I’ve been “updating the blog” with snippets in my head, you know, the “oh, I should write this down” thoughts that never quite make it to the computer. Something about wanting to polish it all up so beautifully keeps me from getting it down! What’s up with that!? I’ve wished for a camera in my brain for awhile now, but wordpress should really invent a “blog this snippet” brain-to-blog feature. Anyways, the theme of my brain-only postings have been when the sweetness of life spills out of me and I just have more than I can hold, so I want to record it. It’s as if when it gets to beautiful that I’m completely saturated, I feel like I need to turn to writing to mop up the extras that just keep flowing. I was chatting with my good friend Missy Lee on a hike yesterday evening with our kids and husbands on a cool summer evening. We dropped back, she nursed while we walked, and we discussed how being a mom is just the most amazing gift–and we have thought that every stage has been pretty fantastic. I am so honestly thankful to be here and am amazed and humbled that God allowed me a part in this walk called motherhood.
Tonight after an Applebee’s date with Joel and Liesey, I brought her up to her room to feed her before bed. As I soaked in the sweet relationship that is nursing, the dimly lit room giving her enough light to play with my bracelet while getting her night cap, I just was saturated. Saturated by the sight at Applebees of her diving in with both index fingers at a tiny piece of chicken and cramming her whole fist into her mouth in an attempt to eat the tiny morsel. Overwhelmed by the sweetness of Liesey and Joel’s greeting routine after he’s home from work–big smiles from as far away as they can possibly see each other, power crawls/lunges towards him, her reaching out for his face, her little mouth enveloping his nose in a “kiss,” upside-down kisses to her neck and belly. After our date she looked up at him to say goodnight, reached out and said “da-da.” I took her upstairs and attempted a diaper change before nursing, and she cried in frustration saying “ma-ma.” This little person is communicating, and it’s so much awesome! After feeding her we went to put on jammies, which ended in a “wherrrrre’s Anneliese!?” game. She holds her little dress up over her eyes (or over her head, eyes peeking out beneath), then tosses it down. I squeal and jump dramatically. “THERE she is!!!” She squeals and laughs, a completely unpolished, un-practiced emission of emotion. The squawk-giggle gets me to do it again. Ten rounds later she’s starting to bore of me, while I’m still repeating with the same level of excitement to get just one more giggle out of that girl.
We sit to read stories. Barnyard Dance is on the menu, and we scramble with the chicks and “cheep cheep cheep” her into smiles. She tries to pinch the picture and talks to the characters “tuu-tu-tu-tu.” Next comes “The Lord is My Shepherd,” a book from my Amish friend Martha. Martha, the one who told me, eyes shining, while holding her newborn tenth child, “you know, every one is so very special and you just love them so much. You might think that after ten they aren’t as precious but really, they are.” “The Lord is my shepherd; he gives me everything I need,” the book begins. As we paged through the gentle drawings and simple, powerful words, I was really struck with the image of the little pastel sheep eating lush grass and red flowers surrounded by a field of the like. The simple words read, “you bless me; I have more than I can hold.” I looked at those flowers, more than the little lamb could hold, and realized that I really have that. The moments, the memories, the sweetness of getting to walk with Jesus every day and receive his love and peace for my family. Knowing that he is blessing my occupation as mama and Ezer Kenegdo: “one who rides to save” (helper/wife), and getting to live those is just such a gift to my soul. Each of those little red flowers are moments just like the one that I was in. More sweetness than I can hold. Thank you, Jesus.
ps: To be sure, I was fulfilled by and blessed fully by God before he answered my prayers for my husband and baby. I don’t think I’ve realized a greater level of wholeness as a result (some of the most whole people I’ve ever met were single and childless), but I’m celebrating that within this place that God has for me I’m finding an amazing amount of joy.