I Will Still Be There

Yesterday was the first day of March which means we’re days away from celebrating Elijah’s 5th birthday. Sometimes it seems more like he’s four going on fifteen, especially lately. Lately he’s really been testing my patience. But in the process, he’s also been teaching me.

Some days are perfect and some days I lose count of the times I have to say, “Stop! Don’t do that. You know better!” Just this week we were playing in the yard. There’s this particular part where he loves to go exploring, it’s not a bad place to play but the ground is just extremely uneven and the inconsistencies usually cause him to trip and fall.

While we were playing, he wanted to go exploring and even though I told him not to go there, off he went and bam, he trips. “Elijah if you would’ve just listened to Mommy then that wouldn’t have happened! Come here, let me check your legs.” As I rubbed his knees I felt this still, small voice say, “Exactly.”

How many times has God told us, “No, don’t go there…No, don’t do that…No, don’t say that…No…No…No…Believe me, I only want what’s best for you…Trust me, I don’t want you to get hurt” and yet we still do it?

I’m sure God has lost count of the times he has had to tell me, “Stop! Don’t do that. You know better!” There are places and people and situations He has instructed me to avoid. If I’m honest, I haven’t always listened and more often than not my disobedience lead to distress. But just as I comforted my son, God comforted me. Even after I explicitly said not to go, I was still there. Even after God commanded me not to do something, He was still there. Just as I hugged Elijah and kissed his boo boo, God embraced me and healed me from my brokenness.

I would prefer that Elijah not play in that particular part of the yard but when he does and when he falls, I will be there.
And when I fall, as I surely will, God will be there.

And He will be there for you too!

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Press On

Press on my son
The journey is long
Stand firm in your faith
You need it to stay strong
There are days you will feel lost
There are days you will feel incomplete
There are days you will feel alone
There are days you will feel empty
Press on my son
Do not accept defeat
Press on my son
Those feelings are only brief
They’re merely sent to distract you
From what’s going on underneath
You see my son, you are being made new
Just be still
Allow God to chisel you
You’ve grown so much already
But there is still much more to go
Press on my son
Even if you walk alone
Although you may not see anyone around
It’s in those moments God’s presence abounds
So lift your hands
Lay it all at His feet
Silence the world so that you can hear Him speak
Soon you will sing songs of praise
Thanking God for His love and His grace
Press on my son
There is still much more to go
But do not fear
He will never leave you alone

 

 

The Late Hours

It’s 2am. I can hear the pitter-patter of little feet gradually getting louder. A small shadow appears in the door way and a voice whispers, “Can I sleep in your bed?” It’s my son. My four-year-old son.
“What’s wrong baby?”
“I’m scared.”
I cannot count the amount of times this has happened. Sometimes even seven days a week. My son wakes in fear and rushes to Mommy and Daddy seeking comfort, wanting us to shield him and protect him. From what, I honestly don’t know. He only ever says, “I’m scared.” He lays beside us and we hold him close until he’s sound asleep again.

Just like my four-year-old, fear finds me in the late hours of the night too. In the silence, I am forced to face all the things I’ve suppressed throughout the day. Each one suddenly exposed. Are we safe? Are we secure? Did we remember to lock the door? Are all the windows shut? Are my son’s okay? Are their peaceful dreams being invaded? The what if’s and the maybe’s. All the sick, twisted thoughts we refuse to say out loud, those are the thoughts that cross my mind. The thoughts that grip me. The thoughts that keep me up. The thoughts that overwhelm me.

If I’m being honest, there are nights that I try to push pass the fears on my own; nights that I try to combat them with my own strength. But the truth is, alone, I am weak. I have to tap into the power of Jesus Christ within me. I have to lay it all down and believe that God is standing guard over my family.

Just like my son, who knew the ones he could go to, I need to know the One I can go to.

“God will cover you and protect you, under His wings you will find refuge, His faithfulness is a shield and wall. You will not be afraid of the terror of the night…nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness.” – Psalm 91:4-7

Yes, it is our job to care for our children but it also our job to surrender the situations we cannot control to the One that is in control.

When fears threaten to flood your mind during the late hours of the night, remember that God is never too far from you. Seek Him and He will shelter you.

 

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Sometimes

Sometimes I feel lost
Sometimes I feel alone
Sometimes I feel empty
Sometimes I want to run away from home
Sometimes I yell
Sometimes I scream
Sometimes I curse
Sometimes I’m just mean
Sometimes I’m unhappy
Sometimes I lose all hope
Mommy has been thrown some curve balls
Most I pray you’ll never know
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed
Sometimes I’m confused
Sometimes I cry because I just don’t know what else to do
Sometimes I forget
Sometimes I fail
Sometimes I feel defeated
But He reminds me I will prevail
There will be many ‘sometimes’ throughout this game called life
But for you, I would go through it all twice
I wish I could be perfect, especially for you
But I hope one day you’ll understand there’s nothing I wouldn’t do
It’s not always easy
But I will always fight
I’ll mess up time and time again
But I promise it will be alright
For now just take my hand
Walk with me just like God has planned
I still have much to learn, that I can admit
But I must be good enough because He saw me fit
So walk with me, there’s still a long way to go
By your side I will stay
Until the day God calls me home

 

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Elijah’s Gift

Yesterday while running errands Elijah stumbled across a section of flowers and stopped. He looked around in amazement then fixed his eyes on a specific set of flowers. “Mommy! These flowers will be perfect for you! They’re beautiful…like you.” He grabbed the flowers and proudly walked towards the cashier and said, “I want to buy these for my Mommy!” Although I was the one who actually paid, Elijah bought my first bouquet of flowers this year. Please do not misunderstand, my husband purses me and surprises me with gifts countless times throughout the year, just not with flowers. While I think flowers can be breathtaking, they are not my thing. Correction. They weren’t my thing.

