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In the jumble of diaper blowouts and feedings every 2-3 hours…in the confusion of swaddle or no swaddle, schedule or no schedule…in the tears of long nights and in the multiple coffee cups of early mornings…my soul is stretching.

My tired heart is stirring with things old and things new, emotions welcome and emotions feared, worries voiced and unvoiced.

Abigail Nichelle arrived in all her screaming glory in early April – just as the springtime buds were making themselves known – and I realized then and there that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I don’t know how to be a mother. I don’t know a thing about diaper creams when it comes to my own crying baby or a notion about how to incorporate peace into 24-hour periods gone haywire. Days and nights blur together right now.

I love being a mother, but I’ve never been so terrified in my life.

I. Hold. Another’s. Destiny. In. My. Tired. Arms.

And, I am undone.

When I look back on this season, what will I remember? Will I remember Jesus? Will I have looked to Him in my uncertainty? Will I remember my husband David? Will I have leaned on him and prayed with him and cried with him and laughed with him? Will I remember motherhood? Will I have relished nursing and burping and bathing – all in a fog of sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones?

This morning I ask myself these questions, and I truly don’t know the answers.

I want to say that I loved deeply, lavishly.

I want to say that I let the little things – like showers and schedules – go and just delighted in baby smiles and tiny toes.

I want to say that I learned to be a wife just as much as I learned to be a mother. A shifting role in a shifting season.

I want to say that I allowed the stirrings of my soul to transform me more closely into the image of my Heavenly Father. That I developed patience, peace, and purpose even when sleep was a distant memory.

These are the things that I want to say. But, there is no assurance right now.

I’m tired and clueless. I’m worn down and poured out. Yet…I’m filled up each time she grins up at me. I’m a mushy mess when she buries her face in my neck and calms her rapid breathing. I’m grateful for the miracle of Abby and grateful for all of the people who are holding up my head, holding up my heart, and holding up my hands in this new season of soul stirring.

Abby has changed my world, and I don’t recognize its new shape. It’s a new, soggy, milk-stained, poop-splattered, sleep-deprived, coffee-filled, lovely shape.

But, I’m learning.

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