I hadn’t packed my hospital bag. I hadn’t washed the car seat cover. We didn’t own a single newborn diaper. His going home outfit was lost in a pile of unfolded laundry…somewhere….
Things were not exactly as I had planned.
With something so unpredictable as childbirth, things often don’t go according to plan.
That is why this time of bringing a newborn home– it is a season that begs for grace.
With a single cry this tiny new human departs from your body, and tethers himself forever to your soul.
One gaze into those deep pools of dark blue eyes–it changes everything.
It forever changes you.
This babe is born, and you are born all new.
Then it seems as quickly as this tiny being entered the world, you are signing discharge papers, strapping scrawny arms through car seat straps, and fumbling your own broken body out the hospital doors.
And no matter whether you have made this transition before, or this is your first time, this one thing never fails: the feeling of shock as you pull away from the hospital and head towards home, glancing back to the car seat every 45 seconds to make sure your infant is still breathing.
Those first days, those first weeks, those first months–they stretch before you with so much promise, beauty, fear, questions, unknowns, uncertainty, fatigue, and discovery.
The newborn days are a puzzle; an intimate game of mother and child figuring each other out. And this game–this season of such beauty–it begs for grace.
It begs for grace in those first days to sit. To allow your broken body to heal as others take on your usual roles and serve you instead.
Grace to forget all of those tasks on the “before baby arrives” list that never got checked off.
Grace for a sink of dirty dishes and piles of dirty laundry.
Grace for patient hours spent in the dance of mother and child learning to breastfeed.
Grace for too many cups of coffee.
Grace to be tired. Very tired. And to not feel guilty about it.
Grace to nap.
Grace to be on the receiving end of any and all help offered.
This season begs for the grace to allow the days to fall exactly as they desire to; to be whatever they wish–unrushed, unstructured, and unforced.
Grace to put off shedding the baby weight, and to enjoy the cupcakes brought over by friends.
Grace to make time for reflection, for prayer, for reading, for simply processing this incredible thing that has taken place.
And grace for ordering takeout. Again.
This is a time of grace to get little crossed off the to-do list. Or to get nothing crossed off the to-do list. Or to just not write a to-do list.
Grace to view this not as a season for “survival mode”, but rather a season to take slow and savor.
Grace to wish for nothing more, for nothing less, but to embrace each moment for all it has to give and teach.
Grace to set everything aside, and to gaze at this beautiful thing you’ve created, and to memorize his face.
All of these appeals for grace–your soul is begging for them.
And so you, Mama of a newborn, here’s the truth: it is you who must give this grace
You must give it to yourself.
All of these grace requests, you are the one who decides whether or not they are granted. Because you are the one holding yourself to expectations.
So let it go.
Glean life from the example of Christ, who has given you all grace, and decide to give yourself a little bit of grace as well.
Because that tiny little face gazing up at you, suckling life from your own body, waking you at every hour of the night–it’ll be over before you know it, this precious season.
And nothing–absolutely nothing–should steal the beauty of this season away from you. Especially something as insignificant as a pile of unfolded laundry.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
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