I remember when I was pregnant and daydreaming about having a six-month-old. He would sleep all night, take peaceful, long naps and let me hold him and cuddle him whenever I felt the urge. I would have plenty of time to write my book during his first year of life, and basically, things would be all kinds of perfect.
Well, I wasn’t completely wrong. My little guy sleeps well most nights and takes multiple, long naps a day. He’s the most precious little ball of energy mixed with cuddles. However, I didn’t bank on him still waking up once a night to eat, him being extremely curious about grabbing everything I hold and refusing to sit still. Oh, and having what seems like no time to work on my book that really needs to be written is not ideal! I thought I’d be so much further along by now.
What I realized is having unreasonably high expectations for myself and my six-month-old created a lot of unnecessary pressure and “shoulds” for what I want to be one of the most precious seasons of my life. When I decided to hire a parent coach, the clarity I gained was as invigorating as a pumpkin spice latte on the first day of fall. It was right where I wanted—no, right where I NEEDED to be.
There were so many things (and still are so many things) that I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to move forward with while having this new bundle of joy in my life. That’s where my coach came in. She helped me learn more about my strengths and my thinking process, so that my actions could match my values in a meaningful way. So that I may walk within my integrity and authenticity.
And so this marks the beginning of the chalkboard season. One thing I wanted to do for my little guy was to write prayers for him daily. I wanted to pray for the upcoming seasons of his life, that he would be courageous, loving, kind. I understand the impact prayers have on our future, so why not do everything in my power to help my little guy spiritually? I eventually wanted to create a book of prayers I wrote on his behalf and give them to him someday.
This is still something I’d like to do, and I still pray for him every day. However, I now realize that just because I am not writing out lovely, elegant prayers for him daily, it doesn’t mean my in-the-moment, silent or out loud prayers aren’t heard. I am doing what I can with what I have. And what I do have is a beautiful, large chalkboard in my baby boy’s room. I have decided to use this chalkboard to write scripture for myself on behalf of my son that will act as an encouragement, that will trigger and guide my prayer and actions. Then with the pictures I take of the different scriptures, I can compile a book for him. It was not my initial vision, but something tells me it’s still beautiful. It is my goal that these testimonies will also act as an encouragement to you.
Oh The Small Things
Have you ever heard the right words at the perfect time? Lately I have been struggling with my baby’s unpredictable sleep as well as progress on my book. Like I said above, I imagined I would be so much further along by now. Basking in my discouragement, God spoke right to my heart. On my drive to my hometown with my sleeping baby in the backseat (thank you, Jesus), I decided to listen to an Erwin McManus podcast.
The podcast was on Zechariah 4. Zechariah is not a book I am super familiar on, so little did I know it would pack a punch. Zechariah and Zerubbabel’s people were building a temple. In this section, the people were discouraged due to their lack of progress on the temple. It was taking WAY longer than they thought it should. Hmm, I know the feeling! Here are the versus that resonated:
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
7 “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
10 “Who dares despise the day of small things?”
Who dares despise the day of small things? Who dares despise my little baby waking up one time a night? Who dares despise a single sentence written? Every great thing starts as a small thing. Everything God does, He does small and with small things, He makes them great. Why else would Jesus talk about the faith of a mustard seed? Because that is all He needs. One small step.
When I hold that vision of what something is becoming, it gives me energy, allowing me to accept what is and look forward to what it is becoming. This isn’t just a cornerstone. This is the Lord’s temple. No, this is not just a sentence. This is a powerful book in the making. This is not just a baby who still wakes up in the middle of the night. He is a much needed arrow being sent out into the world but right now needs a loving mommy.
I realized that the mighty mountain or the level ground all have to do with whether I am focusing on my circumstances or focusing on my God. I refuse to believe I can’t take one more step forward, write one good sentence, wake up and love my sweet baby at 3am. By not adding resistance, I am going with the flow, no matter where the flow will be, because God is using my small beginnings to build great things.
I want to embrace my small beginnings rather than despise them. By accepting the “what is” for the sake of “what will be” has made all the difference during this season in my life. And as my coach suggested, “What if we loved those small things with all of our heart and soul, knowing they were treasures and guidance from God?”