Caroline at 4 Months

Last weekend, my baby completed her fourth month of life. And I have officially become a cliche….I cannot remember life without her. Intellectually, sure, I recall that my time used to revolve almost solely around my whims, but I can’t find it within myself to wish for that time back.

This is so much better. People told me it would be, and, honestly, I thought I might end up the only horrible person in the world not convinced. I couldn’t imagine being so happy to turn my life over.

There’s significance now. My days, more than ever, are filled with repetitive, mundane domestic tasks. But they matter. I do them for her, for her daddy who works six days a week so I have something to clean, for our family who lives life in this house, for our Lord who so graciously gave it all. I’m building her life, day by day. I’m her example. I have the ability to show her grace and the Gospel in the tiny slivers and big chunks of life. That matters. That makes the dishes and the laundry and the time spent on the floor making her laugh matter.

I hope wherever you are on your mothering journey–or even if you’re not there yet–you know that it matters. What we think no one sees, God acknowledges. What we think is slipping under everyone’s radars, it will mold the ones we share our lives with, day by day.

Caroline, you have given me the best 4 months of life yet. You are God’s biggest miracle to me.

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All My Stuff

Last Friday, I said that God had been all up in my business. Strange phrasing, perhaps, but it’s the only way I know to say it.

A few years ago, He told me clearly: “You have a lot of stuff, sweet daughter, and you are not honoring me with it.”

And I said, “But, God, we don’t have that much money. My husband is a firefighter, and I just walked away from a career. We’re not the rich people.”

“I think you should reconsider that.”

So I did. And it’s been saddening and freeing. And it has touched every part of my life with faith to Jesus.

Listen, friends, if you’re reading this then you have access to a computer and the internet. You probably live somewhere with a floor and a roof. I’m willing to guess you’re wearing something on your body. I’d say you’re going to get a meal or two fairly easily today. And that’s just not the case for billions of people on this earth. Billions of real, live people with bodies, hearts, and spirits. Billions of people with families.

The other night, as God was bringing all this back to the forefront of my heart, I was rocking my four month old and adoring her fat cheeks. Then it struck me. Some mama is literally watching her baby die at this moment from something preventable. Some missionary or humanitarian worker is rocking a sick orphan who will not recover. Little ones who could have been saved by a simple over the counter medicine or just clean water will die.

And I look around at all my stuff: the nice car, the teetering stack of pretty dishes, the forgotten vegetables in the refrigerator drawer, my daughter’s overflowing closet. And it makes me uncomfortable.

All this comfort has become sickly uncomfortable. I’m squirming. I want to do something impulsively extreme, and I want to hang on. I want to sacrifice, but I’m scared. Mostly, I want to focus my heart on things eternal. Because all this stuff….it’s all vanity.

I know this current is running through the church right now; I hear it from other brothers and sisters, and I hear it from the pulpits of some men God has given growing influence.

Yet…I can’t shake this sick feeling that we’re still stuck. Stuck in this materialism and consumerism that is accepted, respected, and expected in our society. When did we confuse a solid work ethic with worldly ambition? When did prying the hands of our greedy hearts off of our possessions and money come to mean that we were settling for going through life “worthless”? This is the message I’ve received from some well-meaning Christians. And I get it. I was raised up in this culture, too, and I spent years of my Christian life blind to its insidious poison that has seeped into our church. But my spirit is completely busted up over my own sin.

Lord, please keep me broken. Let’s wrestle over the $4 lattes and the twenty pairs of jeans until my stuff is pleasing to you, until I can honor you with all this crazy excess. Give me your ambitions, let me strive for your success, help me be about Your glory and not my own.

Rest

Is it Saturday already? For real–how did this week disappear without me noticing?

I even missed the SheShares linkup yesterday, which is just my favorite thing happening online these days.

I’ve been flat out depleted and exhausted lately. I would love to crawl into bed for about a week. Since that’s not possible, I’m going to spend the weekend trying to regroup, get some rest, and figure out why I’m feeling so unwell. I have a full week of posts planned next week, so maybe I’ll be a bit more productive.

Enjoy a beautiful weekend, friends!