A year ago today, Chad and I welcomed Nora Evelien into our lives. We are so, so grateful for her. Seriously, the love I have for her is overwhelming! My favorite thing about her is her constant, abundant joy. I hope that never fades.
But this post isn't just about my sweet girl. It is also about motherhood. Messy motherhood.
A couple weeks ago, our closest family and friends gathered to help us celebrate Nora's birthday. I had, in my mind, put together a pretty decent party plan. Thank you, Pinterest. Woodland themed, the place was decorated with pinecones, acorns, fresh flowers, (homemade) owl cupcakes, animal masks, activities for the littles, and a spread of yummy snacks. I so wanted it to be the best party for Nora. That's what good mothers do, right?
And then this mom put a cupcake adorned with a lone candle in front of my little. As I turned my head to prompt Chad's rendition of "Happy Birthday", what did Nora do? She grabbed the flame, of course. And so I spent the second half of her party nursing my teeny burn victim while trying to appear calm, cool, and collected. That's what good mothers do, right?
Well, I wouldn't know. What I really wanted to do was tell everyone to go home. I wanted to retreat back home where I could comfort my hurting little. I wanted to cry with her. I wanted to sulk that her party didn't go as planned and she missed her fun, cupcake, "Happy Birthday" song, and opening gifts. I was far from calm, cool, or collected. I was a mess.
That's kind of how motherhood goes, isn't it? You have an idea, a plan, of what to expect, but that rarely happens. Instead, breastfeeding doesn't work out, the blowout diaper occurs when you forgot the backup onesie, teething interrupts your REM cycle for weeks straight, Sunday night goodbyes grow increasingly difficult with each passing work week, and your child decides to play with fire when you turn your head. Motherhood is hard, unpredictable, and most certainly messy.
But, as I was so recently reminded, God's grace is sufficient for even the messiest of mothers. His mercies are new every morning. Achieving "good mother" status is not something for which I can strive. Rather, it's something that is already within me because God's power is within me. When I am weak, He is strong. I, for one, am grateful for this. So, bring on year, and baby, number two!