One thing that I am so very grateful for in my life, is the ability to remember. It really is a gift from the Lord , isn't it? That ability in itself can be the hope we need in our lives to continue on, to find joy, and even to rest! And even more importantly, it is a gift to know it was the Lord who went through those times with you and is doing so again. A God who cares about even the smallest of details.
A baby is always an adjustment, and that adjustment doesn't take away any of the amazing joy you feel or love you have for that new little life, but it is an adjustment none the less. I have wrestled needlessly because I expected the adjustment to go almost seamlessly since I have already done this 5 times (I know you are giggling at me right now). Kind of a funny concept in the first place because life does not go seamlessly even without the arrival of a whole new life. I am changing my mindset very purposefully, so the Lord can have room in there to teach me, amaze me and grow me.
After Israel was born, I went through a 5 week "high" period. Here I had this amazing little life, that we never thought we would have. I felt the amazing contrast between my pregnancy and being back to health in every moment. Even my mind seemed to be healed, hopeful, clear and motivated. Sleep was not always good, but I seemed to function fine without it. But as I neared that 6 week mark, something seemed to change. Tiredness began to really set in, but sleep even when available, was not always easy. School started up, and that "I can do this" began to fade as I added the homeschooling of all of the kiddos except Izy. Work was becoming a challenge to find time for. Matt was beginning his school year with the youth ministries and that is always a crazy crazy time of year for him-he becomes a bit of a stranger-working all day and into the late night hours, falling asleep on the couch as soon as he returns home. And I begin to miss him. He had 3 conferences in a one week period of time, and I was thankful to be able to go on one of them, but honestly it made life a bit overwhelming when we returned. So by last week, I wanted to just lay flat on the floor, face down until everything stopped spinning. Tears come so easily, which I have come to believe are helpmates to dealing with the changes and demands I am facing. I would rather be soft and cry than to get angry and become hard. We are saying "no" when we can and asking the Lord to give us strength when we can't say no.
During this time we also had to go through the process of making sure I could not carry another baby because of the health risks. Whoa....saying that out loud(or typing it out loud in this case still really stings-ALOT). Honestly, it remains to be a grieving process as if it were a loss in our lives. And, for me, who God made me to be, made Matt, even with 6 beautiful children, it was the hardest decision we have ever made as a couple-ever! Every sweet little stage Israel grows out of, stings a bit more, knowing he is our last. So, the Lord has had to shelter me a bit more than normal with His comfort and peace. It has actually been more like me burying my face in His chest and soaking it with tears and taking a very deep breath every so often. And thus far, it has been a very private and quiet experience for Matt and I and the kids-guess not so much any more:). I guess today -which I did not expect when I awoke this morning- is going to be another day in the process of healing my heart and mind.
But in all of these things, remembering how the Lord has brought us through times like these, helps me to see the joy in each day despite the struggles that may come up against. It helps me to relax and allow things to take time to fall into place. It helps me not to panic or rush or try to do it on my own. Hopefully our kiddos will see it's ok to wrestle with change, and be thankful for it at the same time.