Lydia is three weeks old.
I’m stopping today to write because I don’t want this season to pass without remembering a few things about Lydia’s first three weeks. If the next three go as fast as the first, I’ll never be able to keep these precious memories straight. Here are some things I don’t want to forget.
T O . B E . S E R V E D .
Since Lydia’s birth, we have yet to go to the grocery store and have hardly spent any money on food. Immediately after Lydia was born, a friend of ours set up a “meal train.” Every two days we’ve had a different person in our church community bring us a meal and many other friends and family drop by with snacks, coffee, meals, groceries, and gifts for Lydia. We’ve received countless texts, e-mails, and cards in the mail from friends and family who are eager to help us welcome Lydia into the world.
In all of these ways, we have been served graciously.
On another level, a few of my closest friends have entered my exhaustion, recovery, and the mess of my home. My sister raided her closet for summer clothes that would fit my postpartum body and helped me pack away my work and maternity clothes. She’s encouraged me, sat with me while breastfeeding, helped care for Lydia’s needs, made grocery runs, taken our dog on walks, cleaned, organized, and showered Lydia with gifts. My best friend came all the way from Dallas to Lawrence simply to serve me and encourage me in my new journey of motherhood for a few days. She scrubbed baby poop and milk stains off my nursing chair, cleaned my bathroom, and reorganized my kitchen cabinets to make room for baby bottles. Her and another best friend in town came over one morning with Starbucks and Chipotle and vacuumed and swept my floors and folded my laundry.
To be served
when nothing is expected in return
is truly a gift.
T O . S E R V E .
In the same breath, I also have had the opportunity to selflessly serve my husband and newborn baby with the same challenge – to except nothing in return.
Two days after we got home from the hospital Kevin came down with a stomach bug that knocked him out. Before I would have otherwise felt ready, I was encouraging him to sleep through the night so that he could get well, waking up on my own every couple hours to feed Lydia. Even after the worst of his sickness passed, the virus lingered, and for days Lydia’s diaper changes were a trigger for his nausea. Lydia’s care became my sole responsibility for a few days as I learned to serve my daughter and fought to serve my husband with every ounce of energy I had left.
At first it seemed like I had a boost of hormonal-mommy superpowers, but after a few days, the exhaustion hit. I was tired. Yet in spite of my physical weakness and sleep deprivation, my husband and my baby still needed me to serve them.
I fought against the weakness of my flesh
expecting nothing in return.
Since Kevin has been well, we are establishing a new rhythm of serving Lydia together and mutually serving one another.
to be served
is a beautiful thing.
M I L E S T O N E S .
This past week, Lydia’s third week of life, has been about taking small steps towards our new normal and our new routine. Despite a few minor setbacks like my viral eye infection and losing power in our house for 12 hours, we’ve felt freedom to start incorporating Lydia into our normal life. We’ve brought her to church, friends and family’s houses, and even out to a few of our favorite coffee shops.
This upcoming week continues to bring new milestones, including my first outing for extended time away from Lydia and our first drop off at my parent’s house so that Kevin and I can have a date night.
As I pass milestones of my own, I am watching my daughter grow and change every day. She no longer does the heart-melting lip quiver when she’s trying to cry, but now she’s unafraid to cry loud and use all her lungs, making sure I can hear her from the other room. She’s opening her eyes wider and can now hold eye contact with me for precious seconds that make time seem to stand still. Her tiny fingers have already grown, and this week Lydia is able to grip one of my fingers with her whole hand. She’s grown in her independence, lifting her head to look around when she’s on my chest. She isn’t afraid to let us know when she’s hungry or when she just wants to be held. She’s already out of newborn-size diapers and her newborn onesies are getting tighter. She’s growing so fast, a constant reminder to not take a day (or night) for granted.
When I look back on these first three weeks of Lydia’s life, I will forever remember the feeling of being selflessly served by others while learning to selflessly serve my family of three.
As we step into our new normal, I am thankful for a God who sent His own Son into the world to show me what it looks like to serve others freely (John 13:14-15).
He came into this world
expecting nothing in return.
His love for us is a gift
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45)