January 11, 2013
Yesterday I got to take some food to a friend who just had a baby! It was so fun. It's the kind of thing that I feel like I could do all the time, now that I've just got some practice. Do you ever do dinner deliveries? What do you like to make for them? I made rosemary chicken with garlic potatoes and carrots. I also packed a pineapple, some kiwi, and a jar of my cilantro rice salad, because I know she likes it. :) My mom always takes a hot pizza when she brings a meal to someone! I love that tradition. 

I was so glad to get a chance to talk with my sweet friend. Connecting with brand new moms is one of my most favorite things. I crave it. I have such a heart for them! Any new mamas out there reading today? I just want them all to know that they're not alone. God is faithful. Don't lose hope, trust in Him, things will get better. The first couple months after my baby was born were tough. (of course/needless to say/duh/what did you expect?) The mental recovery took a long time. I don't think I had postpartum depression, but I do feel like I had a case of postpartum... despair. 

Here's where I went wrong: I was not ready to do battle. Yes, I was exhausted, hormonal, nursing, and healing, all of which are simply going to be harder than you expect. (I was also away from home and without a true bathroom, which was also way harder than I expected.) But more than that, my mind was overcome. I wasn't fighting Satan for control of my thoughts. I didn't have peace. I felt so weak. The Enemy likes to H.I.T. us when we're down: when we're hungry, isolated, and tired is when we need to be especially watchful of his schemes... which is exactly what every new mom is, all the time! He'd love nothing more than to get her feeling like the change is too much, feeling hopeless, lonely, worried, bitter, empty, envious, scared, and misunderstood. 

It took me a long time to feel like myself again, but the Lord broke through my perilous thoughts and brought peace. That time is so dear to me because when I think about it, I'm still amazed at how He sustained me through it. When I think how do I know that He is a faithful God? how has He been faithful to ME? I can look back to my first summer as a mom and see it firsthand. He alone upheld me.  One morning that summer, the Lord brought this passage to me. He used it to speak directly to my heart. I can remember it; a rare moment when my baby was sleeping, sitting alone at a table in the sun, bible open in front of me, tears coming down under my sunglasses as I read it. These are the verses that I claim and cling to. 

When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
You hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth 
that I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart 
and my portion forever. 
psalm 73: 21-26

Dear new mom, if your flesh and heart are failing today, I understand. If you're feeling stressed out and trying so desperately to keep up appearances, I get it. I'm praying for you! If you are hungry, isolated, and tired, fight for your thoughts! Trust in the Lord and let Him be your strength! 


Anonymous said...

Good, good thougths Summer! I too have had a soft heart for new moms. I think when you struggle in particularly difficult way, it is God's gift to you to be able to empathize and encourage others who are struggling. I was encouraged all over again by your words because I have found that there are seasons of motherhood when that despair still rises. There are difficulties in certain areas right now that seem hopeless if I do not claim God's promises and faithfulness. It's wonderful to see how God is using you to bless another mom's heart!

Katie said...

my heart is full Summer. Thank you for that sweet sweet post of encouragement. I am overcome with a peace of just knowing you 'know' & understand the trials and heart of a new mom. its such a blessing, this blog is a blessing.

Anneliese said...

this is something that has totally been on my mind the last few days! what does it mean to be a mother? are we just trying to survive this stage of life? or are we trying to enjoy the short time we have with our children? i want to thrive, not survive. (even though the first few months is only survival mode, that's inevitable) the mentor mom from our CBC moms group always ends our time with "children are a gift from god, & you only have one chance to raise them" such a good weekly reminder to refocus my goals.

Julia said...

i love your hospitality. you have such a warm heart.

tuttut said...
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twinsontherun said...

My twins were born in the summer of 2011. I remember nights when I would only get 45 minutes of sleep. Not 45 minutes at a time.. 45 total! It was such a hard time but those nights when it was me and my thoughts I remember saying a prayer every night thanking the Lord for that season in my life. We are all in different seasons. I've had my season to be a teen, a newlywed, to work and now this is my season to be home with kids. And I couldn't be more grateful. Now as I hear my little 18 month olds laugh and play I think of what mom wouldn't give anything to hold her newborn again or hold a chubby little toddler hand.
Thanks for such a nice, thoughtful post.

Ang said...

wow Summer, you hit the nail on the head with this post. my twins are turning one in a couple of days and it's only been in the past couple of months that i've sort of lifted my head out of the "new mother" fog (i'm behind, i know!). i had some serious post partum depression, but my midwives seemed to think it was based on a huge sleep debt rather than hormones so there was not much "treatment" to be done, other than catching whatever sleep i could. but aside from the depression, i totally felt that despair that you are talking about. i actually listened to a sermon recently that mentioned how satan likes to get us when we are "H.I.T." so it's funny that you mention that too. anyway, the point of this whole spiel is to say thank you for such thoughtful and encouraging posts, not just this one - there were actually a few that i remember perusing through while nursing babies at all hours of the night that brought me SUCH encouragement and really pointed me to the Lord and His faithfulness. So THANK YOU, and know that He is using you and your blog to minister to so many people out there. :)

cathie said...

this was a perfect post, summer! i so wish you had written about it when you were going through it, because i was in the very same shoes! my friend also pointed me to psalm 73 during this first 2 weeks & i remember crying while reading it in bed in between what felt like non-stop nursing sessions & battling baby blues. praise the Lord for His sustaining grace! :)

cathie said...

this was a perfect post, summer! i so wish you had written about it when you were going through it, because i was in the very same shoes! my friend also pointed me to psalm 73 during this first 2 weeks & i remember crying while reading it in bed in between what felt like non-stop nursing sessions & battling baby blues. praise the Lord for His sustaining grace! :)

Kirra said...

Such a sweet post Summer. Being a new mom is so crazy! This was encouraging. I keep thinking, "Oh I cannot wait to feel like myself again!" In time, I'm sure I'll feel a little more normal- but in the meantime it's good to know that's not a weird emotion- but one a lot of people feel.

Bridget said...

you were probably a godsend. i remember those first days--FOOD FOOD FOOD. i wanted food all the time and did not want to make it.

this is a good post. it's nice to have someone who's been there when you're there yourself.

Debbie said...

Having a baby can be very stressful especially if your husband doesn't help a lot. My first baby was colicky and the second didn't sleep much at night. I was exhausted and didn't eat much and lost a lot of weight. It was a hard time in my life. God sustained me. My third and fourth children were so easy. We can get thru anything with the Lord's help. With my second child I was away from my hometown and had no one to help me. You are such a good friend Summer to take food to your friend. I think sometimes just offering to watch the baby so she can get a nap helps so much.

The Webbs said...

I feel similar to you in the sense of craving visiting new moms. Every time someone in my ward has a baby I make sure to sign up to bring them dinner. I love that and remembering what it is like to be a new mom.

I dont think I had postpartum either, my hardest thing was dealing with body change after a baby. Boy are those hormones crazy or what? What a wonderful thing it is to have faith to turn to.

I was reminded of a scripture the other day that reminded me of this, part of it says "Therefore, fear not, little flock;...." it reminds me how he shepherds us through life, and doesnt forget even one. What a blessing.

Whitney Lane said...

From one who was personally so encouraged by your emails in the last few weeks, THANK YOU! You truly have the gift of encouragement and it came at all the right times... from the earliest days after getting home from the hospital through all the tough breastfeeding woes. It's encouraging to know you've been there and to hear that I really can make it. :) What a beautiful post!



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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