Friday, April 10, 2009

Anna and Emily - Instruments of Grace

Emily Rose and I enjoy special alone time during her bathroom breaks. I never thought I'd say this, but I really look forward to potty time! When she's older and more independent, I'll sorely miss our finger rhymes, songs and conversations. Her words are shown below, but reading it just isn't the same as witnessing her happy-go-lucky, exuberant personality, as she converses. I can't even describe how she feeds our souls. Sure - there are little fits at times - but her sunshine and energy far outweigh them.

Today, we were counting fingers and toes. Afterwards, she said:

Emily: "I four" (pointing to herself, eyes glistening)

Momma: "Really? I thought you were two?" (smiling)

Emily: "No, no, I five." (laughing)

Momma: "Really? Yesterday you were two." (laughing)

Emily: "No, I four." (Puts her fingers out, trying to make four)

Anna Grace is spending more time smiling and cooing, and less time crying. She, too, is just pouring the joy into us. There's no question that God knows what we're going through with the job hunting. As the weeks tumble by, there are fewer and fewer posted jobs. We have our moments of despair, but then one of our lovely daughters pulls us right out of the slump. I JUST KNOW IT'S GOD! By having the girls delight us at just the right time, he's reminding us that he's there, with a divine plan.

Things seem SO hopeless, with Don's limited job skills, and the logistics of getting short-term training in an area that would bring adequate pay, with health benefits. I can't imagine what possible plan he has to get us out of this, but I KNOW he has one. That's what keeps us going - our daughters, His instruments of grace - and the knowledge that He has it covered.

We're trying to make the best of joblessness, knowing that few men have this much time with their families. I'm really enjoying having Don around more; part of me thinks God knew I needed help desperately. Having all four of them at once had really become overwhelming. Of course it won't always feel this way, but with Anna's fussiness and failure to sleep alone, these months since her birth have been the most challenging of my life. Was a nervous breakdown coming? Did I have more than I could handle? I wonder sometimes. It is MUCH more manageable now, with Don home in between his job-hunting errands. He tries to run them during Emily's naps, and I help out with online applications at home.

We've both wondered if a new job will come at precisely the time Anna settles into a crib-time nap schedule. Emily Rose made the transition around 5.5 months, with me only having to nurse her and put her down drowsy. I'm sure there were times it was more challenging than that, but they don't stand out in my mind. Even now, Rosey is a dream to handle, in terms of sleep. Daniel was fairly easy - but that Timothy! He was attached to me, in our bed, for naps and bedtime for a full two years. He still remembers nursing, which just amazes me. He didn't stop until he was 2.5 years old, when I was about ten weeks pregnant with Emily. I know his primary love language is physical touch, so I attribute his extended nursing and co-sleeping to that fact.

I read a story today about a four-month-old baby who perished, having been left in a daycare van. It was 50 degrees outside, so the cause of death is under investigation. These stories are always hard to read; I immediately put myself in the mother's place.

After reading the story I pleaded with God to allow me to stay at home. Somehow, I had a peace about it hours later. Possibly just wishful thinking, or more reassurance from him that he has it covered. I'm no poster mom, but I'm far better at this than I would be at anything else. This is my niche.

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