My sister Jennifer took this picture a few weeks ago. It’s my daughter, and those cheeks are killing me. She is such a delight.
In fact, she was so delightful that we decided to have another baby, and the estimated arrival time for him is one week!
During my first pregnancy, I had it pretty easy–online teaching as a job, no toddler to chase around, and the convenience of Steak-N-Shake on the corner by my apartment. Things change dramatically in the second pregnancy. I. am. exhausted. Oh, and I think I have a stomach bug. After just getting over the sniffles last week.
And God is still good. But I would definitely appreciate your prayers as our little family makes it toward the finish line of this life phase (and a new starting line, too!).
When we found out we were pregnant with Baby #2 (who is currently kicking me as I write this, letting you know that he is around), I found myself a little grieved at the thought of having two kids. Don’t get me wrong—we were trying to get pregnant. It’s just that it had taken us 2 years and surgery to get pregnant the first time, so this time it was all happening rather quickly. 2 months of trying.
Only 9 months left with Lily alone.
You know how hormones make emotions fluctuate during pregnancy. Well, I was feeling like a horrible person. I wanted to get pregnant and I did. So many people do not have that blessing as easy as it came to me. I had a beautiful daughter coming up on her 1st birthday. My husband was a great dad and partner in this journey of parenthood. And here I was, bummed (and probably a little scared) that we were going to be bringing Baby #2 into the world.
I felt sorry for Lily. She had all of our attention. She was our delight and our joy.
And then the Lord spoke to my heart. He said in the gentle and tender way that only He can, “It is Lily’s portion to be an older sister.”
It took me a few minutes to wrap my mind around what He was trying to tell me.
I am an older sister. I have a beautiful and very talented younger sister (see the photo above and the linked blog for starters). But I was not happy when she arrived. This included taking all of my toys from her, even though I had long outgrown them. I sat on her and tried to make her go away forever. It was a long and rough journey to friendship with Jennifer. It mostly happened because I started driving. And she wanted to go places.
So, if it is Lily’s portion to be an older sister, does that mean it was my portion, too?
That she will be more fully herself as an older sister to one and hopefully more brothers and sisters. That I am more fully myself as an older sister. This is deep stuff. And there is joy in this place.
So I was able to pretty quickly rejoice—fully, not just in part—at welcoming Baby #2 and Lily’s little sibling into our hearts. We eagerly await welcoming him into our arms. Just a few short days.
And then come all the diapers.
Those of you who haven’t had the honor and duty of caring for a newborn may not know that they go through a lot of diapers. It has been kind of a relief as Lily has gotten older to go through fewer and fewer diapers each day. Potty-training is on the horizon. Praise. The. Lord.
But as I have been trying to enjoy my time left alone with Lily, I have learned something very valuable about the heart of God the Father.
Last week, we were at my parents’ house, mainly just to get out of our duplex and to eat all of my mom’s food. (No judgment. I’m pregnant.)
Lily LOVES going outside, and though I am exhausted, I am feeling all accommodating because it’s her last few weeks as the center of my attention, parenting-wise. So I agreed to take her into my parents’ lovely backyard. That has a big, scare-the-crap-out-of-a-mom pool. That she loves. And loves to touch and lean over and potentially fall in to.
But this day, she just wanted to sit on the gliding chair that overlooks the pool and also has a great big view of the sky over the house. We carefully navigated our way around the pool and the hot tub and eased ourselves into the glider.
“Bird!” she exclaimed as an eagle flew over our heads.
“That kind of bird is called an eagle,” I told her as we swayed back and forth in the chair. She leaned her head back and watched him fly until she couldn’t see him anymore behind the trees.
“Yes, you’re right. The eagle flew behind the trees.”
“We’re sitting in the chair.”
“Yes, we’re rocking.”
And she looked back up at the sky.
She was still for several minutes, looking around the yard and the sky, taking it all in. My heart was so full at this time we had together that it could have burst and the floodgates of my eyes would not have stopped for several minutes—a mixture of happy and sad tears. Happy to have this time with her. Sad that these moments were not more plentiful, where both she and I were still together. I only let a few tears leak out. Quite a feat for a pregnant lady.
And then I knew why she had been so still and quiet.
I smelled it very strongly, a pleasure enhanced by the super-sniffer with which I am equipped when pregnant. At first, I thought about snatching her up and going inside to change her diaper.
But I stopped myself. I knew that if I did so, this moment we were sharing would be lost. And it was so precious to me, sitting next to her, stinky as her diaper was, and it actually did not bother me. I would not let go of that moment for the world. My delight overweighed my discomfort. I didn’t mind at all. I was enjoying my daughter. Soaking up this time together that she was giving to me. It was such a precious moment.
Eventually she tired of sitting in the chair with Mommy and wanted to get down. And then we moved quickly inside to change that diaper.
It took me a few days to collect the heart of the Father from this. But it is so clear to me now. There are times that when He and I are spending time together, He lets me just be me. Yes, there is sin inside me that eventually will need to be dealt with. It’s like a poopy diaper. But for now, He is overjoyed and delighted to be with me, no matter what I’m carrying around. Because He delights in me.
Because He delights in you.
Because He delights in us.
God only changes diapers when He’s good and ready.
Take this to heart! For yourself and also for the people around you. Especially when you think that God is taking way too much time letting this person persist in some awful way of life that is so stinky to you…remember that He delights in you. That He delights in that person. And that He has the best timing of anyone who has ever existed.