Five Minute Friday: Unrecognized BEAUTY

Today, I’m writing with the Five Minute Friday community writing group, and this week’s word is Beauty.  If you’d like to join in, the linkup is here.

We all like affirmation.  We like to hear that what we’ve created is something good, whether it be delicious or beautiful or creative or amazing or pick any other positive adjective.  I love to make food for people because I enjoy the process of creating and then sharing what I’ve made with those I care about.  I love to write because I find it therapeutic and can make sense of the unbridled thoughts in my head.  But, if I really get honest with myself, I’m also craving praise.  If I made cupcakes or a cake, or a three-course meal for someone, I would have some seriously hurt feelings if I didn’t hear, “This is delicious,” or “This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted,” or “Wow.”  Something along those lines.  The same goes for my writing.  I know that what I go through in life and then write about can resonate with people and perhaps help them through what I’ve gone through too.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check to see how many people have read what I’ve written, or if anyone “liked” it or commented.  What we create is an extension of our God-given gifts, and will often go unrecognized.  That’s okay.  Beauty, after all, is more beautiful when it isn’t flaunted.

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Love and Grace Times Two

“Every pregnancy is different,” so I’ve heard, and have now experienced.  When pregnant with my first baby, everything was new and exciting, curious and magical, and also terrifying.  Now 38 weeks into my second pregnancy, I sure don’t remember being this uncomfortable (or big-bellied) the first time.  I was nauseous and beyond exhausted the entire first 12 weeks this time around.  Was I that nauseous with the first?  It could be that maybe because I was chasing around a one year old and moved from CT to NC during those first 12 weeks that were the culprit.  With my first, I had an ultrasound every six weeks, due to the bleed that I had at week six, and therefore was considered High-Risk.  While that bleed was scary, having an ultrasound every six weeks gave me the fun opportunity to actually see my girl growing with every new visit.  I have pictures of her giving a fist pump during the first trimester, picking her nose in the second trimester, and sticking her tongue out in the third.  With this pregnancy, I have had one ultrasound to confirm I was indeed pregnant, and so it’s just a blank picture with a tiny circle labeled “Yolk sac,” and just one more at week 19 for the anatomy scan.  Since then, I only been able to imagine what Baby Girl is doing inside or what her personality will be like.  The poor kid has already gotten the shaft and she’s not even born yet!  I’m certainly not complaining that this pregnancy has been so smooth, rendering extra ultrasounds  unnecessary, but I feel like I knew Noelle when she was placed on my chest for the first time.  With this baby girl, I only know her by her kicks and stretches concealed inside me.

My wise mother shared with me her fears about having my sister.  I was her first-born, so how would she ever be able to love another child as much as she loved me?  But she said that as soon as my sister entered the world, my mother’s love was not divided, but multiplied.  I know this to be true in my head, but I still worry in my heart.  With my 21 month old little girl, she’s had my attention exclusively.  I read her stories and play on the floor with her.  We go out to lunch just the two of us and have fun grocery shopping together.  She’s my little sidekick.  How will she handle having to share her Momma?  And how will I create that bond with #2 without making #1 jealous?  There are pictures of me as a five-year-old holding my brand new baby sister.  My face disguises nothing.  I’m clearly annoyed with this crying, red-faced intrusion, and sadly held on to that grievance for several years.  We thankfully are friends now, but it definitely took a while.  Gosh, that must have broken my mother’s heart.  It is my prayer that my girls love each other fiercely from the start.  That in our home, love would constantly multiply and that in our hearts, grace would conquer guilt and resentment every time.

 

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Also posted on The MOPS Blog @  https://blog.mops.org/a-mothers-love-times-two/

Posted in baby, birth, family, fear, friendship, grace, life, love, marriage, pain, sister, waiting, worry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Minute Friday: A sleepy momma’s SURRENDER

Today, I’m writing with the Five Minute Friday community writing group, and this week’s word is Surrender.  If you’d like to join in, the linkup is here.

I am not a morning person.  Typically, I’m not fully awake until about 9am.  Thankfully, my nearly 2 year old loves sleep as much as I  do, so she graciously allows me time in the morning to awaken, spend time reading my Bible, scribble in my prayer journal, and have my coffee before she opens her eyes.  I have about 5 weeks left before Baby Girl #2 decides to make her entry into the world, and much of my alone time will then be filled in with feedings and diaper changes.  I have no idea what this new baby girl’s personality will be like.  I have no idea if she will be as laid back and easy as her older sister, although I sure am praying so.  Until we meet her, we can only speculate and daydream.  These next few weeks are going to be ones of anticipation, spending as much quality time with my oldest daughter and husband as possible, and letting go of my need for control (and sleep).

SURRENDER

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Familiar Fears

Today I’m linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on  a given prompt.  This week’s word is FAMILIAR.

Yesterday, I allowed myself to get sucked in to fear.  I got pulled into some shockingly high online stats of one’s chances of being trafficked, and then became panicked and heartbroken watching a news story about a child who was abducted just a few hours away.  Before I became a mother, I would hear these stats and stories, be momentarily sad, and then forget about them minutes later.  Now that I am a mom to a one and a half year old daughter, and one more on the way, this information now rattles me to the core.  What kind of world are we raising our children in?  Is no place safe anymore?  It makes me want to keep my babies locked inside, away from the toxic gas of this world. But then I have to stop and remember that my God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.  Mommas, pray over your babies.  Daddies, pray over your families.  As parents, we must be alert, vigilant, and smart, while at the same time allowing our children to grow up without fear.

