In the last few months, I've felt myself coming out of the baby "fog". I did that with Elias but almost immediately after feeling that clarity-- of feeling like myself again-- I got pregnant with Josiah. Pregnancy is nothing BUT fog, and then the newborn time, etc., etc. So right now is a good time. A time where my mind, if not necessarily my body, is my own again. Josiah has started crawling, and Elias is, kind of, more hands off, and... I don't know. I feel like I can think again. The pains of pregnancy are far behind. The boys have a set bedtime. We have a routine. Our life is becoming the new normal.
This is a good thing. But coming out of this time, I'm realizing how far behind I feel, in my faith. I think it's safe to say that Jeremy feels the same. We've been so distracted with the kids, and before that it was construction on the house, and before that, we were newlyweds. And, now... It's like-- what happened? We wake up and go to work and take care of the kids and put them to bed and then sit for an hour and go to bed and it all starts again. Where is the time to be ourselves? To be disciples? To live out our faith outside of our little circle of family?
I can't speak for my childhood-- I really have little memory of last week, much less that many years ago. But in my adolescence and early (and single) adulthood, I was a pretty passionate person. If I believed something, I really lived it out. I was kind of fearless and very honest. When I became a married woman, I think I let some of those tendencies go. Or at least muffled them. I was worried about fitting in with Jeremy's family, what they might think of me. I tried to fit in more at the church I started attending when I moved back to Illinois. The people attending there tended to be more modest, more humble, more reserved. I didn't feel like I fit-- and I often needed to apologize for being outspoken in a way that made others feel embarrassed or hurt.
I don't think these are inherently bad things. I did need some rough edges worn off. But in doing so, I learned how to "act" like a wife, a Christian. I was a little too good at shaving off pieces of myself. It became hard to gauge my spiritual life when acting [no matter how little] became part of how I lived my physical life.
So, I've felt foggy for a very long time. It started when Jeremy and I got married. I thought, it's ok-- it'll get better. Then we had Elias, and then Josiah. It's been years since I've felt really, really intimate with Jesus. Where I felt strong in my faith as an individual. Before I got married, I really depended on Jesus for so many things; when Jeremy took over a few of those needs, as he should have, I got disoriented. I didn't know how to relate to God as a married woman.
And here I am, five years later, still struggling with that idea. I know, it's kind of ridiculous. It isn't that hard on paper, but in my spirit, I'm still that confused new bride. As a new Christian, I was taught to let Jesus be my husband. And then when I got married, I was like, Wait-- now what?
Does this make sense? I'm a little wary of writing this down... of getting some criticism... but I'm wanting to be honest, about myself, about my faith. And I'm wanting it to get BETTER. I don't want to shrivel up as a wife and a mommy-- I want to be alive, and I want to bring life to my family. The only person I know who can make things alive again is God.
And He's been nudging me on this. He's been so kind to me, you guys, in the midst of all this confusion, all of these babies. I have felt swallowed up in his kindness, in his compassion for me these last years. And now, in His kindness, He's trying to hoist me up, trying to breathe new life into me. To help me SEE again, all the things that aren't a part of this physical world. For mothers of babies, sometimes it seems like it is only the physical that matters. We sit down at the end of the day, hair full of baby vomit, kid poop under our fingernails, next to piles and piles of laundry, and in our minds eye seeing the load of dirty dishes in the sink. Our work is so physical in the beginning. The Lord understands that. And He understands, too, that our eyes have to be lifted up. That we forget that there's so much more to this life, and the next. That as much as our hands are submerged in the physical, our hearts have to be reminded that we are spirit, too.
He's reminding me of that now. I'm so thankful for that reminder. I'm so sorry that I forgot. I'm so hopeful for what's next.