Ian 101: 12 day crash course.

May 26, 2013

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Baby Ian was born just 12 days ago, and the past 12 days have been a crash course in taking care of him.  The day after his birth, I kept wondering when his real parents would come to pick him up because it still seemed so surreal.  12 days later, I’m slowly adjusting but it still seems surreal.  That’s my son.  Not my friend’s baby, not my little cousin.  My son.

That’s … crazy.

But we’re slowly, slowly learning to be parents.  Our hospital has a great follow-up support system, and I’ve had follow-up visits and called for consulting several times already.  Our lactation consultant told me at two different times, “Mommy, stop being so analytical!  Just go with your intuition.  He’s your son.”  And I didn’t say it to her, but I thought to myself, “Intuition?  What intuition?  Can’t you just give me a manual?  Like, if X happens, do Y.”  But no, no manual.  Every baby is different, they say.  And Google gives me lots of differing philosophies from anything from sleep to feed.

Today on day 12, I think I have a rough idea of what to do with his physical needs — at least for now before his next milestone or growth spurt, after which I’ll have to learn even more — but I’m still needy when it comes to really loving him sacrificially.  No credit to my flesh, sacrifice still doesn’t come as naturally or as easily as I thought it would.  I thought the “new mother” euphoria would be sufficient to fuel me through sleepless nights, the early frustrations of nursing (major learning curve here), and the day by day recovery from labor.  But even the natural love of a mother doesn’t overcome the flesh so easily.  I’ve had to really spend time praying that the fruit of the Spirit, which include love and patience and gentleness, would grow in my heart in spite of fatigue, physical pain, and plain not-knowing-what-to-do.

I’m so thankful for the gospel of grace in those moments.  I’m not and will never be the perfect mother.  I won’t do everything right — in heart or in deed — every time.  But Christ’s gospel already tells me that.  No surprise.  I’m not great or a “natural.”  I’m a sinner.  And there is a Savior.  For our family’s sake, for precious little Ian’s sake, I’m so grateful.  When I go astray, the blessing of repentance is always available to me through Christ.

In this season, dying to myself and living to Christ has a very tangible place for application.  It’s in the “washing of feet,” so to speak, of caring for a newborn.  Today, I’m called to adorn the gospel by acts of sacrificial service, in tenderly loving a little one who is totally dependent on me and can’t even smile back or say “thank you” yet (haha).  I can’t tell him the gospel in such a way that he understands yet, but I can demonstrate it to him through Christ who strengthens me.

God’s work in my heart doesn’t stop with the advent of a baby.  He isn’t shocked that Christlike love in me isn’t perfected upon the start of motherhood.  This is a seamless continuation of His sanctifying work in me.  To His glory.  And speaking of the gospel alone doesn’t prove I believe it.  I must live the gospel.  Here.  Now.  With every diaper change.  With trying to discern baby’s cries and not knowing what they mean.  With yet another marathon nursing session.  Even with every melt of my heart.  Even with every delightful moment when we gush about how precious he is.  Even when I can’t stop kissing his sweet little face.

Day by day, whether I feel like I know nothing or feel like “I got this,” the Lord must be my confidence.  Not Moms on Call.  Not Babywise.  Not Ferber.  Not Kellymom.  Not my copious notes from any other source.  Not my non-existent intuition (hehe) or my non-existent super-loving-mom powers that I thought would be given to me after Ian’s birth.  Only Jesus.

Only, sufficiently Jesus.

I can rest in that. :]

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2 Responses to “Ian 101: 12 day crash course.”

  1. Angela Maddox Says:

    It does get easier, but then things change … I am so encouraged to see your focus on Christ-like service. God continually molds us, doesn’t he? Congratulations to you both in the arrival of little Ian. Thank you sweet sister-in-Christ for taking the time to share your walk!

    • tia Says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Angela! I’m realizing how poorly I adapt to change and find security in schedules and predictability, haha. Hence the desire for a step by step manual for Ian. ;] I need these reminders every hour…! Whew :] ❤


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