Last night as my husband and I divided and conquered showers, bottles and bed times for our two girls he looked at me (as I passed our 3 month old out of the shower) and said “no more..” I knew exactly what he was saying and feeling and wholeheartedly agreed!
I doubt I’ll look back at this post and laugh with a growing belly.. but I guess who knows.. never say never people keep telling me..
My reasoning was- if I didn’t shed tears when I packed away the three zero clothing of Raegan’s or when I packed away the bassinet and baby bath for the last time that that meant I was done.. I’m not someone who has emotional attachment to things- you can ask any of my family members.. new car- cool.. new house- cool.. things can come and go and I really wouldn’t be phased.. what am I attached to? I don’t know.. I’m still trying to figure that out.. but I digress.. no tears were shed, no heart strings were pulled.. I didn’t feel sentimental or overcome by a feeling of loss. It wasn’t a hard or long road like many others I know and for that I will forever be grateful. But all that being said I think we’re done. I never felt “done” after Ava.. I always knew we would have number 2 but this time it seems pretty final.
Only after watching Maria Kondo’s organisation show did I get together little boxes of sentimental things for our family- never assuming that they would value that stuff (if the word stuff doesn’t show you how non-sentimental I am I don’t know what will..haha) later in life.
Deciding not to have more children is monumental- I know. It’s something that I’ve been praying about it and asking for the Lord’s direction on. I’ve seen people mourn over the decision, talk about a sense of loss or sadness but not me and I guess that’s what makes us all unique. How about you? Do you feel like you’re done or is there a niggling feeling in your heart for another baby?
A couple of years ago if you were to hear Christian Mum in a sentence I think most would picture a homely looking woman, perhaps home-schooling her children with a swear jar on the counter.. okay maybe not.. thank you Instagram and FB- the modern Christian mum is young and hip looking, juggles multiple jobs while volunteering at her local church and pre-school. Perhaps she makes grain free banana muffins on the weekends and she posts pictures of cool looking food oh and her kids wear lots and lots of linen and never poxy pink tutus (guilty as charged..) Hats off to you if you are hip and with it.. I find myself striving to be this “modern Christian mum” swayed by Instagram and Facebook. I was listening to a podcast (crazy right.. 2 kids at home and a podcast playing.. it actually only lasted 15 minutes but more on that later..) this morning of a sermon titled “Everything for Him.” It was like a slap in the face if I’m being honest.. The sermon was based on the scripture: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:3
I am the first to admit that I am struggling with embracing this season of my life. I’ve been on maternity leave for just over 12 weeks now and I can’t say the going has got any easier. It’s not that the girls are “hard”- by no means are they “hard”- we have been blessed with great eaters and sleepers. Having worked outside of the home since I was 16 (minus one year that was spent overseas) it has been hard to put the working Steph aside and take on mum Steph full time. Yes, I still volunteer at Church and have heaps of work there that I love doing, but you know that I mean. I almost resent my husband each morning as he gets his clothes on and leaves the house. I feel a twinge every time I hear the garage open knowing that I’ll see him in 8 or 9 hours.
Today I was really feeling it- that utter spiral of “is this what my life has been reduced to..”, “will I ever get to go back to work..”, “I wonder if I can end my maternity leave early..”, “I don’t want any more children”.. couple all of that with a massive blow out that actually saw me throw out a singlet (it wasn’t worth trying to save), a cold (that I’ve had since Saturday night) and an untidy pantry and spare room. This may seem ridiculous to you but for someone who thrives in organisation and ‘everything in its place’ I was beside myself.. and then I turned on the podcast. To be honest I’m only about 15 minutes in- the kids woke up so I had to pause it until maybe Friday (haha.. just kidding..but really) but just the idea of “all for the Glory of God” made me really stop and look at my life.
If you find yourself in the trenches of motherhood not knowing when the fog will clear or when you may have even a sliver of independence back let me remind you “all for the Glory of God.” From the minute your child makes a noise in the morning it’s go-go-go (today my day started at 6:15am..so I know exactly how you feel).. It’s hard to remember that everything I’m doing is for the Glory of God. As I washed another load of dishes, waiting for the familiar ding of the washing machine to finish the second load…
…hang on…time out…Raegan has woken up…I’ll be back…
..this is life at the moment..full of interruptions..but all for the Glory of God! My prayer is that my kids and husband see the love of God in everything I say and do.. as I cook another meal my prayer is that my family feel the provision of God and know that we are blessed to have what we have. Every dish in the sink means we had food to eat, every load of laundry means we had clothes to wear, every vacuum of the house means we had walls and a roof over our head to live in, every day of maternity leave means we had the finances for me to raise our children full time- when you look at it through the glory of God you really do see it differently..
