The Life Not My Own

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When God's Plan Isn't Yours

When Andy first told me the news, I was shocked.  Some of our best friends, the youth pastor and his wife at our church, were going to be moving to Prosper, Texas to plant a church.  In all honesty, it wasn't a complete surprise.  In our heart-of-hearts we knew that God had been leading Joey and Syndal in a different direction for a long time.  When it actually became a reality, however, I was completely unprepared.

As I waited for Miles to arrive, I had done a lot of dreaming about the future.  I couldn't wait for the days at the creek, with Miles playing with their kids.  I couldn't wait to raise our children together and serve God together.  Miles even decided to come on their oldest's birthday.

And then came the news that God was calling them elsewhere, and all those dreams of raising our kids and doing life together came crashing down.  Miles wasn't even a month old yet.  As the news sunk in, I found myself upset.  Surely God couldn't be calling them somewhere.  Surely they must be mistaken!  But I knew they weren't.

And then I found myself a bit mad at God for taking them away.  Why would he send us such great friends, such powerful workers for His kingdom, only to take them away? 

I wanted to be happy for them.  I wanted to be excited about the amazing things God was using them to do.  Yet, all I could think about was what I wanted...what I would be missing when they left.

And then they invited us and a few other friends over to preview the video they made about what God was calling them to.  The music they used in the background was Phillip Phillip's "Home".  As usual, God spoke to me more through music than anything else.  I realized that that song fit perfectly in their situation.  This new adventure was no easier on them than it was on me!  No, I may not have chosen to have them move to Prosper, Texas.  But God did.

May I never let my own desires and dreams get in the way of someone else following God's will.

And so, when we send them off next month, it will be with mixed emotions.  I want God's best for their life, and I am so excited to see what He's going to do through them!  Yet, I will most certainly miss them.  I will miss the card nights at their house, and the $5 Tommy's pizzas we always ate together.  I will miss having their enthusiasm and joy filling up our church and our little town.  Yet, ultimately, I want God's best...not mine.  I know that His plan is far better than I can ever imagine.  Yes, Prosper, Texas will be blessed indeed when one special family heads their way.

And, after all, Dallas is just a short plane ride away...and I know someone with passes.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cutest Nephew Award...and They Grow So Fast

Last Wednesday, exactly at midnight, my new nephew and Miles' newest cousin was born.  James Michael is the cutest little man, and has already stolen my heart.  Have I mentioned that I love being an aunt?

Miles was fascinated by his new little buddy/partner-in-crime.  What was amazing to me was how big Miles looked next to James.  How they grow!  And in ten short weeks!

Watching the proud new parents, I was reminded of Miles' first days.  How much we've learned since then!  I remember being completely overwhelmed then.  Actually, I still feel that way.  Yet, things are finally starting to "work".  Miles sleeps better at night, the colic is behind us, nursing troubles are long past, and, most of all, we have learned how to meet the unique needs of our little boy.  We have learned that good parents learn how to meet their child's needs instead of trying to conform him/her to their preconceived notions.  

Oh, how I love watching him change and grow!  I love looking down to see his sweet little smile and that twinkle in his bright blue eyes!  Somehow, when you relax and let your baby become the little person they are meant to be, parenthood becomes a lot more enjoyable. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things Every Mommy (and Probably Only Mommies) Have Thought

If he wakes up again right as I drift off, I think I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.

Does this outfit work for nursing in public?

Items are now in my cart…I’m committed.  If he has a meltdown, would it be wrong to leave a cart full of food in the middle of the store?  Maybe if I find and empty aisle and no one is looking…

Did I take a shower yesterday?  The day before?  Oh boy…I must reek.

Why are there no carts in the cart bins outside?  Don’t they know that they need to leave a few out here for us baby mama’s who are already on a mad dash to get groceries before our baby wakes up?!

I wonder if these people will give me dirty looks if they realize I’m nursing him.  You never know who’s offended by nursing covers…

Uh, did I remember to put new nursing pads in?  I hope so, ‘cause this could be embarrassing.

Did I feed baby in the night?  I only have a vague memory of him crying.  Maybe I’m starting to get on auto-pilot.

PPPLLLEEAASSEEE go back to sleep!

How can I be frustrated that he wants to be awake at 2 a.m. when he gives me that sweet little smile? My mommy heart just melted. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

These Moments

Some days (okay, many days), I look around at my house in sheer frustration.  Nothing is clean...everything's a mess.  It's a daily struggle to keep up.

I love my little man, but he has made my life so very unpredictable.  Some days he'll take several long naps, and let me lay him down, allowing me to actually get a few things done.  Other days, he's clingy and wakes up if I lay him down.  Some days, I can get him to sit and watch me while I work.  Others, he cries the moment I sit him down, and I spend my entire day walking and bouncing him.

I crave organization.  I love to have an order to my days.  Problem is, right now I never know ahead of time how each day will go.  The only thing I know for sure is that I will spend the day with my sweet baby boy.  How many chores will get done, I don't know.  It's even questionable whether I'll be able to finish my makeup. 

