In some ways, it is hard to believe it’s been two months since Ella Jane made her debut! It has been a sweet sweet time with her, and she has proved to be not only a good, laid back and content baby, but shhhhhh, don’t tell many, a good sleeper too.
The first two weeks were filled with more stillness and quiet than I am used too and frankly while walking our dogs the other morning I felt a passing sadness. I realized in that moment, I was being filled with a gratefulness for that precious time but also a grief that it was so short because as we all know too well, life has a way of sweeping us up like a huge gust of wind.
While these weeks have been filled with a bushel of sweetness, we have had a bit of salty too. Between finishing the building process on our house, a hectic — less than ideal move (yes, we moved with a toddler and 6-week-old…oh, thank goodness for grandparents we literally could not survive without), and an unexpected change in childcare, life seems lately to be filled with more chaos than calm.
I have continued to feel the promise of redemption and determined even in the “crazy” not to miss it, after all the Lord gifted me that promise. What I have come to realize is he didn’t want to just redeem the experience of welcoming a child to the world, he intends to redeem the entire newborn phase.
Going into Ella Jane’s birth, Scott and I joked we were first time parents for the first ten weeks with absolutely no idea what we were doing—frankly, I was more than a bit concerned with constant internal questions looming over me. Now on the other side? Well, the Lord, so far, has made it easy.
The Lord has gifted me some of the most precious moments watching Townes love her and love her he does immensely. He gives her sweet kisses – he gets on the floor with her during tummy time and if she starts to make a bit of noise (which she rarely does), I overhear him sing “Jesus loves me.” Just the other day I watched as he laid next to her his face mere inches and softly sang to her. These are instants I could never have even dreamed.
As for me, he has gifted me with an easy going, content baby who will sleep wherever you place her. She spent her first few weeks napping amongst Townes noise as he came home from school with our living room serving as her nursery. She waits patiently for her bottles and diaper changes. Just this last week we have begun to experience her smiles and soft coos. These are small but big moments for me; I didn’t experience these with Townes until much later and maybe in some ways missed the joy of them.
Scott and I recently celebrated the seven-week milestone. For us this was a pivotal moment in Townes’s life. Leading up to him reaching seven weeks, it became clear to me his health had reached its climax and from here on we would be sliding down rocky terrain with no way of knowing how long it would last or rather how long Townes would.
Excerpt from Ridiculously Hopeful
“When I walked into our room the Monday after being in the hospital for six weeks, what I saw when I looked at my son was all too recognizable. My stomach lurched; I had witnessed this before. Sickness. The body fought, but the disease spoke louder; Townes eyes told me the whole story as his condition shouted at me pronouncing its presence raging within my son’s body.
I knew we had reached the height of my son’s health. Up until this point, we had achieved our goal of keeping him the healthiest we could. We remained thankful the nurses referred to him as one of the healthiest kids on the floor, but past experience roared loudly like an animal unwilling to be tamed. My soul, knowing it was downhill from here, contemplated how fast the fall would be. (It’s not like we were given a manual for how these things normally go.)”
Until, in a moment, our lives were changed forever. Day fifty, seven weeks and one day, in the hospital is the day we received the call that flipped our worlds right-side up. A Match.
Scott and I reminisced about how that period of time with Townes felt never ending, repetitive in the worst ways, as if we woke up in the trenches every morning willing ourselves to keep going and fight the war before us. Contrary, “Round Two” has been light and easy in comparison, even with the nights of little sleep and other post-partum adjustments.
“Round Two” has led me to read more about the Double Portion so often mentioned in sermons and found throughout scripture. And while the double portion can frequently be used in reference to the firstborn son, I ran across an interesting synopsis referencing the story about Hannah, who was barren.
“But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.” 1 Samuel 1:5
The author suggesting that the Double Portion also symbolizing love. In the verse above, he, refers to Hannah’s husband who gave her a double portion. He showed her his preference — his great love for her — even though she was barren.
In biblical times, women who faced barrenness were in an agonizing position as their culture prioritized children and considered them divine blessings. A woman’s worth was often associated with the ability to bear children and children were seen to ensure their husbands success and lineage. As a result, these women shouldered shame, disgrace, and what I imagine was a deep, deep sadness.
Can you then imagine the power of the love demonstrated by Hannah’s husband to give her a double portion? Her husband illustrating the love of God towards her when at that time society likely scoffed and judged him because of what they viewed an “imperfection” in his wife.
What I love about the Bible are the truths we can still apply; the questions I can ask myself about my own circumstance and find Christ within.
Throughout the scriptures Jesus is presented to us through different stories and people. For example, Jesus is portrayed through Boaz as he chooses Ruth, the widow, and a woman of a different social class than him (Ruth 1-4), or through the story of Joseph as seven years later he reunites with his brothers, the same ones that because of jealously sold him to slavery (Genesis 38). Even Elijah foreshadows Jesus’s ministry through multiplying the widow’s rations (1 Kings17:9-16).
Among these stories, I believe at the very foundation what we discover is love. I continue to be mystified by the Lord’s great love for us, his children. A love we can easily overlook as it can pass us by if we aren’t looking. Perhaps I am in a season of experiencing his double portion, and I pray the same for you.
In other good news, after months of lingering questions, continuous setbacks with Amazon, Ridiculously Hopeful, is finally available for purchase with Amazon as the retailer and not just the distributor – HALLELULAH – a blessing and an answered prayer!
I would be forever grateful if you would leave a review –
Lastly, I had the privilege of appearing on my dear friend, Jill McCormick’s podcast, “Grace in Real Life” where we had so much fun talking about building trust in the Lord – if you want to give it a listen, click here.
And even more exciting, I have teamed up with several other authors for a giveaway!
Who doesn’t love an opportunity to win not to mention you may gain some valuable insight and wisdom to jumpstart the 4th quarter….and if that isn’t enough, signing up is FREE – enter by September 22nd at 11:30 for a chance to win.
Our team is giving away:
- How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk by Becky Harling
- Ridiculous Hope by Maleah Stephens
- Unshakable Kids by Lauren Gaines
- and a $100 Amazon gift card
Click Here to Register: Skill Set Giveway
Again, thank you for following along our story, cheering for us and more than anything praying for us. While I often joke, I feel like I am surviving, I know Townes is thriving and that is in large part because of you.
Together, even in the chaos or “the pinch of salt” moments, let’s not miss the double portion, ultimately the Lord’s great love for us.