Not only has it been a “real” winter here this year (the last few years, we’ve been spoiled with some serious mildness), but it has also been an extra tiring season being pregnant this winter. We are definitely at the age with our kids where they geared up and ready to go and not as easily compliant for nap times. I still benefit from a rest in the afternoon with our rest-time hour, but this pregnant body has been craving a lot more slow-downs than it’s been getting. To the mamas (and papas!) out there that go on to having more and more wonderful gifts added to their families, I look up to you with awe and wonder. How you are surviving with the minimal sleep and coping with the wear on your bodies is a miracle in itself!
In getting prepared for what is soon to be coming our way in a month or so(!), I’ve been flip-flopping with what control of my time actually means. For starters, “being in control” seems like such an oxymoron as a parent. As much as you can plan, the course always changes, even if it be ever so slight. When I was sharing with my midwife about fears/worries/concerns about coming up to the labor of this babe, I found my mind stuck in the hours of labor I went through to have Elkan. She asked what I would like to see different about this experience, and I blurted out – “I just want to be in control.” Of course, I meant that I wanted to be in control of the outcome … I wanted to know that I would be holding a baby in my arms. A baby that I would hold and watch for many years grow into a beautiful person living his/her beautiful purpose. She quickly pointed out that labor is not something you can be in control of (which, I also obviously know and have experienced!) but rather something you need to be in surrender to. Whether or not I want it to go a certain way, I need to embrace and surrender to the process. That means a lot physically, but even more mentally … spiritually.
Parenting as a whole has been a process of learning surrender. Letting go of my expectations of me, my children, the simplest outcomes, and so on. Surrender is something that Jesus talks about doing every day:
“…if anyone wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me…” – Luke 9:23
It is quite simple to toss around the word, but when it comes to acting it out, I can’t really say that I easily do this each and every day. I make a plan and try to stick to it. I set a list of goals to see through and I go off of that to feel like I am accomplishing that what I feel like I am “in control” of. But when it really comes down to it, all of those “things” can have variables thrown at them, so where does that leave me then? Not in control anyways!
Surrender doesn’t have to be an act of giving up but rather a controlled response to what may be the impossible for us to deal with alone. I know, I need God’s help to see me through the pains of labor and the long path of parenting. But if I don’t surrender – willingly – I am then forced, in a double sense, to a point where I actually cannot move forward and I need to (1) and I need to take whatever option is in front of me (2). Sure, we all need to get to those points for it to be a true heart surrender sometimes, but for the most part, it would just seem like the smartest option to surrender before then – no?!
As a parent, or maybe in a circumstance where you need to surrender on the daily(!), how do you approach it? And who or where do you surrender to?
pic pix: my feet at the playground, winter 2016, Calgary, AB