I read other blogs of moms with new babies.  Sometimes, they make me inadequate.  Like when they actually have time to blog, or note that they're getting back into a schedule...and their baby is younger than mine.  It makes me feel like I must be doing something wrong.  Why is my bathroom still dirty while theirs is clean?

It's then that I realize that I can't compare myself to others, or even to my own life in different seasons.  There is no one else in the world with my life, my house, my unique baby boy.  The truth of the matter is, I do the best I possibly can.  I'm rarely idle, and I use every free moment to do something.

My baby may just be more unpredictable or want to be held more than these other women's babies.  They may be able to do more while "babywearing" because they're not as tall as me, and don't have to bend over just to wash dishes.  They may have a smaller house, a husband that's less busy than mine, or whatever else the case may be.  The point is, I don't know...and I don't want to know.  I don't need to be comparing myself to them!

My only aim in life is to do what God puts before me for each day.  Right now, that's bouncing a sweet baby boy named Miles, helping my husband in his work, and keeping up with housekeeping to the best of my abilities.  As long as I'm doing that, I should be happy and proud of what I accomplish each day.

My house won't always look like this.  One day I won't have any more babies to rock.  And you know what?  I'll probably wish I could trade my clean, well-kept house for just a few minutes with a fussy baby.  But then, it's easy to think that the grass is always greener on the other side, in another season.  May I not waste the beauty of this one in feeling defeated, frustrated, and jealous.  May I find joy in each precious moment with my little one.  All too soon, those moments will be gone.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

2 Months

Yesterday our little Miles turned two months old.  Can somebody please tell me where the time has gone?


He’s becoming more of a baby and less of a newborn with every new roll and every pound gained.  And boy is he gaining!  At his 6-week check-up, he weighed over 11 pounds (almost three pounds gained in three weeks!).  Since then, I’m pretty sure he’s gained several more pounds.  We’ve had to move him up to size two diapers, and he’s pretty close to being out of his 0-3 month clothes.


His little personality comes out more-and-more each day.    His eyesight is improving, and he’s using that to his full advantage taking in everything.  He especially likes to look at mom and dad.  He also loves it when we sing to him…usually chiming in with coos and gurgles of his own.  His smile is so frequent now!


Thankfully for his parents, he’s starting to settle into more of a routine and sleep a bit better at night.  We still have our moments, but the fussiness has gone down exponentially.  It takes awhile to get him to sleep, but once he’s out he usually sleeps 4-5 hours for the first part of the night.  This is a huge improvement! 


We’re excited to see what this next month will bring!  He’s so very close to rolling himself over from his tummy, so maybe that will happen soon.  He gets stronger by the day!


We’re looking forward to introducing Miles to his new little cousin, due to arrive any day now.  It seems weird that Miles will be the big boy all of a sudden!  Time really does fly, doesn’t it? 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Loving My High-Needs Boy

From the moment of his arrival into this world, we knew that Miles was different.  After a mere 15 minutes of pushing, he announced his entrance with eyes open and lungs screaming.  He hasn’t stopped since.

We know several babies about Miles’ age, and it was pretty obvious that he is not the same as them.  While all the other newborns slept and get passed around frequently, Miles would be looking around with alert eyes, not wanting to miss out on anything.  When he did sleep, it was only in familiar arms, and he didn’t bear getting passed around.  I feared going out in public alone, wondering if he’d start screaming (that boy is loud).  Feeding him isn’t guaranteed to quiet him down like most babies!

Nothing can fully prepare you for being a parent, but I felt like Miles failed to line up with anything I’d ever been taught about babies.  He hated swaddling, didn’t like the swing, and screamed in the car.  Rocking him to sleep was out of the question…Mama and Papa had to be walking around bouncing him, usually singing and usually with a pacifier.  He rarely ever fell asleep nursing.  He was just plain different.

You see, we’ve got a classic case of a high-needs child on our hands.  And you know what?  That’s okay!  There’s nothing about his personality that we had any hand in.  God created our little man to be special and unique.  He’s a lot of work (what baby isn’t), and sometimes I just feel very drained and exhausted.  But I wouldn’t change him for the world.

You see, we may be constantly on edge, wondering how we can calm our screaming baby.  We may get our fair share of a work out, come a couple of months when he’s up moving.  We may always have a strong-willed child on our hands.  Yet, we enjoy the special person that he is.  We love how alert he is, always wanting to take in the world.  We love that he’s not plain and boring, and always has us on our toes.  We love watching his strong personality emerge. 

Every time my little high-needs boy gives me his biggest grin (which is often, despite his fussiness), nothing else seems to matter any more.  I know without a doubt that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  Some days are harder than others, as Miles is anything but predictable.  With God’s strength, however, I know I can make it through.  I don’t want his high-needs personality to distract me from missing out on the wonderful gift that he is.  Just because he’s a bit different doesn’t mean he’s all challenging!  He loves to look at things and “talk” to anything he can.  His favorite thing to do is go for a walk outside where he can see everything, yet still be safe in Mom and Dad’s arms.  His sweet smiles could melt anybody’s heart. 

One thing I know: God put little Miles in our family for a reason…and I’m so blessed that he did.