Allison, a mom of three who writes about her life and family on her blog, O My Family. She recently shared this beautiful post on her blog and was generous enough to let us share it here.
Before the arrival of each baby I have gone into a season of mourning. Great upheaval justifies such. From newlyweds to never-alones. From party-of-three to a de-throned first-born. From ‘the boys’ to a practical herd of babies. Each time we lost what we had. Each time I cried a lot about that loss. Each time I knew that yes, it will be good and lovely and better even, somehow, but what we had was still being laid to rest.
As we prepared for ODear’s arrival I was grieving the comparable simplicity we were about to lose to the apparent logistical nightmare that would be three children. I treasured nap time, for example, and I knew that would change. I do not mean those beloved moments of quiet in the early afternoon when everyone under 4ft tall was asleep, although those moments were at times my very hope and stay. Yes, those would be harder to come by, too, but I mean the moments right before those quiet ones. The ones where I would lay down next to my second-born tucked chin-high in blankets with his chosen ‘stuffy’ of the month and stroke his little head into dreamland. And the moments just after that when I would climb their bunk-bed ladder (which was increasingly difficult given my ‘condition’) and lay next to my first-born and he would inevitably whisper a question about something four hours ago and we would chat until it was time for him to close his eyes and rest. The season of being fully physically available to my boys at nap time was fading to a close because babies have unpredictable needs and well, we don’t have much longer that both boys will nap. Rightly, I assumed that laying with them as they fell asleep would be infrequent at best after the baby arrived.
It happened. There were poorly-timed nap times where I sat against the wall in their room nursing a newborn in the dark (hashtag talented?) or rushed through and exited before my job was ‘done’ because ODear was squawking in the other room. Rarely did I see them both off to sleep anymore. That stage was over and I was so, so sad to lose it.
Then God turned my mourning into joy.
About three months into our new nap time shuffle, I began singing to the boys. I would stand in their dark room bouncing a baby and singing hymns. I started with the one I knew best, Be Thou My Vision. We sang that at our wedding and I will never not get teary-eyed when I hear it. Then we sang Come Thou Fount at church on a Sunday shortly after and I added it to my repertoire. I could be found sitting in that same spot against the wall nursing a baby, but now I was looking up hymn lyrics on my phone and singing them to the boys as they fell asleep. Great is Thy Faithfulness. I Surrender All. Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. It is Well with My Soul.
It was awesome. I knew this much, and sometimes I would get glimpses of what a great thing this new singing nap time tradition was when OBoy would ask me a question about the lyrics and we would talk about Our Jesus. But this morning I was blown flat over by the awesome. As he was assembling legos on the ground in the living room, OBoy began humming How Deep the Father’s Love for Us and singing about half of the words. DanO, who has picked up his fair share of hymn-sing nap shifts over the last few months, began singing with him. Together they sang the first two verses with some call-and-response.
Flat. Flat on the floor from the glory.
I need you to know this, friends. I need to show you my ebenezer. Look how faithful! Look! He has done a good thing! The old is gone, but look at what a joy and blessing I have been given in its place. His love is vast beyond all measure.