My pants are getting tighter. You could blame the pizza rolls. Or the increased frequency of mashed potatoes in our house. Or you could blame the little person who, for the past 16 weeks, has been growing and swimming and sucking. the. life. right out of me.
As Hadley loves to announce, “My mommy has a baby in her tummy.”
Which is usually followed by, “Want to touch it?”
(But if you reach out to rub my not-looking-pregnant-just-looking-fat belly I might actually punch you in the face. Or cry. Or both.)
The constant exhaustion, occasional nausea, and intermittent irritability are constant reminders that life is different. It’s not really mine any more. It never really was, I suppose, and over the past 3-and-a-half years of Hadley’s life I’ve realized it’s REALLY not mine, and now since being married, it’s a daily lesson of die-to-self that I would often rather not learn.
Many times, I’ve sat down to blog something philosophical because, well, I’m smart! I have things to say, dangit! And despite the onset of preggo-brain, the bajillion pictures that need editing, and the 3-year-old who begs to do art projects like every. five. minutes., I am determined that I will cling to the things that make me feel like…me.
But I am learning that “Me” is constantly changing, and I’m starting to rejoice in that. Praise God he doesn’t just leave me to myself – to wallow in my selfishness – to take pride in my brain while neglecting my heart.
I spend a lot of time back-pedaling when I visit old friends. “You’re cutting back on your business?” they ask incredulously. “You’re just going to be a…mom??”
“And wife,” I’d love to answer.
I’d love to say with confidence that Jesus has given me a new heart! And this new heart doesn’t require that I prove myself with grad school or business success or being the adventurous-risk-taker. This heart has been gripped by the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice for me, and thus longs to serve him in return. This heart is learning that my place, right now, is discipling the other little hearts entrusted to me; serving and encouraging my husband as he leads our family; continuing my business only as long and as much as it fits our family; sacrificing my dreams and believing that God’s are bigger.
But instead, I make excuses. “Well, I’ll still take on weddings…I’m not giving it up, exactly…I mean, we’ll evaluate if we want more children after each one…we won’t be in Glyndon forever…”
A friend suggested recently that maybe every dream God has instilled in me belongs to one of my children. Like my desire to be an overseas missionary. Maybe we’ll never go, but maybe I’ll raise a bunch of little people with a heart for the world. Maybe Jordan and I will spend “retirement” traveling around the world, visiting all our little missionaries.
When I shared that with another friend, they said, “how depressing.”
I suppose it is – this idea that Jesus may be trusting me with something he didn’t actually intend for me. But I actually think it’s kind of beautiful. As I read the pages of Scripture, I see God destroying whole families in order to draw one person to himself; I see his relentless pursuit that spans generations – parents and grandparents who wandered in the wilderness so their children could taste the Promised Land. I don’t understand it all. And, if I’m to be honest, I often don’t like it. But I believe that God is good. And I believe that God is working.
So, yeah. I’m a mom. And a wife. And first and foremost, I am the Redeemed of the Lord.
(Have you read Psalm 107 lately? You should.)
And instead of staring at this blog, determining that I won’t tell cute anecdotal mom stories or wrestle with discipline issues or talk about learning to submit to my husband, I’m just gonna put it all out there. You may wonder where the old Kendra is, but the truth is, I like this one better.
So begins the transformation. Cute anecdotal mom stories pending…
Baby bump pictures…you can keep dreaming.