The daily checklist doesn’t end (has it ever?). And I have plenty to do: wash sheets, vacuum floors, finish packing a hospital bag, post blogs for work… but really, I am just craving stillness.
Though it’s still October, I’ve been thinking of soft snow falling- the kind that peacefully beckons you to stay inside with a warm drink and be still.
It’s fitting that my heart is in a wintry mode, because I am in my own tiny advent over here – waiting to give birth.
Waiting without overthinking and other hard things
My due date is on Friday, but for some reason I thought this kid would come early (I guess he has one more day to humor me). The waiting was fine at first, but then the time stretched too long and became a platform for anxieties—really silly ones. When I say them out loud, or write them on this page, I am almost tempted to laugh at myself.
– What if i am not a good mother of two?
– What if the baby is born sick?
– What if I’m too depressed to take care of this new baby and a toddler?
– What if Florence feels neglected?
– What if my birth doesn’t go as planned? What if I cry and ask for all the pain meds?
“Well, what if any of these things happen?” I finally ask myself. And the answer comes in a breath of stillness:
It will be ok. I will be supported. Have I never not been supported? I will find joy in the challenges and my life will grow in love.
Saving and calamity go together
On the Magis blog, we are already planning our advent posts. My sister sent me the advent quote:
“When the year dies in preparation for the birth of other seasons, not the same, on the same earth, then saving and calamity go together make the Advent gospel, telling how the heart will break. Therefore, it was in Advent that the Quest began.” -C.S. Lewis, “Launcelot,” Narrative Poems
My sister asked what I thought C.S. Lewis meant “the heart will break.” At first I was at a loss for words. But in contemplating my own waiting for birth—and in uniting myself to our Mother Mary—I hear the promise of Simeon: “a sword will pierce your own heart too.” (Luke 2:35)
Though I sort of tremble at comparing my advent/waiting period to hers, I’m desperate to join the mother of Christ in her quest. And knowing that my children are called to share in the sufferings of Christ (and just simply the natural desire of wanting the best for them), my heart goes through it’s own tiny piercing. As flesh of my flesh, that grew within my womb, right below my heart, their crosses are and will be apart of me.
So advent – though it is a time of joyful anticipation, is also a preparation of a journey that will pierce the heart.
These two kids do and will continually break me—but what a happy blessing, right? For it is brokenness and suffering that open opportunities to love. And we see that so concretely in motherhood. Before I start to sound too bleak about the whole motherhood thing, let us remember the journey (or quest) also includes comforts, joys, and ultimately a life together with God in heaven.
What is my list of worries when I stop to be still and know that He is God? He is a God and Father who only allows our hearts to break so that he can have and heal them, making us his sons and daughters.