Dear Lucy.

A letter to my three month old daughter.

Dear Lucy,

You changed me.

You changed me, but not in a bad way. And not just in the cliche’ way on the day you were born — changing me simply from woman to mother. But you changed me. The day I knew you were going to come into my life — the day I found out I was pregnant and going to be your mom, a process began.

I found myself riding the wave of emotions. Fear, excitement, elation, joy, terror, self-doubt. All these things; the beginning of change.

As I journeyed through the process of carrying you in my womb, I was amazed at the thought of your tiny body forming inside me. Marking each week of your growth with more excitement of the reality that one day I would actually get to hold you in my arms.

I prayed. I prayed a lot. I prayed a lot of selfish prayers that you would be completely beautiful, brilliant, and definitely have all your fingers and toes. I selfishly asked God to give you your daddy’s dimples and my red hair. (The dimples you got… I’m just waiting to see if your hair really is red or if I’m simply wishing the slightly auburn hue I see into existence.)

And you changed me some more.

I started praying differently. My heart was changing and I realized that more than a beautiful, brilliant baby girl with dimples and flowing auburn hair, I wanted to raise a little girl who would grow into a woman who loved the Lord with all her heart. I wanted to be the kind of mom who would be capable of raising you (under God’s direction) to be bold, honest, strong, confident, honorable and steadfast.

Your tiny existence changed me.

As I continued to pray, it became deeply aware to me that in order to raise a fiercely God-fearing woman, I needed to be one. In order to be that kind of mom, I needed to be deeply rooted in the knowledge and awareness of who God is in my life and who He wants ME to be. I need to be your example, little one. I need to show you what it looks like to be loving, honest, upright, steadfast, and strong. And that is my prayer.

It is my prayer that I will be the kind of woman you look up to someday. The kind of woman you are inspired by. I want to be the example for you of what it really looks like to live a life fully devoted to Jesus.

I’m scared though…

I’m still excited and filled with joy with the privilege it is to be your mother, but I’m scared because I know I will fail you.

So. My dear, sweet, Lucy Marie — Please know I’m trying my best.

I am praying for you. I am praying for me. I am praying that I will be given the wisdom that I need to be the mom you deserve to have.

Your presence has changed me. Forever. For the better.

Love,
Mom

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Insecure.

Insecure?

No more!

Well, at least not as much.

I’m pretty sure I don’t live in a vacuum where I’m the only female on the planet who has ever felt insecure, or even admitted to it. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person the world who has compared myself to the image in a magazine or on a billboard or to the friend sitting on my couch chatting with me over coffee.

Right? Well, you don’t have to admit it out loud like I am. I’ve heard enough women talk about their insecurities to know I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard enough about it to know that this will be a struggle most of us deal with for a lot of our life, and we’ll have good days and bad days.

I have good days and bad days.

But, I have to say, that lately, my insecurity-laden days have been quite absent and I know why. So, I’m going to tell you.

My body is doing something it has never ever done before. It is growing and nourishing and nurturing another tiny person. A person that will bring joy to lots of people’s lives. A person that will most likely change the world, even if it’s just my world.

My body is doing something incredible, and I can’t be mad at it. I can’t be upset about my white legs and freckles and feet that I wish were a few sizes smaller. I just can’t. As soon as I try, I see the way my belly is growing to accommodate this tiny new person that is going to change my world and I can’t be mad. I just can’t be mad about my frizzy hair and dry skin.

I know a lot of women have struggled with the way their body changes during pregnancy. I’ll admit, the weight gain can be a bit frightening, watching the scale creep up little by little. But I’m very grateful that right now I can say I feel more confident than I ever have before even as I watch that number get bigger and bigger.

I have this verse hanging on the full-length mirror in my bedroom:

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh that’s sweet, she posted that on her mirror to reflect on the tiny baby that is growing in her body right now.”

The reality is, I’ve had that verse on my mirror for almost two years now. I would pray those words over myself as I struggled some days at what I saw staring back at me. Convincing myself that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and that God knit me together in my mommy’s belly, and that had to be a pretty wonderful thing.

And you know what? It is a wonderful thing.

So, now what you were thinking is right. I do reflect on those verses and imagine the tiny baby inside my own belly that is being knit together. A fearfully and wonderfully made tiny baby.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, too.

Love,
Janine

surprise!

So, who doesn’t love a surprise?

Okay, so some people don’t love surprises. And there are people out there who you just can’t surprise. But, I happen to love surprises and I happened to get the surprise of my life this February and have been absolutely in love with this little surprise ever since.

For those of you who don’t know… Andy and I are expecting our first little Crum!

Boy, was the news a surprise to us.

Especially because we had just had a conversation about how we’d like to wait a few more years before having kids so we can sort of figure out where our roots will be, but God had another idea.

He surprised us. He surprised us with a sweet little blessing of a surprise, and I’ll have to admit that my first reaction was that I was absolutely terrified and not as much just simply surprised. Especially since Andy and I had just talked about how we wanted to wait to have kids until we were ready. But then I remembered: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

These words have spoken much comfort into my life when I’ve been uncertain about what lies ahead or terrified at the prospect of what I see coming up around the bend.

At this point, I’m no longer terrified and I’m excited about the surprise. I’m four and a half months pregnant now and the major fears I had at first of not being ready yet and knowing about the possibilities of miscarriage have softly subsided. (They’re still there a little and I know they’ll be there until the day our baby is born.) But, now I can feel tiny little flutters inside of me and I know the baby is there.

I can also see my belly getting bigger. It seems like every morning I wake up and my belly has grown and my waistline has disappeared a tiny bit more. And as unsettling as this whole body transformation began, it’s been a bit of a comfort knowing that ‘The Plan’ God has for my life of being a mother is being carried out and I can see visible signs of it.

So, surprise! We’re having a baby!

And we find out in two weeks if it’s a boy or a girl. (Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you in on that little surprise.)

Love,

Janine