Nine years ago, when I was getting ready to graduate from college and get married, I thought about all the darling business casual outfits I could buy with my first paycheck. I was going to be spending a lot of time with Ann Taylor, for sure! Looking back, I realize how much has changed in that short amount of time.
Just this afternoon I lifted our 7 month old’s rear-end up to my face to see if her lunch had come through the other end yet. As I wrinkled my nose at another dirty diaper, she laughed hysterically (apparently it’s funny when someone else smells your butt) and I noticed the spit-up I was wearing on my sleeve, and on my yoga pants (not from Ann Taylor – btw), and probably somewhere else I haven’t seen yet. Instead of being repulsed at the dirty diaper smell lingering in my nostrils or the baby barf decorating my Old Navy thermal, I hugged on the baby, kissed her face, laughed with her and pondered the awesomeness and unpredictability of God’s plan for our lives. All of our lives.
I smiled at the thought…the thought that nine years ago, I would have never told you I’d be smelling butts and wearing regurgitated breast milk, pears and apples for a living. I could have never told you that I could survive on a few hours sleep many nights in a row, commit myself to a never-ending pile of laundry, scrub dishes three times a day only to turn around and have another pile ready first thing in the morning, or have such a close relationship with my crockpot.
I also could have never told you what an incredible blessing all that is.
We knew we wanted babies, but we could have never told you that beyond the baby shower, it ain’t all rosy, kids. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s a lot of germs, laundry, meltdowns in public (don’t act like your kids haven’t done it), butts smelled, noses wiped, toddlers chased and dirty diapers disposed of.
It’s also a lot of love, comfort, and joy and a million other lovely things and feelings.
No matter what stage of life you have children – young or old, planned or unplanned – they are an absolute miracle and they will change your life beyond anything you could possibly imagine or plan. I think that one of Christ’s biggest lessons in humility is given to us through raising our children. I also think that He uses these children to refine our hearts and build our character; to teach us to love selflessly and to give effortlessly. He shows us so much sacrificial love and so we also love our children sacrificially, like Christ.
When we tell people about our flock, they often call us crazy. I am going to close by telling you that I agree. Yes, we are crazy. Crazy blessed.