Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thankful Mom Reflections

My thoughts have been overflowing with reasons to be a thankful mom and I wanted to post them all right away. But life has a way of keeping busy and handing out a few discouragements. And time passes by, and those initial thoughts I had were not written down on paper {or typed, as the case may be}. I felt so blessed with the birth of our third child, and then discouraged by his jaundice and lack of weight gain. After a little work, this all sorted itself out, and I now have the time and energy to slowly get this all down (even if this post is taking over a week to complete!)

Yet, I remain very thankful as a mom, still, and wanted to share a few thoughts with you. I am overwhelmed with God's grace and blessings pouring into my life and the life of my family right now.

(I need to warn you, if you are afraid of "TMI", skip reading this post. I don't mean to tell you too much, complain, or gain your pity—I just want to reflect on a few thing many moms can identify with and have probably felt as well.)

I am so thankful. . .

*I'm thankful for new life. It's always amazing when a new baby is born into your family, or joins your family in the case of adoption. God created a good thing when he designed us to live in family units and among communities to support us and bring us close to him. New life always shows me how life is a miracle and a blessing. After A was born, I had someone say to me, "Oh, its number three. I guess it's not quite as exciting anymore." I couldn't disagree more! No matter if it is your first or your fifth, life is a miracle and a blessing, and I am very thankful for it, especially when I am able to hold a new, precious life in my arms.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. . ." ~James 1:17

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." ~Psalm 127:3

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" ~2 Corinthians 9:15

*I'm thankful for life. After dealing with a sub-chorionic hemorrhage throughout this pregnancy, and the resulting risk of miscarriage, it is comforting to know God protected little A and had a plan for him that involved a healthy entry into this world. After little A was born, my attending doctor gave us a little biology lesson. She showed us the placenta, umbilical cord and all that, and showed us again, how God is gracious. In little A's case, the umbilical cord was attached at the very possible edge of the placenta. Our doctor said that this usually causes complications and even early child loss in most cases and she had only seen this in very rare cases. I know of a friend whose baby had a knot in the umbilical cord, but her baby was delivered perfectly healthy and another whose babies arrived much too early and are now healthy, strong, and energetic twins. And I sit back and marvel at how good and gracious our Heavenly Father is.

"For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you. . ." ~Jeremiah 1:5

*I'm thankful for life's noises. What a joyful noise it is to hear cooing and yawning, squawks and cries. What a joyful noise it is to hear peaceful sleeping and gentle rustling. And what a joyful noise it is to hear E and A exclaiming how cute or beautiful their new baby brother is, to hear them proudly tell other people about little A, and to hear their concern every time little A makes any noises whatsoever!

"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise." ~Psalm 8:2

"From the fullness of grace we have received one blessing after another." ~John 1:16

*I'm thankful for the extra work—the laundry, the feeding, the coping, the teaching to share, the reminding, the enforcing of rules, the watching, the organizing, the cleaning, the baths, the messes, the everything that comes along with a new life. Yes, I know, you are thinking I must be crazy! But all that reminds me of how good God has been to me and my family.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." ~Colossians 3:17

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:19

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." ~Psalm 136:1

*I'm thankful for protection of life and healing. (Warning: this may be a TMI point, so skip reading this one if you must!)My husband and I are very thankful for a good delivery in little A's case. Now, granted, for us, the word "good" must be interpreted in a relative manner. After telling someone we had a good delivery, they were "glad all was problem-free, smooth, and easy." I can't say those are the words I would use to describe it all, but when you considering our last two deliveries involved 3rd and 4th degree tearing, O.R. surgeons, considerable blood loss, talk of transfusions, baby heart rates dropping into danger zones, code whites and emergency help being called in, assisted births (suction), and babies being placed in the NICU, our past experience of 2nd degree tears, 2+ litres of blood loss and baby only spending 24 hours in the NICU seems like a good delivery to me! It is also amazing to keep in mind God's protection of life and his intricate design of healing He worked into the bodies He gave us. Whether a delivery was great, good or bad, God is a Protector and Healer of the old and young. I'm thankful for doctors, nurses, midwives, and people who dedicate their jobs or their lives to help make the birth of a child happen! What an amazing calling they have.

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." ~Colossians 1:16

". . .for I am the Lord who heals you." ~Exodus 15:26b

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well . . . your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." ~Psalm 139:13-14, 16

"Cast all your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." ~Psalm 55:22

*I'm thankful for family and friends who have been there to support us throughout pregnancy and now that little A is part of our lives. I feel so blessed to be part of a community of sharing and caring people—who give encouraging words, cards, and e-mails, who have prayed on our behalf or blessed us with scripture, who have offered childcare or a meal, shared baby advice or borrowed clothes—whatever it has been, we have felt God's love shining through you in many ways. We have been surrounded by generosity and kindness, and have greatly appreciated it all! Thank you!

"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." ~Romans 12:13

"Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in many forms." ~1 Peter 4: 10

*I'm thankful for the time I get to be home with my family. Don't get me wrong—I love being a teacher and I love the students God placed in my class this year. But as I sit here reflecting on God's gifts to me, I know that spending the next year or more at home with my children is exactly where God wants me to be right now—and I am glad for it! All the things I crammed into my Saturdays and weeknights are now available to me each day. And I get to see my kids grow and learn every moment of every day. I get to see my husband and my kids—my biggest blessings in life—more often now.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." ~2 Peter 3:18

"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." ~Deuteronomy 11: 19

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." ~Proverbs 22:6

I had the change to attend the Women's Connections Group (Coffee break group) at my church a bit ago with my three kids, and this was one of the songs that we sang that morning. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, in light of a new little child being gifted to our family by God's abundant grace, but also in light of who we all are in His sight.

I have a maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hand

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me his own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call


Tara V said...

beautifully written!

VanEgmond Family Notes said...

Your heart for your kids and your love for Christ is evident. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for the smallest blessings. One more thing... the smell of new babies-- not the bottom end-- that place right between their necks and their ears... ooh. love.