Originally published Thursday, 13 March 2014.
Jesus, be with the mama with the fussy baby. The crying baby. The wailing, screaming baby. The baby who just won't sleep. The finicky, particular little baby who wants to be held all the time, facing out, standing up, dancing around, shushed, swayed, swaddled, unswaddled, swaddled again. God bless these soldiers fighting the good fight to love the not-so-easy-to-love little one.
The first 3 months with twins and a toddler were crazy, and while some things are getting easier (nursing is much better, and we are almost sleeping through the night!), some things are still hard (like all the things I need to "fast" from in this season). And then there are their developing personalities...
My girls are almost 5 months old now and nothing has shown me more clearly the kind of love God has for us than having two babies at the same time: one baby who is easy and one who is... not so much.
Don't let that smile fool you.
When I wake in the morning, it's to an angry squawk. Then a screech. Then a wailing, whining, demanding, fussing, wailing. A "come pick me up now, Now, NOW, I SAID NOW!!!" from my deceptively adorable baby girl. As I wipe the utter exhaustion from my eyes and pick her up, all redfaced and furious as she is, I am greeted with a glorious, beaming, silent smile from her sister.
As I feaverishly change cranky baby's diaper, amid continued squawks of protest, sweet sister just continues to gaze and smile.
I hurriedly change the quiet and content one, to the great dismay of Little Miss Grouchy Pants. I quickly prepare to feed both babes, never fast enough for my demanding little bundle of fury, who hasn't let up her protests one bit since before she even opened her eyes. Sister #2 still waits silently, patiently.
And finally, the screams cease. For now.
Oh, man. This fussy girl.
She's made me cry big, fat ugly tears, and she's forced me to my knees.
Never have I fought this kind of battle against my spirit, against my own body. A complete all out war against every fiber of my being. In the midst of the wails and screams, forcing my limbs into submission. Willing myself to continue to hold, sway, sing, kiss, cuddle, all while cursing under my breath, and begging and pleading with my God, "Please! PLEASE! PLEASE!!! Let her sleep!"
And the other one, the calm, quiet, flexible one is just there. Soothing herself to sleep. Smiling sweetly. Easy to love.
While I was being verbally assaulted by my infant during a diaper change, two scriptures came to mind.
Thank you, Jesus! Just when my spirit felt most defeated, the most beaten and weary with enduring continued crying and wailing despite my best efforts, His word appears.
First, a challenge and a promise...
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that." Luke 6:32-33
What a perfect picture of my experience. The ease of loving one baby that "loves" me, and the hardship of loving the one who "curses" me, to parallel the passage.
The passage continues to challenge us to love "without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Merciful as He is merciful. And then this song came to mind.
"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
I bounced and swayed and shushed and wept and wept as my child continued to scream bloody murder in my face. My living metaphor for Christ's love for me. While I wailed in my sin, he continued to offer a warm embrace. Against every earthly instinct, He offers love.
And so must I.
I'll keep trying everything I can, reading every book and blog for tips. But in the midst of the battle, while my soul is being beaten by this tiny crying baby of mine, I'll sing it again. He demonstrates His love for us in this. While we were sinners, Jesus died for us. So, I, reflecting Him, will die to myself, demonstrating my love for this little one. A love not earned, not deserved, just given, as Christ loved me.
If you need some encouragement in those crazy mama moments like I do, here is just the thing. I'm giving away TWO CDs from Seeds Family Worship.
I have all their titles and I love each and every one. These are fantastic CDs with really well produced music and every song is a passage from the Bible. Seriously, it's the only way I can memorize scripture. I have sung these songs to myself in so many difficult moments and taught them to my son, as well. They are definitely songs your whole family will love.
Check out more of their music on their website and make sure to enter to win. Each CD comes with TWO copies of the same album, so you will be able to share the love with a friend! You'll get one CD of each album to keep, and have one of each to share!