Our sweet Nora Jane is going to be strong. She already is. When we chose her name, I’ll admit that I mainly chose it for how sweetly it rolled off my tongue. It sounded sweet, simple, and southern. As I researched what her name meant and its origin, I felt even more confident in my decision. Nora is short for Honora, meaning “honor”. It’s also short for Eleanora, meaning “light”. So, my sweet Nora means honor and light.
When Nora was dedicated at our church on Father’s Day this year, our pastor prayed this prayer over her:
“Heavenly Father, I pray for Nora Jane, Thank you for the life you’ve given her. For her health, her family, for how much they love her. Heavenly father, we recognize that as she is loved so much in this world, she is loved that much more by You. So we pray as she grows, that she would live well in that reality that she’s loved by her family and loved by You. Let her live a life understanding Your grace, living in the beauty of that. So, all of her attributes her character, her strength, grace with which she goes through the world–all of those, would not just become reflections of her, but reflections of You. So when the world looks at her they understand a little bit more about what it means to be loved, what it means to live in the reality that we are made in Your image for great things. Let her life exemplify that. Give her parents strength and wisdom, give her brother courage and give them a relationship that is strong in all the years. We pray this all on the day of her dedication.” -Pastor John Parker
Such sweet words, spoken over my baby in love. These are words I cherish and mirror in my own prayers over her daily.
I have a confession. It’s so much easier this time around having a baby than it was when I had Blake. Easier in the sense that I’m not worried and anxious all the time about feeding and sleeping schedules or germs or if she’s being held too much. I don’t have as much mom guilt over choices I’m making for her because I know that no matter what, she’s fed, growing, and loved more than anyone could ever know. But the second part of my confession is harder to admit…
Being a mom of two is hard. My two year old is hard. He challenges me and gets under my skin. He makes me second guess myself and want to rip my hair out. He is a sourpatch kid from the moment he wakes up until the moment his head hits the pillow. I’m exhausted trying to handle the roller coaster of emotions that can unfold within a matter of three minutes while he plays with magnets or trucks or tries to scoop food on his spoon and something “goes wrong”. I constantly feel on edge, wondering if our neighbors are going to call DCF on us because if you walk past our house on any given night around dinner time or bath time or bed time or really any time, you’re likely to hear him screaming at the top of his lungs, acting as though I’m beating the stuffing out of him, when in reality, he’s just upset because his pajamas don’t have pockets, or the ice in his sippy cup melted, or the corner of his poptart crumbled.
Toddlers. Are. Exhausting.
They are challenging and unpredictable. They will humble you. They will refine you. They will make you want to walk out the door at times.
Or…maybe you’re a way better mom than me and you’ve never felt any of those feelings. But chances are…your toddler isn’t perfect and you have your moments too.
In this busy and exhausting season of life, I feel pretty empty. I cry a lot and I feel big feelings. I know that it’s okay to feel the way that I feel and that just like every season of life, this too will pass. The important thing to remember is that while it’s okay to be sad, confused, tired, and empty…God does not want me to REMAIN that way.
In Hebrews chapter 4 verses 15-16, it says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” The Psalms are full of examples where David is sad, lonely, feeling rejected and abandoned. Friends, it’s OKAY for us to hurt and to question and to feel like we are alone. That is our flesh. But God wants us to seek Him in our hurting and trust in His unfailing love for us.
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” -Psalm 13:5-6
One of my favorite songs in this season of life is a song by Hillary Scott, called ‘Thy Will’. She had just experienced a miscarriage and wrote this song during her season of sadness. I find myself using the lyrics to her song as a prayer throughout the day. “I know you see me. I know you hear me, Lord. Your plans are FOR me. Goodness you have in store.” The more I pray it, the more I believe it. The more I believe it, the more I feel it.
Every season of life has its own “hard”. But in every season, I will continue to look to the One who gives rest, hears me, sees me, loves me, and knows my innermost feelings better than anyone.
I know You’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know You think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all Your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that You’re God
And I am not
I know You see me
I know You hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness You have in store