the best thing and a really hard thing.

“It’s possible for it to be the best thing and a really hard thing,” a wise friend recently said to me of motherhood. And well, I couldn’t agree more.

Motherhood is the best thing I’ve ever experienced besides falling in love with and marrying Clay. And yet it is also one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

The same friend also said, “There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a form of—“⠀

“—Torture,” I practically finished the sentence for her.

The truth is the sleep deprivation is unlike any I’ve experienced. The only thing that’s come close has been jet lag from two 11-hour flights to a missions trip in South Africa. But this? Well, this keeps on going.

The 53 hours following the start of my labor, I only slept 1 hour. And while I have slept much more at home, this little snuggle bug needs to be fed every 2-3 hours—and that’s from the start of one feeding to the next. So if it takes 45 minutes to nurse her, well, there’s only about 1-2 hours in between. Sure, sometimes she goes longer. But day in and day out, and night in and night out, it can feel a little—okay, a lot—overwhelming at times.

And add to that some occurrences of great pain from breastfeeding issues and you have what you see here—me. Tear-stained face, unwashed hair, tired eyes. Heavy mama heart. But then I take one good, long look at this sweet girl’s face, and I am filled with enough strength to continue on… to give her life… to be the mama that she needs right now.⠀

In fact, in the hospital there was a moment when I truly didn’t know if I could possibly feed her once more that second night she seemingly wanted to eat for 6 hours straight. But when Clay brought her over to me and said, “Babe, I think she needs you,” I took one look at her innocent little face and this resolve of will rose within me, and I said, “Well then I’ll feed her.”

It’s truly the most selfless I’ve ever been. It’s a small taste of the sacrificial love God has for us—His children. It’s messy and it’s hard but it’s so so beautiful. And I’m grateful for it all—the moments of sheer bliss and the moments of near despair. Because God has given me this incredible gift that brings such joy, and He has shown up—over and over again—to give me my daily (nay, hourly) bread to press on to live out this role into which He has called me.

Thank you, Lord, that Your words are true…⠀

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

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