He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



I have an announcement to make:

You will be thrilled to know that baby Christian went 4.5 hours between feedings last night and I only had to get up once!!!   He ate at 11:30, then again at 4am.  And he ate about 3 ounces, burped and WENT BACK TO SLEEP!  No screaming!  No floor-walking.  Oh joy, oh bliss.  Then he stayed asleep again until 7...I even had time to finish up lunches and do the girls' hair before the morning feeding.  (A beautiful change from his usual 12-3-5:00-ish feeding pattern that stretches out almost until the kids get up at 6:30.)

With all that sleep, you never know what I might accomplish today.  It could be epic.

I'd love to sit here holding this quiet bundle of sleeping love.  I'd love to ignore the fact that there are 11 fat furry puppies with freshly filled tummies running loose in my basement preparing to poop up my world.  I'd love to pretend that I don't hear them making their chubby way up the stairs towards my kitchen.  But if I don't go catch them and cage them, I will regret it for sure.

Thank you for sharing my happy announcement. I am quite sure this means that tonight he will wake up every hour and a half and have a bad tummy.  But I'll take what I can get when I can get it.  Amen.

Have a lovely day.  And please buy a puppy.

one month

Yay for naps and a refreshed brains and productive days.

Can't believe he's a month old.

I call him "Awesome Pants."  Cuz he's awesome. 


Midnight Mentoring......Advice to Myself

Tonight I am needing a little support and encouragement.  So…I am telling myself – out loud in writing - what I wish some warm wise woman would tell me.  It's fixing to get REAL up in here. Care to listen in? 


"Honey, You will not always smell like baby puke.

It’s not your fault your kids can’t sleep.  It’s probably a full moon or weird barometric pressure.  You fed them and did your routine and got them to bed at a very good hour.  You did okay. They’re just weird, weird children.

It’s okay that you didn’t get the dishes washed and the laundry finished and the house straightened tonight. You did several things right today.  Take note of what you did accomplish rather than beating yourself up for what didn’t get done:

  • ·        You welcomed your neighbor into your home today.  You chose to be warm and happy and relaxed even though when she came to the door,  the house wasn’t straightened, you had to throw a robe over your ghastly nightgown, the sink was full of dishes and there was a HUGE pile of poop smeared on the bathroom floor.  You remembered to invite her to church again.
  • ·        You made homemade pizza (the kids didn’t even mind too much that it was overdone and a little gross). 
  • ·        You worked on preserving some family memories.
  • ·        You read some fantastic literature to your 3-yr-old
  • ·        You spent time with your big kids and kept most of your normal evening routines, in spite of baby screaming and pressure from outside deadlines.
  • ·        You spent some time feeding your heart with inspiration.
  • ·        You fed the 3 adult dogs and helped a little with the puppies.
  • ·        Your new puppy ad sold a new puppy today!
  • ·        You fed and changed and rocked and loved on your 4-week old baby.  That is enough.
  • ·        You had meaningful conversations with your husband and talked through some weighty stuff.
  • ·        You tried be gentle with your kids – even when they were mighty irritating
  • ·        You accomplished 2 major projects on your “ministry outside the home” to-do list
  • ·        You did laundry (it’s okay that one load is piled at the end of your bed and 2 loads are still in the washer and dryer. The process is happening.  Everyone has underwear.  It’s okay.
  • ·        You answered several texts & messages….part of the process of keeping up with the neverending, stress-inducing stream of messages that come in from so many places.
  • ·        You made contact with 3 of the most important friendships in your life today….taking care of the relationships.
  • ·        You prayed and worshiped
  • ·        You shared some great music with your kids and made happy singing
  • ·        You did wash dishes!  Your bottle and pumping equipment. …over and over.  And this is exactly why you stocked up on paper goods while you were pregnant.
  • ·        You tried to take a nap. (The kids forgot – multiple times -  that they weren’t to come in and wake you unless there was blood or fire.  But you tried to rest.  That counts.)

  • ·        You only cried once today!

It’s okay that you still feel so tired and still pretty brain- muddled 4 weeks after delivery.  You were very sick for awhile and that set you back. Your body needs sleep to function at its best.    And you aren’t getting enough sleep -  and there isn’t much you can do about that right now.  This too shall pass.  No one expects you to be any certain way right now.  You are worrying when you don’t need to.

Many of the expectations that make you nervous are either your own or your imagination.  You expect yourself to bounce back as quickly as others.  Good grief, you don’t even know how other new mothers bounce! Besides, who cares?  You are doing your best – a good job. And it’s okay to be where you are.  Let everyone else bounce. You just keep on plodding.

You WILL have time for a shower tomorrow.

Your house is beautiful.  Your kids are beautiful.  You will someday not look like an exhausted witch. 

Don’t feel guilty that your baby eats every 2hours and it takes at least an hour for each feeding/burping/puking/calming/pumping/washing process.  That doesn’t leave very many hours in your day.  But it’s a pretty big accomplishment to keep a newborn baby alive under these circumstances.

3-hour Scheduling can be good, but you KNOW it isn’t the only way in the universe to feed a baby.   It will come soon enough, when his body is ready.  You know how to schedule a baby and scream it out and all of that.  You know what you’re doing! You’re good at this! Quit worrying.  You are just blessed with fussy tummies.  Christian has a tiny stomach that can’t tolerate much more than 2.5 ounces.  You have committed to pumping since Christian can’t nurse.  Breastmilk ALWAYS digests faster than formula.  Christian is a gassy/burpy/puky/fussy baby.  This makes feedings time consuming. This is NOT YOUR FAULT.  Relax and accept that this is your life right now.

