There is an adjustment period to mothering babies, which perhaps lasts until they are grown. But in any case, I find myself a couple times a week a bit dazed with the course of my new life. The person I thought I was is a memory now. I am not able to care for old people and listen to their stories and write them down. I am not able to write much at all. I am not able to farm, or garden much, or make all the old fashioned things I loved to make, like candles and soap and fresh bread. I do not wear an apron. I do not read many adult books. I seldom travel anywhere. Some weeks I do not even get in my car at all. I do not write in my journal. I do not have amazing and deep friendships. The friendships I have are the sticking kind that are just there regardless of my attention.
I am a woman who listens to podcasts for company and finds it difficult to have the bed made by the end of the day. I am the wife of a man who sometimes can’t find a clean uniform. I am a mother who given a blessed one hour window of time alone, will lay down, unable to even have the victory of sleep, with a mind so full of things to do. I am a homemaker who spends the first part of the day trying to think of a dinner plan, the second making it happen and the third trying to make it look like it didn’t. I am extremely average, and not what I thought I would be when I imagined my dreams coming true.
When I look back on this pregnancy with Jacob, I wonder if I will remember the book proposal that didn’t work out. Probably not. It was an incredible opportunity, a chance to use my gifts, a chance to be more than just a mom. To be a writer, a real writer. To get a little check, however little: a dream. A dream I could have strong-armed into existence. But instead I let it go. Perhaps I let it go for another day. Perhaps not. There is always the chance when you let something pass, that it may never come your way again.
Jacob is coming my way, and I will hold onto him. The preacher said last night that, although it might be incredibly difficult, you know something is a calling on your life when you would be miserable doing anything else.
I didn’t want to go on living without my husband, and when they laid our baby on my chest and said it’s a girl! and I said it’s Helen, I knew my life, my happiness, was now inseparable with hers. It isn’t right to outlive your children. It happens, but the wound does not heal. This is because motherhood is a calling. I love writing and reading and being an interesting productive person, but I am not miserable as I am today, rather worthless comparatively. As much as I wish I were a better mother, wife, homemaker, I still bless the Lord I am those things, however average.
When I meet Jacob, I will understand why God made me. I will still look back somedays and wish I was a little more like the woman I used to be before I was stretched out and sucked on, before I was cleaner of a thousand messes and chief changer of diapers, dish-washer, sock-searcher, tantrum-overcomer, nap-enforcer. But when I look back from a greater distance, I know these children will be God’s heritage to me, his best and greatest gift: what he gave me, what he received from me, what he asked me to do, what he did for me.
Jacob: Usurper, Supplanter. You have outmaneuvered and overreached all your mama’s former ambitions. You have grabbed hold of the heel of my ideals, and wrestled in me a holier dream. We’ve been reading through the Psalms at night, where your God is spoken of again and again. The Lord of Hosts is with Us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. In you he has given us more of Himself, a God who breaks in and busts through, and lays himself down in the arms of a young woman whose world has been remade.