Last night at my church we threw a baby shower for a very dear friend and her new little cowboy. I was asked to do the devotional and I thought I would share with you what I shared with them.
It's a lot of sharing. I know.
When I was asked if I would do the devotional for tonight I said yes without hesitation. We are so happy for Jay and Peggy and little Rate, I was simply thrilled to be involved. But then later as I began to think about what it was I should say, I began to get nervous. Very nervous. Of all the ladies in our church, I have about the least amount of motherly experience and wisdom of anyone. I started to mentally list off the ladies in our church and the children they have raised or are raising. The numbers are astronomical. If there is anything our church is really good at, it’s reproducing.
My insecurities started to rear their ugly heads. I’ve only been at this mommy thing for 6 months, what could I possibly say that would be of any help or encouragement to Peggy? So I prayed. I prayed that God would direct me and give me the words to say. So, here we go.
I’m going to give you my Top Ten Things I Have Learned About Being a Mother:
1) 1 Sleep, as you know it, will not exist again. I remember my mom told me one time that when she became a mom, she never slept the same again. She was right. From the moment we started the adoption process, I stopped sleeping normally. And I’m guessing the same could be said of your pregnancy. And the word on the street is that it is not going to get any better any time soon. I’m pretty much preparing myself to be exhausted for the next 20-25 years.
2) 9Poop. Your life, at least for the next several months, will revolve around the clean-up and removal of poop. Like me, you are a college-educated professional woman, and yet your new main job is going to be all about poop.
3) Other bodily fluids. It is amazing to me that babies are not dehydrated more often. They are constantly leaking some sort of fluid. Spit, drool, snot, vomit, and even tears, the list goes on and on. Your clothes will never look the same.
4) Laundry. How can something so small generate loads of laundry that are so massive? You will spend more time using your washer and dryer than you will any other appliance in your home.
5) Brain cells. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this already… but you are going to experience a massive loss of brain cells. In spite of the fact that you spend 99% of your day multi-tasking so that you can get everything done… you will lose your ability to compile a complete a thought on demand. You will be able to recall facts, but not when you need them. You will remember people’s names, but not when you are actually having a conversation with them. You will forget your purse, your wallet, your shoes, your jewelry, the stove, the phone, the time, and sometimes… yes… you will even forget the baby. Just expect it. If you know it’s coming, the shock won’t be quite so harsh.
6) Eating patterns. The days of preparing a meal and then sitting down to eat said meal are over. You will throw food in your mouth when and where you can. Sometimes you will get to taste warm food, but not often. Sometimes you will finish your plate, but not often. Sometimes you will get to have a dinner conversation with your hubby, but not often.
7) Humility. I fully believe that when God looked down at his creation and realized that his children were becoming too prideful, He thought, “I know! I’ll create toddlers!” Few things will strip you of your pride and dignity like a toddler. For instance, just yesterday at our family reunion while we were waiting for supper to be served I was having a nice chat with a brother-in-law in the dining hall when he said, “Ella sure isn’t very shy, is she?” “Why do you ask?” I stupidly replied. He grinned and pointed over to the line of people waiting to get their food. And there was my darling little girl, walking up to each person in line, tugging on their leg and yelling, “HELLO!” and then lifting her shirt up so they could see her “tummy-button.” Humility. You will learn it and you will learn it thoroughly.
8) Joy. Along with the painful humility process comes the uplifting process of your child bringing you joy. It will never cease to be a miracle to me that God loved me so much that He sent this precious, little bundle of energy and joy for me to love and who loves me right back. Being a mother, while painful and exhausting, is packed full of joy. Getting front row seats and watching them learn and develop and grow is joy. Pure, unadulterated joy.
9) Love. I know this might seem silly, but until I became a mother I’m not sure I fully grasped what unconditional love truly was. I’ve known my whole life that God sent his ONLY son to die in my place. But until I became a mother I’m not sure I could fathom just how painful that sacrificial act would have been. I would do anything to save her, to protect her. I would gladly lay my life down for my daughter, but would I offer her up to save someone else? I think not. Becoming a mother has not only taught me that my heart was capable of so much more love than I ever thought possible, but it also gave me a little, tiny glimpse into just how much my Heavenly Father loves me.
And the last, but probably most important thing I have learned about being a mother…
10) The Power of Prayer. I know you well enough Peggy to know that you have a great faith. I know that you love your Heavenly Father. But this little baby boy, if he hasn’t already, is going to rock your prayer world like nothing has ever rocked it before. In the months I was waiting to become a mother and in the months since we brought Ella home I have prayed more than I had in my entire life previous to that. I believe, with my whole heart, that prayer can make a parent. Or the opposite of that… lack of prayer can break a parent. Being a mom is the single hardest job on the planet and to try and tackle it without prayer is, in a word, foolish. So Miss Peggy, if there was any advice that I could give you whatsoever, it would be to cover this little one, your husband, and yourself in prayer.
I was reading a blog that is written by a mom whose children are now grown and she shared this list of prayers that she has prayed over the years since she first became a mom:
"Please, Lord, just let me get a good night’s sleep."
"Dear Jesus, help me see if he really pushed a piece of red crayon up his nose and if so, help me get it out!"
"Please Lord, don’t let him love his kindergarten teacher more than me."
"Dear Jesus, protect him from these crazy neighborhood kids."
"Please Lord, he’s too young to be interested in girls!"
"Dear Jesus, help us all to survive his learning to drive.
"Heavenly Father, thank you that we finally made it to graduation. I’m so proud of him."
"Please Lord, keep him faithful to you as he goes into the Air Force."
And this one came all to soon – "Dear Jesus, bless this young couple as they begin their life together."