I wrote this for Kezzia last month, but it fits again: with a trip to the emergency room due to a "hair tourniquet" (it's a real thing) followed by our little ER souvenir of uncontrollable vomiting all around. I think the worst has passed and am dreaming for a decent night's rest.
You were sick this week. You cried so much and were so uncomfortable. I held you and walked round and round and round the living room with you. Every time I tried to sit and rock you, you threw your body backward with all the force your little 10 month old muscles had and screamed and head butted me until we got back up and walked some more. A few times I had to take you to your bed and let you cry for a minute because I *had* to use the restroom or make lunch for your brothers or just take a breather.
It was so hard.
I cried a lot with you.
Caring for little ones is the hardest thing I have ever done. Honestly, many days I wonder whether or not I can do this mothering thing. It is so hard. Some days I give and give and give and it's never enough. And some days I'm selfish and don't give and that hurts my heart too. The sick days are the hardest, trying to do the every day hard stuff with a little one who is hurting is heart-breakingly hard.
But it is also good.
When you fall asleep in my arms and I feel your soft baby hair and skin against my cheek, I know I can do it.
When you reach for me and open and close your little hands to tell me that you want me to hold you, I know I can do it.
When you and all of your brothers are tangled up together for a bedtime story, I know I can do it.
The love I have for you is fierce and even on the days that are oh-so-hard, it makes me brave.
Little One, you are going to face so many things in your life that are hard. You may think that there must have been some sort of mistake, because the mess you find yourself in is too hard. You will probably find some things that you had no doubt that you'd be good at and then realize that whatever it was did not come as naturally as you had expected.
But Sweet One, almost anything worth doing is hard sometimes. So far my experience is that the experiences I most treasure in this life have been hard. Be brave.
Just because it is hard does not mean you're doing it wrong.
I hope that by the time you are old enough to read and understand this letter I will have been made kinder and softer by all of the hard things I have run into.
My hope for you is that one day when you find yourself in that place where you say "I can't!" you'll find the courage hang on, because nothing lasts forever. Every single difficult day this week came to an end. Even when you cried for what seemed like hours and I could not put you down, eventually you fell asleep and in those moments I held you even closer.
In the shower this week, I wore out this chorus:
"Your grace is sufficient for me;
Your strength is made perfect when I am weak.
And all that I cling to, I lay at your feet.
Your grace is sufficient for me."
These moments, these hard, I cannot do this moments, they can make me more like Jesus.
Sister, I don't know what life looks like for you now, but I sure know that the world can always use a few more people who act like Jesus.
So today, when things are so, so hard- breathe deep and keep being brave.
I love you,
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~C. S. Lewis