I keep waiting for the awe of this time to pass, for the tiredness to kick in harder than it has, and for my heart to weep giving-up-ness from the difficulty of raising two babies at once. I hold my breath, soaking in the moments of joy and gratitude, assuming the frustration will take over, that one day I will wake up and hate or regret being a mama.
But none of this happens. Everything just gets sweeter.
Sure, there are definite moments of doubt and feeling like a complete failure. There are fears of screwing up their identity or not disciplining right or disciplining too much or instilling a fear-based faith. There are moments of frustration and asking why I can't fix their sadness. Connecting with Loren takes more work and intentionality than ever. There are so many things, but covering all of these doubts, failure-feelings, disconnectedness, and fear is the graciousness of gratitude.
The product of this gratitude grace is an immense joy. More than not I am so thankful for these babes and I am thrilled that I get to be theirs.
As we approach Christmas, live our first advent as a family of four, my heart feels it may burst.
Four Christmases we waited and we hoped for little toes to nibble, bellies to blow raspberries on, the magic of Christmas to be experienced by babes. And here we are: not one but two miracle boys in our home and our arms, experiencing their first Christmas, their first advent.
We cut down + decorated our tree. We have stockings almost finished. We have the cutest Baby's First Christmas ornaments. Lights are strung and the sugar cookies await frosting. We are reading through the Jesus StoryBook Bible and it does not fail to bring me to a place of wonder and awe.
"Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, He came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, He came."
Humbly, quietly, selflessly, He came. In the body of a baby, the tiniest, most helpless and dependent of humans. An infant. I have so much to learn from His coming.
Sometimes I stick a bowl of shiny plastic ornaments in the middle of the living room just to watch them pick them up, one by one, and play with them. They spend so much time huddled at the little fence we made to surround the tree, just staring at the Christmas lights and reaching as far as they can to touch the branches. The magic of the twinkle lights and the ornaments is for real, but so is the wonder and awe of the coming of the King.
Oh His coming, the advent, the constant reminder of Him is so good.
The boys babble back and forth, my heart filled to the brim, my coffee growing colder by the second.
As I type, there are tiny first snow flakes falling on the ground, snow flakes that fall silently, twirling around and silencing any noise attempting to make itself known. Who knows if they'll stick. Who knows if we will have more than a centimeter of snow. Either way, I'm grateful for a glimpse of snow. I'm grateful to heat up my coffee while the babes crawl around leaving their Jabba the Hutt snot trails. I'm forever in awe that we grew by four feet by Christmas 2016.
This year will forever hold space in my heart as a precious one. I won't forget for a second that we did not get to this cherished sweet space on our own; there is a village bigger than I could have imagined and to Him I am grateful that He pieced together so many people to write this part of the story.
I am being reminded that I won't ever tell anyone "in the wait" that God will bring their baby in perfect time...because I don't know that He will bring everyone babies. I don't know that He promises us that. When we were in the wait, trudging through, I tried so hard to consistently keep the space of my hope in check: What was I hoping in? Of course I hoped and had faith that He would bring us babies, but was it the babies that I thought and believed would fulfill the voids in my heart?
Every Christmas the ache to have littles running around our home and Grama's home with the cousins was compounded; it felt like my heart was being ripped into a million pieces. And placing my hope in babies and kids to bring the fullness into my heart only seemed to steal from what He wanted to do...it was when I continuously surrendered, hands open, and reminded myself that my hope needs to reside in Him and His presence and His joy and His peace.
I find it ironic and beautiful that during the time of advent, we remember to place our hope in a baby, baby Jesus, the King.
It is in the advent, in the hoping for Him and all that He offers, that we uncover the freedom of peace and joy. He is so gracious.