Friday, November 18, 2011

Overcoming the Beautiful Mess

It's been an exuisitely beautiful, fearfully awesome, and really tough year since Hunter was born. Trying to get back on track with neccessities!
Love reading Kim Brenneman's stuff:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

notes to self

I write because I am talking to myself. But I also write because I know that somewhere out there is the woman who needs to know; to hear what God has said to me, because it is what He is saying to her.
So I remind myself:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Babies, Sleep Deprivation, and NO MORE DEPRESSION

I am thinking I'll jot this down for myself, but I also know God may use it to comfort another sleep deprived mommy.

Hunter has been waking up at least every two hours at night for the last six months. At the beginning, it was more frequent: every hour, sometimes half an hour or 45 minutes.

(I think he was trying to replicate the womb- to find that environment that met the expectations he developed during the first nine months of his life. He would sleep if he was held, so I held him as much as I could.)

He also had some digestive issues, so I never felt right about just leaving him in his crib to cry. There are many reasons, but all of them seemed to lead to a very tired mommy getting up again and again in the middle of the night!

So, how have I been coping? Because sometimes I felt like I just COULD NOT go on.

1. At the beginning when he was small I kept a very dim lamp lit in the room so that I could read scriptures while I nursed. Sometimes I just read one and then meditated on it over and over. It helped to keep my mind centered on what was right. Any one who has been sleep deprived (or battled depression) knows that this is of extreme importance. Have TRUTH ready and available and fix your mind on it over and over.

2. I kept worship music playing in Baby's bedroom night and day. It changed the spiritual atmosphere of that place that I spent so much time not sleeping. It made a way for the Spirit of God to be a source of great comfort to me.

3. I prayed. I told God EVERYTHING. I admitted all, held nothing back, made no pretense. I wept, I begged, I whispered his Word to Him. I praised Him, and whatever else I needed to do. I stayed in connection with Him through prayer, even when it was terribly painful.

4. I thanked Him. I didn't do this perfectly, but I did make a point of being grateful for even basic things, like baby's life, his health, his beauty, his personality.

5. I prayed for others. This took my mind off of my self and my own suffering.

6. I just did it, without thinking about whether or not it was right that so much sleeplessness be required of me. I focused on showing baby compassion, and this fed me. To make happen for someone else what I so badly needed for myself gave me strength. And I reminded myself that the feelings of terrible fatique would pass, and once this day (or night) was over, I would have accomplished one more day in this period of my life and it would be that much closer to being behind me. But I also reminded myself of the sacredness of these days with precious infant, and that once they were past I could never revisit them, no matter how much I might want to. I thought of those in my life who longed to be holding a baby the way I was, and I chose to appreciate the night time moments, even though they included pain.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greater even than Me

It is quiet, and dim. Worship music plays softly in the background, and shadows fall softly against baby's face. I trace the line of his cheeks, his hair, his ear with my fingers. Finally there is a solace- a break from the business and noise. Here everything seems to make sense: this sacrifice of my life, my strength, my very self. Here the great demands placed on my life by one human being seem right, even necessary. I lean my head back and murmer scriptures, and silent prayers. Here, there is a peace. A break from the incessant inner and outer noise that has been my life these last few days.

But tomorrow will invade soon, just like it did the day before. A day of demands placed on a woman who has nothing left to offer. Even the boy in the gospel story had fishes and loaves to present to Jesus, but this woman has only inner brokeness. I have offered my time, my effort, my strength, my sleep, even my very food and drink, and still I feel surrounded by my own failures and shortcomings and the expectations of neglected children, neglected housework, neglected lover. I can't do this. It is true. I have nothing else I can give.

So I lock myself in the bathroom, and in a brief moment alone I open up my yawning chasm before the Lord. I tell Him my grim selfishness, all my ugly complaints. I tell Him of my great inner horror, and that I don't feel I can go on. Even the intense, poignant, amazing beauty of my relationship with baby is draining my joy after 4 months of night wakings; never less than two, often at least 6 times I respond to his cries and gently lift him out of his crib; I pull him to my chest and offer comfort- offer the very thing I don't know how to find. The one thing I feel such a desperate and urgent need for. My innermost being is desperate- a beggar.

And in this place of inner deficit and depravity, and full honesty before God I can think of only one thing that is even uglier than a selfish mother and self focused wife.

It is a cross. It is a perfect Savior born for murder; born as a delicate and fragile baby, whose mother woke at night to feed Him, just like I feed my baby. A holy infant, destined for a crucifixion. It is a son of man who never sinned, and yet BECAME sin for me. He didn't just die on a cross to forgive me, but He, the Innocent Beautiful, BECAME the inner horror that I don't know how to face. And not just for me- He became the inner horror and ugliness of all mankind. All of us. And He bore the full weight of the wrath of Holy God for that depravity which He became.

So I ponder the awful wonder of a God who could love me that much. To become my horror, so that I could leave it behind. So that I wouldn't have it! And a certain inner stillness comes. Not completely a peace, not just yet, but a soberness and a stillness that is greater than the turmoil around me.

And I need that.

I need to know that there is something; Someone, so much greater than my sin.