Monday, December 3, 2012

Last night, Shawn gave me the gift of two glorious hours alone. Most of it involved driving, but I didn't care. I left my two favorite guys with a kiss and a full bottle and hopped in my car, turned up the radio, and headed off to a couple errands that could've easily waited - but I desperately needed to get out of the house. I have no doubt you moms understand.

On my way, I passed a local coffee shop. Sitting right next to the window was a girl, probably in her early twenties, hunched over a cup of coffee and her laptop. She was probably putting finishing touches on a paper for a college class. (Or maybe she was on Pinterest or Facebook... I'm just giving her the benefit of the doubt.) :)

For a fleeting moment as I saw her sitting there, I felt a pang of longing for what she had. Alone time. Quiet. Less responsibility, perhaps. I missed being that girl in Chicago, trudging down a snowy sidewalk to Argo Tea to spend a few hours studying, writing papers, reading, and probably texting Shawn and inviting him to join me. Looking back, it all feels so much more carefree than the season I'm in now. And probably, this having-one-child season will seem much more carefree in the future when we may have more.

If anyone saw me staring at her through the window, they probably wouldn't have guessed I had a one month old baby at home, and I feel a little naked when I'm more than 5 feet from him at any given time. They probably wouldn't have detected the crusted spit up on my shirt or in my hair. And maybe they wouldn't have noticed the bags under my eyes that are so telling of how much sleep I'm actually getting. Little would they know.

But they also wouldn't have understood how my heart lights up when I see that little boy smile, or how the nights that just the two of us are awake - I wouldn't trade them for anything. That the simple fact that he needs me - for comfort, for nourishment, for growth - is the greatest privilege in the world. That we have conversations about Jesus and about His saving work on the cross, because I truly believe that His word does not return void and my son will someday understand. That this little boy of mine is the best thing I've ever had a hand in creating.

I'm slowly beginning to process this beautiful change my life has taken over the past few years. It wasn't so long ago that I was that girl at the coffee shop. And somehow, in what seems like the blink of an eye, I'm a mom.

Christmas is going to look very different for us this year. We'll probably wake up to a crying baby, but it's ok. In fact, it's more than ok. Having this healthy, smiling little wonder under our roof is changing our world for the better. I am so, so thankful to be his mom.


  1. You write so beautifully, and your commitment to Christ is inspiring. I really love your blog and your ability to share your faith. Gives me more strength to do the same through my own blog.

    Merry Christmas! Hope it is wonderful with your new bundle of joy!

    <3 Elyse

  2. I couldn't have said it better than what the girl above me wrote. Congratulations, Whitney... Cherish every moment. Just like all moments in the past, in the blink of an eye life will be on to the next.

  3. So glad to "hear" this from you- brutal honesty & yet so much love!

    You'll have a wonderful Christmas- I'm sure his tears will be the fact that he can't wait a moment longer for his first Christmas experience with his Parents! (I'm SURE. :) )

    Love From,
    Manda @ Eat Cake

  4. you wear motherhood beautifully! :-)

  5. I chuckled to myself reading this (9 years of marriage and 4 children) but truth be told, the absolute most overwhelming time in my life was when I had one baby. Learning to be a mom, learning how to exist on a few hours of sleep...truth be told I wish for those carefree days sometimes: but the difference is that we just desire it for a break, not because we don't want our children. Never would I give them up, not for all the carefree time in the world. You are a great Mama. Next time, take a four hour break :) It'll make the next four hours with your men that much sweeter!

  6. Such a great post! I feel like that girl in the cafe, and it's important to remember that many of us yearn for what you have now - a beautiful home and family! You have definitely reminded me to cherish every season.

