Life changes so fast doesn't it? We plan and we schedule and we visualize and we set goals. We should. When we do that - when we plan - we give ourselves the best shot at identifying what we want and going for it. We write our own our story. We manifest destiny. It's a beautiful thing when we feel good about where we're going. When we have identified the vision, the calling, the plans for our lives. But what about when life surprises us? Even the best laid plans are not a guarantee. So we learn to adjust, to be resilient, to keep our hearts open to a new path to the goal, maybe even a completely new vision altogether. We can’t control the world, but can choose how we respond to it. We can choose joy. We can choose love.
I'm a planner. Not like a live by my planner type. But I have a pretty specific overall vision for my life that is important to me. Mostly, I've always known I wanted to be a mom. It's been the clearest part of my vision for my life. Definitely two kids, maybe three. That's always been my mindset. I've pictured being a mom forever. I cried tears of disbelief when I got pregnant with our oldest because "I couldn't believe we were actually in this part of life." Being a mom was so important to me that when I got pregnant I was already a #timeslowdown mom.
Well, current status is two beautiful girls. Right on track. Just like I planned. Our first born, Raines, is a sassy, smart, sensitive three year old. She made me a mother, and knowing her great worth has reminded me of my own great worth. She's given me confidence and boldness to be seen and to love my life. She's my big girl helper and my independent smarty pants who says things like "I suddenly realized..." and "I scampered across the yard..." She's wild haired and blue eyed and curious about everything in this world. She's determined and unstoppable when she has a goal. Sometimes we sit in the driveway for 15 minutes while she tries to buckle herself into her carseat, saying over and over, "I know I can do this." She's ambidextrous and artistic, and she loves people and traveling to new places. She'll be a life-long learner. The world is her oyster.
Then we have my Mae, our wild, adventurous, mama's-girl twenty amonth old. She hates mornings and loves sweets. I've been her all time favorite person since the day she was born. As a newborn, after I nursed her, Jordan would take her to rock or walk her to sleep. She would cry until I took her back and then instantly and peacefully fall asleep. She's my side-kick. Suspicious of everyone, and tough as nails when it comes to shots, scraped knees and head bumps. She walked at 9 months and has gone non-stop ever since. She climbs and jumps and gives me heart palpitations on the daily. She loves everything about her big sister, but she does not tolerate being pushed around. She has staked her shared claim to every toy and privilege that big sister tries to own. She's hard to crack, but her smile lights up my world and her laugh melts me to mush. She's sure of herself, she's her own person, and she's going to carve out her own beautiful path in this world.
They are 20 months apart. Just like I wanted. Just like I planned. I love mothering them. They teach me something everyday. They are my greatest joy. I stare at them in awe that Jordan and I were given these blessings, created by God from the two of us. Two tiny, beautiful souls, fearfully and wonderfully made by a gracious God. My heart bursts open a thousand times a day for them. I cover them in kisses and prayers every day.
They also wear me the heck out. I mean tired to the bones every. single. day. Tired of hearing myself talk. Tired of wiping tiny hineys, tired of cleaning up spilled milk, tired of mountains of laundry. Tired of looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "good enough" while I get ready with one hiding in my bathroom cabinet at my feet and one stealing my lipstick off the counter and making a run for it. I usually jolt awake to a baby cry or little feet skittering through the house around 6am. I want to get up before them and do the coffee and devotion and quiet prayer thing to start my day. But really? Really? I can't. It's a life goal. But it's just not something I can do right now. From that early moment, the day goes in a flurry. They need me every single minute. I don't go to the bathroom alone. The baby watches me shower. They hang on each leg as I make every meal. I chase them, kiss them, discipline them, snuggle them, and raise them moment by moment the best that I can. And when they finally fall asleep at night, I literally collapse on the bed and tell Jordan to burn the kitchen because I'm not cleaning it. Just tired. All. The. Time.
We exist in a world of joy and exhaustion. Where everything feels perfect but not good enough at the same time. We oscillate between thinking we've made it to our dream life to desperately wondering if we are do anything right. They are amazing, but are we ruining them? It's a confusing place of simultaneous bliss and fear that we're messing it all up. We stopped talking about whether we would have another one. I was at peace shelving the topic for a while. My mindset: who knows what we'll decide, but we don't have to decide now. Let's just be where we are with the life we have. For me personally, Selah was blossoming. I was planning Fall Heart Circle for mamas on self-care - a topic I so desperately needed in my own life. The girls were getting more independent. And an adults-only vacation was becoming more and more of a possibility with no nursing babies. I didn't need to plan and know for sure if or when we would have another baby. We could decide later.
We travelled to California for my brother's wedding, and when we returned home I was so refreshed and starry eyed from our trip. I dove in heart first into planning the Selah Heart Circle set for October. One week after we got home, I took a pregnancy test...after about 3 days of disbelief that I could even possibly be pregnant. I locked the bathroom door and the girls wiggled the door knob and slide their hands under the door. Three minutes later...well, you know it was POSITIVE. Romantically, I told Jordan that night while our girls ran rampant at Chick-Fil-A family night. We would be a family of five. God surprised us. He changed our path, gave us a chance to write a new story with brand new life. And oh how this little life has already changed everything.
I don't know what our third GIRL will be like. But I do know she's a gift. She's shaken up our lives in the best way already. Bringing adventure and new possibility. A chance to choose joy and embrace God's timing. Yes, we are terrified. Because we are sane people. And sane people should be afraid of three kids in three and a half years. And I have no idea what this new path means for Selah or any of the details of our lives. I know we'll stay bone tired for a while longer. I've already told Jordan not to expect me to cook for approximately 5ish years. More diapers, more all nighters, more boo boos, more spills and messes, and no more me to go around. Our adults only vacation is put on hold. (Babymoons don't count because when I say vacation I mean a trip where I feel and look good and can eat what I want and drink wine). Everything is upside down. But I do know this. I know we are overjoyed to know and love this new little person. She means more love. More joy. More possibility for us and for the world. She brings new purpose and new wonder into our lives. So while our path has been redirected by our summer surprise, our vision is clearer than ever. We'll cover our three precious girls in kisses and prayers every. single. day. Bone tired. But determined to manifest a destiny of love and joy as a family of FIVE.
Baby Girl #3 Coming March 2018.
(Note: Photo by Lindsay Stewart is from Mae’s nursery when she was born because it was precious and I haven’t even thought about this little one’s nursery yet. #thirdchild)