My babies are tucked in for their naps now. Meredith is in her bassinet in my room above me. Jacob is in his big boy bed below me. Naps happened a little late because there was stuff to do. And these are just a few of the minimally-connected thoughts swimming through my head and my heart right now.
(Excuse me a moment while I go help a crying boy to make the discovery that he can climb out of his bed by himself before going to sleep if his pillow falls out.)
Jacob would never have had that tantrum if I had gotten him to bed closer to 1:00 than 2:00. It’s my fault he sinned and got a spanking. Oh wait, that doesn’t matter, I’m teaching him to handle the real world and sometimes in the real world he’ll have to control his emotions even when he’s tired and circumstances aren’t ideal. I’m glad he got that chance.
It feels strangely, unexplainably good to have made Meredith a real home. I feel – stronger than ever – the same things a pregnant woman feels nesting. She has her very own crib now, a place where she will sleep and rest and play for the next year and a half. (Unless she learns to climb out like her brother never did.) Until now she’s bounced back and forth among the pack and play in the basement, the bassinet in the bedroom or office, the bouncy chair, the car seat, the couch, the baby sling. There’s nothing like a newborn’s flexibility, but those days need to be over now, and it made me get crazy-emotional in a way I rarely do lately to see that crib all decked out and her chillin’ in it. I’m her mommy and I made her a home where she will be secure.
The house is all clean (if you can look past the strewn coats and dirty dishes and groceries still in the car and those last three shirts to iron) and everything in its place. With the nursery settled into its new normal with two occupants and nothing invading precious play space on the floor, I suddenly feel like we’re really settled here for the first time. We moved here a year and a half ago. It’s good to be home.
God is so gracious and generous and it feels so good to have a heavenly Father who knows what we need and supplies it when we ask. I am trying with renewed vigor to spend NOTHING in an effort to pay down student loans ever faster. We’re starting to feel the urge to be home owners, but loans come first. We needed a second crib mattress so Meredith could take up her new place in Jacob’s old bed but I committed that I would not spend good money on one. I prayed so many times every day these last couple weeks for God to bring us one and I trusted that He would and that it was my place to just wait. So I persistently scoured Craigslist and persistently sought contentment to wait as long as it would take. Last night Mike brought home a perfect crib mattress from across town for $5.
That spanking Jacob got for throwing a fit was something else too. We are so faithful to explain day after day that Jesus takes away our sin. We pray together, we lead him in praying sometimes too as he signs, “I’m Sorry. Jesus. Love you. Amen.” We make him look us in the eye as he signs “I’m sorry.” If he can’t look us in the eye he’s not OK yet so we help him to get there and in happy moments during the day we practice. “Jacob, look at Mommy’s eyes!….I LOVE YOU!” And we explain that looking at peoples eyes is part of how we love each other. It’s hard work teaching him all this but it is beautiful knowing that we are teaching him how to deal with sin and be done with it, and how to enjoy living with nothing junking up relationships with God or man. And so this afternoon after he threw a second fit I reminded him “When you are angry and impatient like that you are not loving Jesus.” He got a spanking and then through his tears without prompting he signed “Jesus” and my heart melted completely. He doesn’t understand it all yet but his real, true infant faith is making the connection between Jesus and sin. That’ll do.
(Disclaimer: I have made a point up to now not to discuss the spanking issue on this blog. I understand many people disagree with the age-old, time-tested, and often-misunderstood practice and I will not engage in debate on the issue in a public forum. In fact, if you leave a comment of that sort I will delete it. If you’re my friend you are welcome to chat me up about it. Otherwise, live your life and blessings to you, and if you really want to know my opinion you might read Ted Tripp’s book Shepherding A Child’s Heart. It might change your life. Thanks! And thanks for reading, whoever you are.)
Now about those groceries.