I challenge you mumma- this week, start looking at things with “All for the glory of God” in mind!
Here’s an iPhone wallpaper I’ve designed to remind you!
Just click on the image and save to your camera roll.
This may sound like a strange topic but I know it’s something that I was very much unaware of how to navigate. Obviously I can’t remember back to when my parents introduced me to Jesus (I can barely remember what I wore last week) so it was something I was totally unprepared for or more so unaware of what to do. My family and I attend church regularly (multiple times a week actually)- we’re heavily involved in different departments so since birth Ava has always been at church and exposed to what it means to worship and pray etc. In the almost-two years of her life she has learnt so so much from walking to talking, eating, likes and dislikes, how to articulate people’s names and identify objects- toddlers are sponges so I knew I needed to make some intentional efforts to start introducing her to this God that we serve and love.
A friend of ours gifted Ava, at my baby shower, her first Bible Words book. It’s a picture Bible with a few short stories and pictures with words to help educate kids- this is Noah’s ark, this is baby Jesus, this is the sun etc It probably wasn’t until she turned about 18 months that she was actually interested in the story lines. I won’t lie and say this book is her go-to for story time but she does pick it every few days. If you’re based in Australia Koorong have some great Kid’s Bibles. I love going to their store and showing Ava the various Bible’s and books. If you are going to buy your child one I would recommend taking them with you and gauging their response to the book- the feel of it, the pictures, read them a short excerpt and see if the language is engaging. We have this one by Sarah Vince.
Start Bedtime Prayer Time
We have started to do a little prayer time with Ava before she gets her bottle in bed. We will ask her what or who she wants to pray for (if you watched my insta stories a few weeks ago you would know that her prayer request one night was “Pet’s- the movie”.. I prayed for all the pets in the world that they would be good and have a great day tomorrow..” We were secretly dying on the inside from laughter. The other night her prayer request was for her Nanoo- it was so strange as we don’t see Nanoo very often but she wanted to pray for him- I led her in a prayer that God would work on his heart and that he would know that we loved him (and we loved his truck that went beep beep as added by Ava)- It was quite a tender time.
If you attend a Church with a Creche or Sunday School- send your kids!
Our Creche at church starts at 2 years old but they have let Ava slide in considering she is almost two. The church we used to attend when we were living in the States has a Creche/Sunday School for kids from the age of 1! I can’t speak for all church creche’s but I know the one Ava attends during our Sunday Services teaches her about the Bible and Jesus. They sing along to Christian music videos and soundtracks – thankfully it’s not just a babysitting service.. not that that would be a bad thing when it comes to 1 year olds and trying to keep their noises to a minimum during a service (ha). However, with that being said..
Let your toddlers experience church!
I have been there and done that (and am still there a bit) when it comes to toddlers and noise and church.. it’s just a really bad mixture. I think the default for many parents is to hang out in the foyer or in the mother’s room (I see it a lot on instagram surprisingly)- while there is a time and a place when yes, your child just needs to roam in the foyer or is super overtired (you just know those times are going to end in you sprinting from one side of the church to the other with a screaming child) but I think we can get into a rut of “containing” our toddlers at church rather than letting them “thrive” and experience church. The Bible says that when two or three are gathered together He is there with them, in the midst of them- I don’t know about you but that makes me yearn to have Ava in those church services where we know His presence is. I want there to be a familiarity for her of the presence of God and the unity that comes with worshiping with the church which can only be done if we are intentional about exposing them to our church services. Ava loves to sing along and dance (albeit a ballerina dance) to our songs- I often see her in the arms of someone with her hands raised singing and clapping along- the book of Proverbs says “train up a child in the way they should go..” There is something sacred and Holy about experiencing the presence of God with your children.
So while I’m no expert I hope I’ve given you a few ideas on how to be more intentional about talking about Jesus with your toddlers! If you have any other good ideas that I haven’t covered I would love to hear from you!