In my last blog I finally shared my silent struggle with postpartum depression. Within this previous post I explained that my days fluctuate between great and terrible. Yesterday was terrible. Well, it started off terrible.

Time and time again this little angel of mine takes these little moments and marks my heart. He had no idea how hard it was for me to get out of bed, how heavy I had been feeling all morning, how pessimism had been consuming me but his little gesture of love erased every negative emotion and every negative thought. Acts of kindness, no matter how simple and no matter how small, are significant. Elijah’s gift has been a gift that keeps on giving. Not the beautiful bouquet currently bringing life into our living room but his kindness, his pure heart, his desire to see his Mommy happy.

When a child gives you something, something as small as a pebble or a beautiful bouquet of flowers, embrace it and encourage it because they are our future and the world needs their kindness.

 

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Guilty

Time and time again we hear how motherhood transcends any and all other experiences. Carrying our child is a momentous journey and there is nothing more miraculous than the moment your eyes meet for the very first time. A bond begins instantaneously. It’s beautiful.

But what about when it’s not? What happens when what should be the happiest experience of your life isn’t? How do you cope with knowing that instead of joy you have anxiety and anger? Recent research has found that postpartum depression affects approximately one in seven mothers. I am one in seven.

I had already experienced pregnancy, childbirth, caring for a newborn and raising a child. I was confident in my innate motherly instincts. But this time it was different. This time my instincts were far from innate. In fact, everything felt completely unnatural and guilt began to overwhelm me. Guilty. I felt so guilty. Guilty for not immediately feeling that instant connection that I felt the first time. Guilty that I wasn’t able to appreciate my miracle baby the moment he entered into our lives. Guilty for not wanting to hold him. Guilty for growing angry as he cried. Guilty for each and every thought I had of leaving. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Never before had I felt such shame. Never before had I felt so afraid. But most of all, never before had I felt like such a failure.

I should’ve known something was wrong. I should’ve been able to see that there was something causing my mood swings, anxiety, anger, intense irritability, sadness, excessive crying, withdrawal from my loved ones, fatigue and thoughts of suicide. But I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see because there are no visible signs of PPD. It’s internal. It’s chemical and it’s emotional. It’s a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustments and sleep deprivation.

“Postpartum depression is a very real and very serious problem for most mothers. It can happen to a first time mom or a veteran mother. It can occur a few days…or a few months after childbirth.” Regardless of when and how it happens, the pain is the same. But there is one other thing that is the same, the ability to overcome. I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. And together we will overcome.

I would be lying if I said that I have completely recovered because I haven’t. It’s been a strenuous battle. Some days are great. Some days are terrible. But the days that are great are starting to surpass the ones that are terrible. I must be patient with myself, I must celebrate the small steps forward and push to avoid any backtrack, I must open up when feeling overwhelmed and I must remember that I may have postpartum depression but postpartum depression doesn’t have me.

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To My Future Daughter-In-Laws….

I may not know who you are right now but I already adore you and am fervently praying for you.

My husband and I are working diligently to raise men of God and it is our deepest desire that you would be a woman of faith; a woman who understands the importance of having God at the center of their marriage, a woman who is kind, compassionate, patient, gentle and respectful, a woman who will one day give us grandchildren and raise them to purse a relationship with Jesus.
To us, everything else pales in comparison.
The expectation to be the perfect homemaker? Not my expectation of you. If you haven’t learned how to cook (or just don’t like to cook) don’t worry, my son’s will know a trick or two. My mother-in-law showed me how to prepare a few special dishes and I will gladly do the same for you. Maintaining a spotless house? Impossible! But if you happen to know how to accomplish that, then please teach me.

All that I ask is that you choose to love my son each and every day. After all, that’s what marriage is, a choice to love and when we continuously make that choice, oh how tremendous marriage is. Tough times will still come though. It is my prayer that you will fight alongside each other, that you will balance each other, that you will be each others’ strength when one is weak, that you will be constant despite the seasons of struggle, that you will honor, support, respect and love each other.

Never hesitate to call me if you’re feeling overwhelmed, even if it involves my son, I’ve known him his entire life so I just may be able to help. I will not judge you. I will try my best to understand. I’m part of your team now. I will always be rooting for you.

I love you, not just because my son loves you but because you love my son too.

I know we have some time before we meet but I will continue to pray for you.
And know that when we do meet, those prayers will continue.