#4: 60 Seconds Inside a Pregnant Woman’s Head (Earthquake Edition!)

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On January 24th, I was past-my-due-date pregnant with our second child. We had a major earthquake in the middle of the night.

I woke up at 1:15 a.m. to mind-blowing pain in my pelvis.

Oh, boy… I’m starting labor. This is it. It has to be.

Move into several positions. Pain won’t ease up, so find the position that makes it easiest to tolerate.

Okay, just breathe and relax. Just breathe and relax. . . Just breathe and — what is that? Why is the bed shaking? My cat has to scratch an itch NOW? This is not helping.

Okay, the bed is shaking profusely now . . .He must have fleas or something.

Wait. . . Ooooohhhhhh . . . this is an earthquake.

It figures I’d go into labor during an earthquake. This is okay. Most earthquakes aren’t severe.

A few seconds later . . . This one isn’t calming down.

Okay, the house feels like a boat.

Start praying.

While wondering how many bridges are going to go out between me and the nearest hospital, I move through intense pain to the hallway in case I need to grab Chloe.

And bridges going out during labor wouldn’t be complete without a snow storm, total loss of power, and all available medics assisting other callers until I’ve ringed so many times my phone battery has died.

Which place is safest to go during an earthquake? Interior doorways? Exterior doorways? Behind furniture? Under the table? Run around outside screaming with my hands in the air? Annoyed that after every substantial earthquake, 20 people have taken to FB to post conflicting ideas about the best way to hide during an earthquake, I realize no one has posted the best place to hide when you have a toddler and your loins are about to split open with a 9-lb human barreling out. Suddenly, I feel under-prepared. I decide that if it gets worse, we’ll hide behind the couch. At least it’s fabric, in case someone needs to wipe their nose. Maybe I could still grab a cushion for Lydia in case she pops out back there.

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#3 Losing the Messiah

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Could you imagine being entrusted with the responsibility of raising the Savior of the world? Could you imagine losing Him?

Men and women travelled separately in those days, so Mary likely assumed Jesus was with Joseph, while Joseph assumed He was with His mother. A day goes by and they catch up.

Mary: Where’s Jesus?

Joseph: I thought He was with you.

Mary: Me? He was with you last.

Joseph: But you’re the mom! You always know where everything is at: the stray donkey, my coat, the kids’ missing socks. How could you lose the Christ?

A mutual expression of uh-oh washes over their faces.

Joseph: Oh, patient Father. Full of love and abounding with forgiveness. We . . . ummm . . . sort of temporarily misplaced Your Son.

They walk back to Jerusalem and find Him in the temple.

Mary: How could you do this to us? Your father and I haveĀ  been worried sick!

Jesus: But didn’t you know I’d be about my Father’s business?

He went home with them and obeyed them, and His mother treasured these things “in her heart.”

I love this story. Any parent who’s been in the game long enough will tell you how stressful it is when you lose sight of your kiddo. Your chest tightens with fear. Your heart stops beating. You stop breathing (except to shout your kid’s name on volume 80). Once you find them, the relief is tangible as your shoulders relax.

I can’t imagine losing my kid for over a day. I’d be a nervous wreck, like Effie-Trinket-in-a-hurricane kind of wreck.

But this story is included for us to learn something valuable: If Jesus’ parents can lose sight of Him, we all can. It took them three days to find Him. It probably took them about a day to get back to Jerusalem, so they spent two days looking around. They would’ve saved themselves a great amount of distress if they had looked in the temple first.

How often do we lose sight of Jesus, and then we try finding Him in other places? Sometimes we take our eyes off the grandest Prize of all, and when we realize we’ve done it, we can save ourselves days of misery by rememering that He is about His Father’s business–always. He is with the Father, and we can find Him by spending time in His word, praying to Him, and obeying Him.

***Thank you to Michael Jr. for inspiring this post. To watch the 4-minute video, click here.***

#2: You Know You’re a Mom When . . .

You use a pacifier as a bookmark.

