Our sweet little guy will be one week old tomorrow. Bliss! He is quiet, sleepy, and precious. Lots of dark hair, a round little kissable face.
There are bumps along the way, of course. His brother just above him doesn't walk or talk yet- two babies! The first time he saw Joseph, he crawled over to him and whacked him on the head. No mean-spiritedness, just a curious, clueless 14-month-old. I can remember when our second-born, notoriously zealous and overly-affectionate toward his younger brother, would approach the littler fellow and the third-born would cringe at his coming. History may just repeat itself.
I have a fantastic helper who is here three days a week. She runs laundry, cuts hair, preps meals, and is a kind, energetic presence in our home. Poor gal fell yesterday and severely broke her arm. Suddenly I find myself without all of her helpfulness. My mom had planned to come and take the girls for a fun few days together, but she was hit with a terrible cold this weekend. Do you see a trend here? God has something to teach me.
My brother (both brothers are pastors) in Texas called the other day and said, "You know, this is good for you. You needed to experience having babies close together so you can encourage those young moms from your own experience." And it's true. Hopefully after the next year or two ahead, I'll have some experience to pass along that can be a boost to other moms along the way.
I am not perfect. I have had moments of overwhelmed emotionalism this week, wondering how in the world I am going to handle life without my husband here come Monday. If you remember the last baby and my nursing woes, I am there again, pumping every three hours to keep this little one fed. I just couldn't see how I was going to manage that, a 14-month-old, and six others. Ah, BUT. I emailed my faithful friend Cheryl and asked her to pray and as usual I got far more than just an assurance of prayer. She spoke God's Word strongly, as she is prone to doing. She wrote things like, "I will pray, specifically, that the Lord would show you "the way of escape" that He has already provided for you. Isn't that incredible? Knowing that all of this would happen... knowing that your post partum hormones give you grief... knowing ALL that, God has gone before you, Kenj, to prepare a way of escape from the temptation so that you will be able to ENDURE it. I wish I could tell you that He promises that it will be easy to get through this short season, but He does promise that you can ENDURE it. "
I have thanks to give to my other faithful friends who are praying, bringing me chocolate and chai, and standing with me in encouragement and sisterhood. Thanks Heather, Smidge, and Jen. Thanks also to my stellar sister-in-law Laura who is always hands-down the most excited family member I have whenever we announce a pregnancy. When she called me yesterday she said, breathlessly, as if Joseph were our first and not our eighth, "I just think it's such a miracle!" Every baby should garner awe like that.
My friend Dana has titled her blog "The Sunny Side of the Room" because she says she shows us the sunny side of her life. Are you all acutely aware that blogs shine the sunny side most of the time, and when we feel we're not measuring up it's likely because we're not also seeing the gloomier days? I never want the readers of Preschoolers and Peace to think that there are no struggles here. Like you, I am working out my salvation, leaning in, pressing in HARD to my Savior, because His power is perfected in my weakness. And I have plenty of weaknesses.
Tomorrow begins my journey as a homeschooling mom of eight. I'll let you know how it goes :)