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Learning Grace through Parenthood

A few weeks ago, I took my 17-month-old daughter to a bookstore to do some Christmas shopping. There, we were greeted with free Styrofoam cups full of spiced apple cider. I took a cup, and clearly my girl wanted a taste of what I was drinking. After allowing it to cool for a minute and watching me blow over the surface of the steaming drink, she couldn’t wait anymore and started to fuss. So, I gave her a tiny sip, to which she promptly sputtered and choked. After regaining her breath, she said, “Hot.” However, she of course wanted more of this mysterious hot apple juice every 45 seconds while I was scanning the shelves for a meaningful book. The small cup soon emptied, and so I let her continue playing with the cup contentedly while I scanned the book titles and flipped through the pages of a few I pulled out. I finally picked out what I wanted, and my focus went back to my daughter. She triumphantly showed me the ripped up cup pieces in her lap and on the floor around her. I collected all of the pieces I saw, and we continued to walk around the store.   A few minutes later, she started jamming her whole fist into her mouth, gagging herself. She started doing this awful gagging bit about a month ago, and we have just tried to ignore it, so she hopefully will cease without any reinforcement, positive or negative. After the third time she gagged herself, I just couldn’t take it. I yanked her hand from her mouth and sternly told her to stop. Not a minute later, she did it again, and proceeded to throw up all over the front of her shirt and stroller straps. Of course, an older lady who was also shopping, saw the episode as she was walking towards us, since we were between her and the cash register. Right as she walked by, my friendly girl waved her puke-slimed hand at the lady and gave her a winning smile. The woman didn’t know how to react, so she gave a weak smile in response and then gave me a disapproving, “Oh my,” as she walked past me, and I withered. My face got hot and my eyes threatened to water. I was embarrassed my kid was so gross. I mean, I was walking around a Christian bookstore while my daughter is making herself gag, and I certainly didn’t want anyone to wrongly assume she’d learned this behavior by observation. I was going to lecture her again about not gagging herself, until I realized she had spit out a small fragment of Styrofoam cup. The poor kid was just trying to get the piece of cup out of her throat and I was to blame it was there in the first place.

As a parent, I can totally allow myself to worry about what other people think, instead of just caring about my child and her well being. One day I took her to the grocery store and she started chomping on a whole block of white cheddar cheese. I was initially embarrassed at what others, particularly store employees, would think or say to me. I of course paid for the block of cheese at the register, and had ZERO people gave me strange looks. Most people laughed, including the cashier, and other moms in the store told me that, “whatever it takes,” is what you have to do to get your kids through the grocery store. It was after one of those moms assured me, that I actually started finding humor in the situation.

I’m learning that as a mother and a wife, the only people in this world I should care what they think of me are my husband and my daughter. My little girl is going to do some gross, annoying, loud, messy, and not so cute things as she learns and grows up. I wish I could tell my single, “never having kids” self that all of those kids I grumbled about were just being kids. To have some grace for them, and an even larger share of grace for their parents. Kids are going to be on airplanes and in grocery stores and in restaurants. They are not going to be perfect. Parents certainly are not perfect either, as much as we hope and try to be. Basically, we’re learning on the fly, even if we had amazing parents ourselves.  The time we have with our babies is so short, that we have to embrace these often cringe-worthy times, and laugh through them, even if we want to cry or hide. We all used to be kids, after all.

 

Cheese

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No EXCUSE Necessary

Today I’m linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on  a given prompt.  This week’s word is EXCUSE.

 

When my oldest niece, Eriah, was three years old, she had quite a vocabulary. You could have an entire conversation with her, and would completely forget how young she actually was. One morning, she and I were making breakfast together. I had whipped up some pancake batter and had a chair pulled up to the counter so she could watch what I was doing and “help.” As I poured batter into the pan, she dutifully scooped up some batter and proceeded to pour it directly into the toaster.  Blobs of batter dribbled down the inside of the toast slots, all over the outside, and onto the counter.  I was so shocked at what she’d done, I looked at her and asked, “What were you thinking?” She just looked at me like I was crazy for asking her such a question. After I got that look in response, I stopped and realized I was asking a THREE year old why she’d just dumped pancake batter into the toaster.   There didn’t need to be an excuse for her actions. She simply didn’t know any better. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I keep this story in the back of my mind because I know these kinds of things are going to happen. I can’t get upset because she’s figuring out her world, and with that exploration, often comes messes.

 

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Five Minute Friday: Growth in the SILENCE

Today I’m linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on a given prompt. This week’s word is SILENCE.

 

In the silence, you’re growing inside me.  I can’t hear you or see you, but when I’m still, I feel you moving within me.  When I sit and read or lay down to sleep, that is when you’re most active.  And I’m grateful for your movements.  I grab your daddy’s hand and place it on my round belly so he can feel you too.  And so that the love we have for you grows each day as you grow.  One day, we will get to see you and hear you too, but until then, I’m excited to feel you kicking and splashing around inside.

 

SILENCE

 

 

 

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