Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Steeped in Mercy

While we were home for Thanksgiving, several people asked how motherhood was going. My standard answer has become:

"The learning curve is steep...But God is merciful."

I feel like life has finally smoothed out over the last month or so, and I'm so thankful. Elijah and I got off to a rough start, to be honest. Labor and delivery, though perfect on paper, were quite traumatic for me. My recovery was a little more difficult/painful than normal, and getting nursing established was about 6,000 times harder than I expected (and I'd been warned/prepared for the fact that it was going to be hard). I struggled emotionally--teetering on the edge of postpartum depression, to tell you the truth--and hit rock bottom at about six weeks.

But today, almost four months out, I feel good. I am starting to get the hang of this motherhood thing, and I am enjoying it a whole lot more than I did at first. God has been so near, so faithful these last few months. And He is teaching me (over and over--I am a slow learner sometimes) to cherish this time and not wish it away. One version of that lesson came very gently but powerfully, from Steve's beloved (by both of us!) Granny.

As we sat around the kitchen table last Saturday night and I gave my answer (with some elaboration), Granny nodded. "It's hard," she said. "Your time is not your own anymore. But it goes by so fast. I have far too much time of my own now." She smiled. "Of course, people told me that, but I had to learn it the hard way. I can tell you, but you'll have to experience it yourself."

She wasn't trying to "teach a young whippersnapper a lesson"--she simply spoke with honesty, from her heart. And something about the quiet way she spoke and the look in her eyes made me pause and really take her seriously--in fact, I've been pondering her words ever since.

Elijah is growing fast; he'll only be little for a short time. Will I make an effort to enjoy every moment, even the ones that don't seem very enjoyable? Or will I squander this time by impatiently looking forward to when he can _____ (talk, walk, sleep through the night, play with us, build things with his daddy, etc.)? Lord, cause my heart to cherish today, this day You have made, these circumstances You have placed me in--cause me to rejoice in it, in You, so that I am not left with a lifetime of regret.

5 comments:

zz said...

Aww, Amy, I am so glad to know you're doing so much better. Motherhood is way tougher to get used to than marriage, huh? I mean, if you don't want to feed your husband, he knows where to fetch it without crying (notice I didn't say "without being a big baby about it!). I had a hard time getting used to someone depending on me 24/7, and I think I squandered my first 2 kids' first 2 years on my own "hurry up and learn..." attitude. All I can advise is this: save your last child till your late 30s when you have teens. You will all thoroughly enjoy the little boy (girl?) SO much and find yourself thanking God that the learning curve looks way different .

Burkhalter Ministry said...

Thanks for sharing-- I can say, I have soooo been there... my oldest is now 5 and I finally feel like I am getting the hang of some things... it does get easier. And I am so glad the Lord and those around me are patient as we learn and are molded by our new life as moms. Grace is great- I will definately need it as well in the coming months with the third addition, praying I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and accepting my weakness to boast in his strength.
You will be a very compassionate friend and empathetic listener now to other moms going through the same thing.
Blessings,
Beth

kristin said...

Beautifully, honestly written. Thanks.

Bethany said...

Oh I am so glad you are doing better. Life is quite a journey. It does go fast. I look at Seth and am moved to tears. My first baby is almost 7. It has gone so fast. Life when I look at the day to do at times seems slow. Here I am right now. I had plans to get all these seeds in the ground and instead I am reading blogs with Adelee nursing. My plans constantly have to shift and change to meet my kiddos first instead of my own agendas. I loved your Grandmas words. What a wise Woman.

On a side note one of our favorite phrases around here to our kids is "Your getting to big to fast will you please grow down!!" This started once when Seth told me he wanted to be a kid forever and not grow up he wanted to grow down. And now he wants to grow up but his Mama and Daddy want it to at least slow down. HEE HEE.

-Your friend and fellow Post-part momma
Bethany

Gene and Annie said...

I truly appreciate your honesty and openness! I found your blog through a mutual IWU friend when you first had your little one! I have enjoyed reading your blog and I just love how thoughtful and honest you are with everything you write about. I am also glad to hear that things are going better now. I, too, had a rough first start to my mommyhood. By far, nursing was the hardest thing that I have ever had to persevere through thus far. Though I had a rough start too, I can attest to the beauty of motherhood and having children!! I now have three!! I do love it and it does get better!! AND yes it does go too fast!! I enjoy it all the ups and downs (at least when I look back)! ;) Thanks again for being willing to share!!