I have been thinking a lot about living well. It is intimidating to live well for 3 (4?) other people. The way JD and I structure our lives and identities will be what our children see and know of living. For a dreamer, this can be problematic. One of my greatest challenges is to be present for my wee ones throughout the day. Perhaps because he is an adult, I have less difficulty being present for my husband. But in the day to day when I am with the girls at home or in the car, it is all too easy for my mind to be in a completely different place. I’ve instilled some practical steps to bring my eyes into focus throughout the day, like leaving my phone in the bedroom or bathroom and making sure my computer is turned off during non-napping hours, but I’m still figuring out this stay-at-home mama bit. My thoughts and daily doings have begun to revolve around living well – in other words – being present to my kiddos while maintaining my identity. My identity is found in Jesus and who Jesus created me to be, and right now motherhood is a pretty giant portion of who I am, but it’s not everything. I want my girls to know I chose to be present in their every day, all day life in their tender years, but also that the sum of who I am is not found in raising them. I mean, motherhood is not the culmination of being a woman.
But living well… living well is important.
Wearing skirts in the garden and scraping the knees in pebbly dirt is important. Pretending in roars and walking on all fours is important. Iced coffee alongside the journal and Bible is important. Strawberries grown from a small bedded garden tended by littles taste better… and taste is important.
It is also important, I think, to ponder living well while in the creative process of growing humans. The little one growing inside me, after all, is soon to join the life we are creating for our family.
Time will stand still when she is born. For a few weeks, the universe will revolve around her every need. My body in aches and pains will remind me she is important. Everything I dream about now will take a backseat to the bed of my rest and cradle of her in my arms. She will, quite literally, be attached to me most of the day and night. My prayers will shift from dreams and provision to the very present, “help. please.” My two older daughters will adjust and tantrum and swoon and be the full force of who they are as small humans. My blog will fill with stories of adjustment and new life and beautiful moments with each child gifted to us.
But there are still eight and half weeks until all this takes place.
What we establish now will carry into life with three.
Trust in the Lord, and do good. Dwell in the land… Befriend faithfulness.
The Psalmist’s words are in my head as I heave my pregnant third trimester body into a game of duck duck goose with my girls. We eat lunch as a family and talk about work and play. Girls’ tender prayers whisper for God to bless and provide for others. I draw patience from Him when mine is worn to shreds. We ask for forgiveness and kiss on the lips and pretend to sip coffee from wooden cups. I breathe in and out the gratitude of my heart for the life we’ve been given. Daily we are building into their story. I pray it’s a good one.
What does it look like to live well for you? I’ve not always been a mama and I won’t always be tending to littles. Living well is an evolving process that takes on new rhythms with each life stage. Whatever life stage you’re in, are you living it well?