Today I am 40 weeks pregnant with my third baby girl...wowza!! This last week I have been out of commission. I have sat in my house in very stretchy pants for days fighting random contractions and trying to rest, knowing how much sleep I'll be missing the next few months. I have held my girls close and have prayed over my belly in the tub night after night. I have slept terribly, tossing from one sore hip to the next, slowing maneuvering in a way that doesn't make it feel like my insides are being rearranged. I have literally punched my husband in the back from his snoring so loud (oops, he doesn't know that!). I have done little to no cooking and we're surviving on coupons and Adam picking up dinner here and there. I've walked our stairs and our neighborhood for Halloween, hoping something would make this baby come out. She ain't budging. And I am ok with that. Well, not at first. First I was really annoyed and angry and emotional. Still emotional, but now the Lord has softened my heart, reminding me good things come to those who wait. And I will be holding my very good thing in a few days.
As early as tomorrow, I will be meeting my third daughter, Rosie Mae. Lots of emotions have been on the surface today as I imagine our life with three girls. Callie and Maci have been enormous blessings to us and I know Rosie will fit right in. But I would be lying if I didn't say how insanely unsettling it is to think we'll be outnumbered, that potentially we could go through six proms, and there could be four menstrual cycles going on at once (take that in!). Not to mention, ahem, 3 potential weddings! I get into my own head a lot as a mother. Constantly second guessing my decisions when disciplining and trying to get it right. Showing love while keeping a balance so they can turn into functioning adults at some point. My husband and I make a great team, and I feel like we are doing all that we can; loving them and taking care of them and raising them in a God honoring way. My oldest is four so I haven't been in the parenting trenches too long, but long enough to know what I do want my girls to learn from us. So I've decided to list a few things as a reminder to myself to keep what's important first and everything else will work itself out.
To my girls, a short list of what I want you to learn from Mommy and Daddy (lots and lots of things to be added to this list as we all grow together):
1. Always be kind. Always. You never know what kind of hurt or struggle someone is going through that's causing attitude, hatefulness, or pure venom to be spewing out of their mouth, but we are called to love everyone. It's much easier to give attitude back when it's given to you. It takes someone of strong self control to let things slide and roll off your back.
2. Never give up. Go down swinging if that's what it takes to accomplish something you've got your sights on. Your daddy is a good example of that. He has worked his tail off providing for us while graduating college and holding a second job. We will always support your goals.
3. Forget about The Jones'. We are happy to give you girls things that you want for Christmas and birthdays, but we will not raise you to expect anything at any given moment. You will have lots of friends who have more than you and I want you to be ok with that. We are blessed in having one another and building our lives on our faiths in Jesus and finding joy in the eternal things, not things that break within a week.
4. Be a loyal friend. Mommy has been blessed to have friendships that I've carried with me through many years, ups and downs, and milestones in my life. I don't know what I would have done without some of them by my side, especially through the really ugly things in life. Find a few friends who love you and support you and tell you when you're being stupid. Cling on to them for dear life.
5. Be silly and laugh often. Daddy and I fell in love over jokes and laughter. We love making you all smile and belly laugh hysterically with our random dance parties and Daddy's crazy voices. This home will always be filled with laughter.
6. Ask questions. Mommy and Daddy will always be honest with you. If there's something you don't understand, please come to us and we'll talk through it. If we don't have the answer, we'll pray for peace for you and us until we have one.
7. You do you. We are all different and God has created us to be that way. How boring it would be if we all walked around looking, sounding like, and acting like everyone else. Don't be afraid to step out of the box and challenge yourself, even if it's uncomfortable at first. Don't worry about pleasing people and trying to fit into some mold our ever changing society has put together. Love Jesus and honor Him.
8. Never abandon family. Family is the closest relationships you'll ever have. Having sisters is going to be a challenge, but I know firsthand what sweet friendships come with sisters. You will be each other's first friends and I hope to see all of you grow together and stay closely connected through the years.
9. Go out of your way for others. Even if you don't know them. Friend the kid at school sitting alone. Hold open a door. Be respectful at all times to authority, even if you disagree with them. Talk to people and learn about people. We were created for community and friendships.
10. Love Jesus, pray often. Daddy and I are raising you in church and to know what Jesus did for you. We want to live out our faiths in our parenting and marriage more than any other area. We have already been praying and will be continuing to pray that He captures your hearts one day and that you choose to follow Him.
So these are just some things that were stirring in my heart. Still much to learn and to pass on to my girls. I am convinced being a mother is something that will challenge me and grow me until my last breath but I am so eternally grateful to be on this journey with our soon to be THREE girls!!