  7. i remember the first month with our sweet boy as being the most challenging yet most amazing time. it is in that first month where all of the change you're experiencing and all of the "i'll never again" or "it'll never be like this.." can quickly become overwhelming. but you are right, their sweet faces and the health, happy smiles, cuddles and slow mornings make it all worth it. it gets easier! i remember feeling more and more like myself as the weeks pass by and now as he is approaching 9 months it's amazing to see how much "easier" it has gotten. you're doing great, you'll get more sleep, errands will become fun time with your little buddy, and you'll be in such a groove! enjoy all of these moments though because they sure do go so quickly. merry christmas!

  8. You have such a beautiful heart, Whitney. I missed seeing you last week - our conference schedule was insane and I'm reaping the benefits with a headache this week. :( Sometime in the spring, when Liam is a little older, too, we'll have to meet. Praying for you during this season, that you feel closer to God (and Shawn) than ever and that you're finding a new understanding of how great His love for us really is. Blessings!

  9. This made me tear up :) Yes, those days are wonderful to remember, and these days are too wonderful to pass up. Isn't it amazing how God creates each season of our lives to be beautiful in one way or another?

    A friend and I were walking with our girls in strollers this morning, and she mentioned how it seems that everyone is onto their second kid already, and if they're not, they're buying their first house. She and I are far from either "next step" right now, and she was feeling down about it. I couldn't help praising God for the stage that I am in, and remembering the lonely friends who are wanting what I have right now. God is good, and brings everything at the right time.

    But oh, those coffee shop days were nice, weren't they?! (But did you ever imagine life beyond it would be so wonderful?)

    Kiss that sweet boy twice on each chubby little cheek for me :)
    ♥ Bethany

  10. Hi Whitney, I just stumbled on your blog (and made the clutch purse, awesome tutorial by the way!). I live in Chicago, and know many Moody students, so I thought it was cool that you went there/lived here and love Chicago like I do. You are a beautiful writer - this post captures so well the same emotions that I was feeling one year ago when I was one-month post-partum. Especially the part about feeling naked without your son. Being a breastfeeding mom especially, I think it really does feel that way. But we were so blessed to have our son...
    Anyways, I only follow blogs of people who are good photographers/crafty/good writers, and you meet all three criteria, so I'm super happy to have stumbled on yours! I think you and I would be kindred spirits - perhaps we could meet up if you're ever in Chicago :) Feel free to stop by my blog any time! PS - LOVE the little stuffed whale in Liam's nursery. Adorable!

  11. ...and one day you will long for those infant days where they only knew how to snuggle and cry...(insert mommy sigh here). Someone above mentioned #1 child being the hardest - yep! Going from zip, zero, none is a tough one. Hang in there - go out more and don't feel a bit of guilt. The fact that he will take a bottle is huge! I remember my night feedings became the best times of prayer. By the time the last baby came, I would secretly hope he would wake at night so I could hold him, be with him, and pray for him and his sisters :)

  12. Hey just found your blog. I so understand. I sometimes envy the people in Starbucks sipping coffee reading a book as I rush out cause my baby girl started fussing. But then I remember how blessed I am and. What my life means now that I am a mom. This Christmas will be different for is too. But I am so excited for those differences.

  13. I can relate. I loved those early years in Chicago, and sometimes grasp at them in my mind, especially since I just turned 30 and the reality that my 20's are in my past hit pretty hard.

    But oh, God, give me the grace to see the beauty in every season.

  14. I first read this post when you posed it last week. I skimmed it, then read it again, then let it sink into my soul. It has come back to mind often. As I sat by the window in the coffee shop, a mountin of books and study notes before me, groaning at the workload of finals, I remembered. Remembered to be grateful, reminded that one day I may look back and miss this. I guess I never really thought about that before. In one season but longing for the change of the next never thinking that one day I may be longing for the past, and in it all reminded to enjoy where God has placed me right now. Thank you for your words and perspective.

  15. Nostalgia is a beautiful thing, It is there to remind us of all the types of joy we've had in our life, and will eventually roll around to reflect on the pleasures we can't see clearly right now. Great post my dear. xx


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