the obstacles - and this is only from 7 months experience. i know there is more to come, more to take in prayer before the Lord, and much more to learn.
and in this, i rejoice, for He has made Himself known, and is perfecting me through trial. this is good.
oh, and votes are welcome!