If you have to postpone going back to teaching lessons an extra week….that’s okay.  Even if someone gets slightly irritated and your students have a short semester, there will be no significant or long-term negative effects from that decision if you have to make it.  Try to speak truth to that nervousness that hits you whenever you feel pressure to hurry back into things.  It is going to be very challenging to teach with a fussy baby like this.  Don’t rush it.  Do what is right for you and your baby right now.  You don’t HAVE to do anything.  You are in charge.

Just about 3 days ago most of your house was beautifully clean and shining and company-ready.  Today it’s NOT.  But Legos on the floor and dishes in the sink happen.  It’s really not that big a deal.

It’s okay that you’re typing encouragement to yourself right now rather than making lunches for everyone for tomorrow.  If you don’t get the lunches made by 7:45, you can always drop them off by lunchtime at 11:30.

You. Have. FIVE. Children. 10 and under.  You're doing okay!

You get to go to bed soon!  Christian will probably wake to eat up in about 8 minutes, right after you finish pumping.  Then you can sleep for 2 or 3 hours in a row!!!

Don’t muddle this precious new-baby time with unnecessary guilt. (What if this is your last baby!?)  No one is going to call the police if you hang out in your pj’s.  It won’t be long until he’ll be crawling around and you can be superwoman again.   Relax and be okay with where you are.  

Hold him and feed him and kiss him and pray while you walk the floors.

Now drink your water and go make that baby a bottle....then go to bed, girl.  You're gonna be okay."

New baby, new year....

It's time for me to check in and update.  But it feels a little overwhelming. My brain automatically starts spinning, feeling like I need to catch up on everything and post about the holidays and Christian's birth and his first 2 weeks and how much do I tell and maybe I should just do a daybook or pictures and.....

So I'll just write a bit that comes to mind.  And when I'm done...maybe I'll post it, maybe I won't.

One thought that is very prevalent to me at the start of this new year is that I am very much wanting to just be busy living life in the personal, specific way God calls me to live it.  I think it is so much easier to be focused and content when I am closed in, puttering around in my world doing my routines and brainstorming solutions and loving my family and keeping home the way I keep it.  Adding only the extras that He calls me to add.  It is so easy to get concerned about everyone and everything else, and maybe solving problems that are not mine to solve.  And spending mental energies that needn't be wasted on things that don't pertain to the work of this home to which God has called me.  Just reminding myself.  And reiterating that those thoughts, plus more, often keep me from blogging. 

Baby Christian is 2 weeks and 2 days old.  He is wonderful.  Amazing.  Kissably sweet.  And it feels like it takes FOREVER to feed him.  I'll spare you the exhausting details.  But I was immensely encouraged when I recently read something from a mother who just had her 7th baby.  She talked about how every baby brings about its own individual type of recovery and adjustment time. And that she had 3 priorities:  Nurse. Sleep.  Establish Routines. 

Why is it so profoundly encouraging to be reminded that we are not alone?

It is easy to think that having more babies makes it easier to have babies.  Mothers of many just chuckle.  True, there are tricks and tools of the trade that you pick up along the way.  And the confidence of experience can help too.  But baby #5 did not just "walk out" as some would suggest. (This was in some ways the most difficult delivery so far.....after a mentally exhausting 36 hour early labor, my body careened  from 2cm to delivery in 3.5 hrs.  Prayed for a fast delivery.  Got it.  Maybe I won't pray for that next time. : )  And I did not just jump up from the hospital bed and rush out to conquer the world with baby tied to my back.  Returning to full function takes time for me.

One thing I am enjoying in my older (wiser?) self is the permission to hold my baby as much as I very well please.....comments of  "spoiling" and "self-soothing" taken in stride, knowing that I have my own ways and I like them.  : )

I have begun jotting down my thoughts about the new year.  I love the new year and the re-evaluating and re-committing to plans and goals and habits.  It's not a negative "dumb resolutions" time for me.  It's a chance to realize that I want to keep doing what I'm doing and move further along in the same direction.  I'm looking forward to the inevitable chart-making and calendar-filling that is to come.

As I have walked the floors with baby these last couple of weeks, Abba has been busy with me, digging around in my heart and head.  Reminding me that really,  all there is for me this year...is to be found in Him.  Completely His, whatever comes.  His in obedience and in my perspectives and attitudes and actions.  

David and I have never really chosen a verse or word for a year.  I tend to think that if I choose a word, life will probably turn a corner on me and I'll need a different word entirely by March.  And everyone knows I could never limit myself to one word, anyway. : )  But we have agreed that this Word is for us, right now.  For many reasons.  It has been part of our memory work for quite awhile, but it seems each time we recite it it gets more powerful and pertinent to us:

I Peter 5:6-8
6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Each of the 3 verses has a specific meaning for us, for exactly where we are. 

His Word is sharp and powerful and comforting.  It is our safety, our security, our guidance and our identity.  It hides us and guides us and protects us from ourselves.  I am hungry for more.

That's about all for now.  I have 16 puppies to feed and laundry to switch over and a baby to tend to and a 3 yr. old to dress and an appt. to get to.  

I didn't even begin to get my brain emptied.  But that's a start.

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