The First Weeks of Parenthood
It has been just over 2 weeks since Lively was born and I thought I would take some time to share some of the things I've learned in these first weeks of parenthood.
My worth isn't determined by what I do.
I have spent most of these 2 weeks sitting on the couch nursing Lively and sleeping in between. In these first couple weeks, just fitting a shower into my day has seemed like a big accomplishment! Being the very task-oriented, to-do list maker that I am, this drastic change in my daily activity has really challenged my thoughts about how I determine my worth and define a successful day. Sitting around all day for a day or two is fine, but after a week I began to feel anxious to "accomplish" something more than just a shower. In talking with Jimmy about how I was feeling, he first reminded me that I wasn't sitting around doing nothing, but that I was taking care of our daughter. It was good to hear that and to be reminded that I wasn't doing nothing, but actually doing a lot. I guess because I was sitting on the couch all day, it didn't feel like I was doing very much. Either way, it has caused me to realize how much I define my worth by what I can accomplish in a day. When will I finally get it in my head that my worth isn't defined by my daily activities or accomplishments but by my relationship with Jesus? "Everything is a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him!" (Phil 3:7-9)
It's good to ask for help.
I usually have a hard time asking for help, either out of pride or simply because I don't want to inconvenience anyone. Well, having a baby has forced me to learn how to ask for and receive help. Jimmy has been a the biggest help to me in this time. As I have often had both hands full figuring out how to breastfeed, he has literally spoon-fed me, scratched my nose, and propped my feet up. He's made breakfast for me nearly every morning, watched Lively in between feedings so I could sleep, and run tons of errands to get things I needed. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through these few weeks without his help.
Another form of help that has been invaluable are the meals we get delivered to us. Our church scheduled for us to receive dinner every other day for month after Lively was born. Neither one of us have had time to even think about cooking or grocery shopping, so having a home-cooked meal delivered to us has been a huge blessing! There have been other forms of help as well. My mother-in-law bought us groceries just before we came home from the hospital and my mom and sister stayed with me for a day and helped me get some laundry done.
Our American culture seems to so highly value independence and self-sufficiency that it can be challenging to let ourselves depend on others in times of need. But these past couple of weeks have reminded me that this is how we are called to live as Christians: giving and receiving help as it's needed. To give help, in whatever form, reminds us to live selflessly and consider others as more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3-4). And to receive help humbles us and reminds us that we are not self-sufficient and that it is good to be dependent on God and others.
There's never a good reason to skip time with God.
I think these past couple of weeks would be the easiest weeks for me to forsake my time in the Word of God. I have every good reason, right? I'm not getting much sleep, I'm barely able to fit a shower into my day, so it's ok if I don't spend time with God, right? I don't think there could ever be a more important time. My whole life has drastically changed since January 8th and to keep my eyes on God keeps me grounded. He is always my constant... the same yesterday, today, and forever, His character steadies my heart and brings peace to my soul. I have had to be creative in the ways that I get into Word, but it is possible! Some days, I have listened to teachings from the Bible off my iphone during 3am feedings. Other days I have made the difficult choice to spend time reading the Bible and praying instead of sleeping while Lively sleeps. Either way, I am learning that I never have a good reason not to spend time interacting with God in prayer and in reading His Word. And that when I do make the sacrificial choice to do so, it is always worth it! "Seek FIRST His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matt 6:33) Let me always keep God first in my life, and everything else always falls into place naturally after that.
I am excited to continue walking with Jesus in this new season of parenthood and pray I will never forsake the One who saved my soul!