So, sitting at a table last night, a couple of friends smiled and remarked to each other that they were glad that they were done.....because they're good friends, I didn't take offense that they said this while looking at my SP. I responded that I'd take another one right now, which was a flip thing to say, especially since when I got home, I was exhausted to the core and welcomed my bed and 7 hours of sleep (that SP is sleeping through the night now is SO wonderful!). But that little exchange got me thinking. Why am I so crazy? WHY on earth would I actually take another baby right now?
When I go to the grocery store with both the babies, people stop and look, many smile and at least one or two will comment that I have my hands full. I usually smile and keep moving, after all, I have to get through the store before someone freaks out....and that's no small task. So, why is my gut reaction that I'd take another one right this second? First, I think that my friends and I have totally different callings from God in the family department, because he calls us uniquely to live different lives (which makes life so much more interesting, right!). When you're past the season of babies, it's a blessing to have peace with it. But, I also think that my infertility was a gift. I don't say those words lightly. I spent many, many, many, many moments/days/nights/weeks at odds with my infertility. The desire of my heart was another child, and there were times that it was heartbreaking that God's will wasn't calling me there.....especially the loss of my unborn child after 4 years of TTC.
However, before I had to struggle through infertility, the gift of a child wasn't nearly as precious. Coming from a large family, I assumed it was a given that I could have another child whenever. I totally discounted God's role in creation (yikes!).
I belong to a large homeschool community and each time a member had a new baby, I would bring a meal. Many of the families were welcoming another child into a family with 4 or more children already - huge by today's standards! Sometimes it was excruciating to bring that meal. There I was with one 5 year old, bringing a meal to a family of 8 while I longed for one more. But, I kept doing it because (1) I knew it was appreciated (2) I knew there was an opportunity to serve others in this season of infertility. I wasn't as busy, I had the time to cook large meals and transport them to busier families.
Through these experiences and other opportunities and sufferings (some of which are chronicled earlier in this blog), God began to sand down the rough parts of my heart. The image of Jesus as carpenter resonates with me. My dad had a wood shop when I was younger and I think of God using the experiences I went through as sandpaper. Some experiences were really difficult, like a rough grade sandpaper to remove a bad spot, others were softer, a fine grit shaping and refining.
As I closed the girls' bedroom door last night after putting the last one to bed, I thought about those 6 years between children, 5 of them TTC, and I thought about the extra time and rest I had. It occurred to me that I needed that energy reserve now. My life hasn't always been so busy and when things seem to be especially crazy, I have that memory to draw on. Someday these babies will be grown. I've watched LB go from completely dependent baby to a young girl, capable of navigating so much of the world. I know this season will pass and I will wonder where it went. Before we know it, hubby and I will be left to our own devices again, without the sound of little laughter (we'll have plenty of our own, I'm sure) and little feet. This big picture makes the day's exhaustion seem smaller. They won't be young forever and we'll look back on these crazy years of two babies with laughter.
So, why am I crazy? Why on earth would I take another baby right now? I'm confident that God will give me the grace to raise any gifts He gives me. I will not have the energy or the grace (or even the extra money perhaps) to take care of the children before they arrive. God doesn't give you the train ticket until the train pulls into the station......which is a harrowing experience for a planner like me, but that was one of the lessons I have to constantly remind myself that I learned through my infertility. God's timing, not mine, God's plan, not mine. A couple years back, I gave our finances to God (although, I'm still a stickler for frugality). God gave us the opportunity to earn and save money through living wisely and trusting in Him. My only prayer is that God give us the money to take care of the children He would like us to raise.......I sometimes have to remind myself that I didn't pray not to work and when I don't feel like it, I remind myself that my job (working from home as an instructional designer) is a major financial blessing. Most days, it's also the most interesting and coolest thing I've ever done, so God's blessings abound.
God blesses us.....no one could be more faithful. He gives us what we need, when we need it. Whenever I let the control-freak go and trust, I am so overwhelmed by His love and caring. It's a constant process for me and a huge part of what I had to learn in infertility. It took me a long time to learn these lessons. A long time, many tears and much heartache. God had to break my heart to open it. I could, of course, close it again, but that would mean closing myself off from His plan.
So, why on earth would I take another baby right now? Because they are a blessing. Every. Single. One. Every. Single. Time. The pain of wanting without having is too crisp in my mind to reject the beauty, joy and exhaustion of a gift whenever God has planned for us. I would not raise another child on my own strength. It is by the grace of God that I draw my next breath and it would be by His grace we would make it through the craziness another baby would cause. I would take another baby (gladly, with praise to God for the blessing!) because I don't turn down gifts....especially from the One who knows my heart, who created my soul and made me to walk hand and hand with my hubby through this crazy, blessed, busy, beautiful, ordinary, amazing life we lead.
And lest you come to the erroneous conclusion through these ramblings that I'm closer to perfection than anyone else, let me share that I just had to subdue a freak out and quietly ask hubby and LB to stop talking to me for five minutes so I could proofread.....the fact that they're both now singing different songs to themselves should tell you something about the noise level consistent to our household :) Anyone know what's for dinner?