In the chaos of wearing a newborn on your chest while taming a tantrum-throwing, tired toddler into the bathtub, you see your husband approaching the bathroom and warn him to watch his step, there’s poop on the floor.

Your sentences are word-combinations you never imagined saying. For example: “Don’t put your sweaty feet in my mouth!” “Did that cheerio fall off your butt?” “Don’t put your lamp in your poop.”

Your first thought when your husband returns home is, “Yes! I can pee without an audience!”

You’ve had to emergency-vacuum when you found your toddler throwing confetti and realized it was the urine-soaked cotton of her ripped diaper.

You’re doing the dishes when your toddler runs up to you, yanks your slacks down, throws crumbs in the crotch of your pants…then runs away laughing hysterically. (Good thing I was wearing underwear!)

You have to put basic hygiene tasks on your to-do list or they likely won’t get done. (I’m looking at you, showers.)

You play “What’s that smell?” with your husband at least once a week.

Your idea of sleeping in is waking up at 8 a.m.

You go to sleep with Fisher-Price tunes stuck in your head.

You’ve stepped on a block and stifled your scream because it was 2 a.m.

Your husband walks in the door at dinner time and finds you still in your PJs, covered in spit up, and collapsed on the floor with a box under your head for a pillow as your toddler runs through the living room screaming her giggles — while you’re holding your newborn and counting down to her next feeding.

You’ve gone to the grocery store soaked in spit up from your belly button to your mid-thighs. (Bonus points if you’re still so happy that no one notices because everybody is drawn to your smile!)

#1: Skinny Jeans

I knew it was time to re-organize my daughter’s closet when her clothes were falling on the floor in heaping piles, empty boxes were cluttering the shelves, and a second wardrobe needed accommodation thanks to her new sister.

In the process of sorting through her jeans, this caught my eye:

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My daughter isn’t even two yet, and what do her jeans say? “Jordache Skinny 3T”

What does the T stand for? Toddler.

What word has no place on children’s clothes? Skinny. (Honorable mentions for more appropriate sizing words: petite, fun-size, or–an oldie but a goodie–small, medium, and large.)

Our daughters grow up so fast. (I’m certain all of Einstein’s theories on the time-space continuum become inapplicable when you’re a parent.) They are born into this world innocent and unaware of their flaws and the world’s unrealistic (and frankly stupid) expectations of them. And apparently denim designers are keen to infect our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces with the Do-these-jeans-make-me-look-fat? syndrome before they know their ABCs.

I wish I could protect my daughters from all the threats of this evil world, from the hungry lions crouching at the door, waiting to devour them. From the magazines showing more skin than words sitting at the grocery store checkouts. From the people who parade their bodies around town, seemingly unaware that breasts belong under the shirt and pants belong around the waist, not halfway down the hips. From the creepy pedophiles who look at my girls with a thirst in their eyes (the reason I’m well-trained and well-armed away from home).

My daughter can slide into normal 3T jeans, but she can’t fit into some 3T “skinny” jeans. Is she overweight? Unhealthy? Goodness, no! She has caramel-blonde hair, the color of grass just before waking up from a long winter, and sparkling blue eyes. Her smile is gorgeous and infectious, and her laugh will melt your heart. She’s also a tank: tall like her father and unbelievably strong (I transitioned her to a toddler bed when I found her doing pull ups in the crib). Yes, she has baby fat like any 1-year-old, but it’s nothing out of proportion.

I want her to know she’s beautiful. She’s taller and stronger than most girls her age. And with her resilient, feisty personality, she would make a great athlete, police officer, fire (or MMA) fighter, or anything else she puts her mind to if God opens the door for her.

It’s my duty as a mother to teach my daughters their worth. To argue with the advertisements, to make war with the media, to combat the mean things others say, to negate the images on magazine covers and down the makeup aisle. It’s my honor to give them warm hugs, a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, a parent who laughs at all their silly jokes, and–most importantly–show them what a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ looks like.

A girl who doesn’t fit into skinny jeans is no less beautiful. It’s our hearts and diversity that make us beautiful, not our ability to slide into cookie-cutter pants with little to no effort.