Sunday, July 9, 2017

9 months...

Annabeth, you have now spent more time outside of my stomach than you did inside of it. Everyone told me it would go by quickly, and looking back, I suppose it has. I was looking at a picture of you from Christmas the other day and I couldn't believe how small you were. I don't remember you being so tiny. I don't remember a lot of things from the first few months. I once heard someone say that God doesn't allow our minds to remember the actual pain of childbirth so that we'll do it more than once. I believe that's the case for newborns, too. If we really remembered how hard those first few months are, we'd probably never put ourselves through them again. None the less, it truly is amazing how the love for your child trumps all of the challenges they present.

This has been a big month for our family. We've moved into a new home, and I do believe that you win the award for smoothest transition. You seem to be pretty content wherever we take you, thank goodness, and you were a real trooper throughout the process. Scout, on the other hand, has struggled with the move. But you know, when you get on up there in age, change is hard and confusing.

Your personality grows more and more each month, and I swear you get cuter and cuter. Not only are you adorable, but your personality really adds to the mix. You aren't the least bit wary of strangers. You are quick to smile and laugh, and you've really expanded your vocabulary. You're full of a plethora of noises, and you finally said "mama!" It sounds more like "mom-mom," but that works for me. You're rolling all over the place, and although you aren't crawling, you have no trouble getting around. This has certainly made my job a little more exhausting, and I can't decide if I am actually ready for you to crawl or not. I used to think things would get easier as you aged. I'm starting to re-think that one. You've tasted a lot of new foods this month and enjoyed each one, and you even learned how to drink out of a straw. You're a smart girl, and you seem to pick up on things quickly. I'm trying to pace you and not let you learn too much too fast. After all, your just a baby. You've got plenty of time to grow up.

The more time I have as your mother, the more I realize what an incredibly weighty responsibility that is. As you and I were sitting at the table the other day having lunch, I cut up tiny pieces of watermelon for you to snack on. I reached across the table and handed one to you. You squeezed it and inspected it well before attempting to put it in your mouth. It was a little too slippery for you to work with, so I decided to feed it to you instead. You leaned forward, opened your little mouth, and I placed it on your tongue. Your eyes lit up and you gave me a big, scrunchy faced smile as you chewed the sweet fruit and swallowed. You leaned forward again, opened your little mouth, and I dropped another piece in. This game continued for a while, and I was taken back by the trust you've placed in. You never once questioned what I was giving you. You never asked what it was. You had no clue if what I was placing in your mouth was good or bad for you.You just kept leaning in and trusting me because, up to this point, I've given you no reason not to.

Trust is a big deal, you know. Growing up, your Grampy always said to me, "You have my full trust until you do something to break it." And that stuck with me. He never made me earn that trust. He just gave it to me and it was mine to uphold or mine to ruin. And although we girls tend to err on the side of trusting others more than we should sometimes, I thought about how much you trust me because that's all you know. I'm all you know. If I fed you fish food every day of your life, that would be all you know. Of course, I would never do that because it tastes terrible (I can imagine) and that wouldn't be good for you. But you trust me no matter what because you have no other comparison. I'm your only mom and what you know is what I teach you. What you believe is what I tell you. And I want you to know that although I am certainly not a perfect mother, I hope you'll always trust me.

But I know that there will come a time where you'll have questions. You'll face things, go through situations, and I might not be able to give you answers. I may not be able to fix your problems or make things better despite my best efforts. And this is why I hope you place your trust in the Lord. Because He knows Annabeth. He sees, He hears, He has all of the answers. And He is your helper. He will meet your needs. He will take care of you. He will guide you, protect you, hold you, and rejoice over you. And although sometimes it might be hard to see it with your human eyes, you can rest in the assurance of His truth. That when you place your trust in the Lord, He will not forsake you. He will not abandon you, forget about you, or let you down. He never fails. And so my prayer and my hope is that you always lean in and you trust Him. Because, precious baby, He will never give you a reason not to.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." - Psalm 28:7

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