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Welcome, Baby James

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.(Psalm 30:5)

Actually, joy came last night.

After a season of loss and sadness in our family, God has given a gift of great joy.

He came five days late.  He was big–9 lb 4 0z, 21+”.  My daughter Michelle’s water broke Tuesday morning.  An afternoon of hard labor yielded no progress.

In late afternoon baby began to show signs of stress.  So the doctor decided it was time to take him.  In 45 minutes Baby James was born.  He is fine, healthy, big and peaceful, carrying the name of his dad (Bradley James), two grandfathers and a great grandfather. Brad and Michelle are doing great also.

Thanks for the prayers.  So grateful!!

(Mom and Dad prefer no photos online, so I can’t show you how beautiful he is.)

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It was joy for this mother’s heart!  My younger daughter, Michelle, opening gifts at a shower for her first baby.  My older daughter, Debbie, mother of three boys, warmly giving words of wisdom for her sister.

And words of wisdom for the rest of us.  Here are a few of the thoughts Debbie shared with Michelle:

This child will grow in many ways over the next year/years.  You will not automatically become a selfless, joyful mother.  It will be years of becoming.  You will daily be given a choice to fully embrace this gift by giving fully of yourself in order to be filled again by the Lord.  Or you can daily move backwards in selfish frustration. (This is a choice everyone faces, not just mothers.)

Some pathways to selflessness, still being learned 6 ½ years in:

Prayer—seeking time alone when possible, praying often–especially in the crazy times.

Thanksgiving—seeing each child, each event as a gift, and giving thanks as an act of worship.

Joy—making music in my heart, laughing, singing, playing, having fun with my children

Not only do you get to raise a child in the Lord and get to be transformed to be more like the Lord, but in a way that is a mystery to me, you are bringing glory to God.

Debbie really touched and challenged me with this poem from Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard:

Song of the Water

Come, oh come, let us away—lower, lower every day

Oh, what joy it is to race, to find the lowest place

This the dearest law we know—“It is happy to go low.”

Sweetest urge and sweetest will, “Let’s go down lower still.”

Hear the summons night and day, calling us to come away.

From the heights we leap and flow, to the valleys down below.

Always answering to the call, to the lowest place of all.

Sweetest urge and sweetest pain, to go low and rise again.

That’s what being a mother calls for all the time—going without sleep, getting the last of dinner, foregoing my plans to be part of their plans,  giving up my time to read a book to a child.  It’s about sacrifice, unselfishness.  It’s about going low.

And that’s also the life Christ lived and called us to:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

 

What about you?  What has helped you to “go low”?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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As parents we have responsibility to love and nurture and provide and teach and train our children to become responsible, moral, hardworking, creative, authentic adults and contributors to society.  Most of us try to do something like that, with varying degrees of competency and success.

But I’ve found that God seems to have an equally important role for our children in our lives.  I will try to share a few of the things my kids have taught me.  I’ll start with #1 child, Debbie.

Debbie

Before Debbie was born, I was a magazine editor.  I was totally enmeshed in producing that wonderful publication.  I loved that we had a specific schedule for each month, week, day.  The magazine was so compliant.  Every month it came out on time and it was beautiful.

I stepped away from that responsibility shortly before my lovely daughter was born.  It occurred to me I would need to learn to be a little more flexible about my schedule.  But I read all the books, and I was pretty sure I could get Debbie on a good routine.

Surprise!  Debbie had colic.  Not the evening kind.  Or the afternoon and evening kind.  The all day and night kind.  Her tummy hurt.  She cried.  And cried.  And cried.

And she didn’t sleep.  A few hours each night—maybe 5-6.  But that was it.  No naps.  I read that “your baby will cut back to 14-16 hours of sleep, then 12-14.”  How about 5-6?

My day went like this:  Up by 5 or 6 with a screaming baby.  An hour of nursing (no crying then).  A few minutes of peace—quick put some clothes on.  Then carry her, entertain her, sing to her, anything to get her not to cry until the 2-hour mark when I could feed her again.  Repeat.  Until midnight.

For four months.

I cried almost as much as Debbie did.  I was sure I would never be rested again, never clean and dressed and presentable again, and for sure I would never be in control of my life again.

“Lord,” I said desperately, “this is not working.  I am no good at this mothering thing.  I am not the right mother for this child.”

He was very gentle in His reply:  “Oh Judy, you are exactly right for Debbie—the one I created and chose to love and nurture and comfort her in her great discomfort.

“But she is also just right for you.  I created her to help you learn some important lessons:  People are not magazines.   You are not in control.  Things will not happen according to your schedule.  You need to learn to let go, to flex, to relax.”

“But I don’t like not being in control.”

“Exactly.”

Then:  “Judy, I am in control.  I know much better than you the what and when and how for your life—and for Debbie’s.  Rest in Me.  You won’t be disappointed.

“My plan and schedule and timing are perfect.”

I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.(Isaiah 60:22)

More from “What I Learned from My Children” series:

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