Love knows joy mingled with heavy

by Craig on November 10, 2011

Love-is-reflected-in-the-mixed-joy-and-sadness-of-a-mom-raising-babiessource

Yesterday was all about everything being your fault.
You’re reading me – and if I know you’re reading me – I’m reading you…
so it’s all your fault that my heart has more facets than ever before.

And one of those facets?
I’m now privileged to know what men generally don’t.
I take no credit for this…it’s your fault.

Because of reading Christian women, mostly Christian moms, I was able to come alongside a mom who was dealing with joy mingled with heavy. “Coming alongside” is also something I’ve learned this year – and yeah – that’s also your fault.

“Coming alongside” is listening to heartsounds…
entering into someone’s emotions…
it’s something we men don’t generally do.

We hear a hurt. We want to fix the hurt.
We don’t get often enough – that to fix is not always to fix.
To fix…
can be to just understand…
just “come alongside”…
If that means a person wants a solution – great…
if not…
then just listen…
and get it…
and maybe hug…
or maybe just sit and know…
together.

Love-is-reflected-in-the-mixed-joy-and-sadness-of-a-mom-raising-babiessource

See! I didn’t know this before…
but I do now…
and it’s all your fault.

So, about my friend…
she has babies getting older…
babies in High School…
and she has great joy that they are moving onto college, and life, and independence…
but she also has the heavy – and wants to about-face the tide of time…
so she can hold them…
and rock them…
and mommy them…
and place them into their cribs…
with their blankies…

and I get it.

There is joy in watching them grow – mingled with the heavy of letting them go.

How hard.
How heart-wrenching.
Such blessing.
Such curse.

You hold your babies in your womb all of those months…
then you hold them in your arms…
you feed them and gaze deep into their eyes.
You bathe them, you teach them, you love them…
you become their world…
and they become yours.

Love-is-reflected-in-the-mixed-joy-and-sadness-of-a-mom-raising-babiessource

And it begins with first firsts.

The first time they say mama…
the first time they roll over…
the first time they crawl, the first time they walk…
the first time they poop like normal people…
their first day at the bus stop (unless school is home).

Then way before you’re ready, the first firsts of your babies, begin to switch over to the first…lasts.

The last time you put a Band-Aid on for them…
the last time you rubbed their back until they fell asleep…
the last time you knew all the answers – or at least they thought you did.

First firsts become first lasts…
as bit by bit, you let them grow…
and I get it.

Love knows joy mingled with heavy…
moms know this like no one else…
the mom of God knew this – the sword that pierced her heart. (LK 2:35)

I know love better now…
and I know God’s love for me better now…
because I know moms better now.

So for the second day in a row…

I have to say…

It’s your fault…

and…

thank you.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracie November 10, 2011 at 9:34 am

“First firsts become first lasts” Yes. This. Even though my daughter is only 8, I have already seen a couple of first lasts, and it was shockingly hard.

Coming alongside is SO much better than fixing.

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Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

boy has reading in this community worked on my heart. I learn so much here. It’s sometimes a little uncomfortable – and there are places I can’t go – and things I can’t say – and things I shouldn’t even listen to – and it’s a little bit of a tight rope being me – here. But it’s so worth it – I learn so much. And I never used to think that. Coming alongside was better than fixing – but you know what? I so agree with you now. So, so, so, so ツ God bless you, Tracie!

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Ruthiey November 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

“or maybe just sit and know… together.” Love this Craig. I love, love love how NOTHING that God teaches us is in vain. The things he’s taught you from all the mommy blogs you’ve read prepared you for this ministry to your friend.

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Craig November 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

Ruthiey, first of all, I’m sorry for replying so late – but your comment got caught in my spam blocker – and I didn’t catch it until today. And I’m glad that I rescued you ツand Ruthiey – I’m not sure what your plans are – but I sense that one day will be a mama – and YOU are one of those who read me who are not one yet – but only one of the few – and I heart what YOU teach me too! I really do. God bless you Ruthiey.

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misty November 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

wow this was good, as was the post before.
community is magical, worshipful.
my heart has been worked on too.

and i’m dreading first-lasts. just sayin.

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Craig November 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

You know, Misty, as I was writing this – in one of the first drafts – there was a little something for people who weren’t moms – and moms who were nowhere near the first – lasts. I wanted to let the moms who weren’t near know that they had plenty of time – and not to worry – and just to cherish the moments that move so quickly – that’s what moms with experience have told me. Almost put that in – but didn’t – but now I have – just for you. God bless you Misty!

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Dawn November 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

As a mom who has launched 4 children, I am discovering that once the adult children have their own children, their own parent becomes very important again. There are new firsts for them and it turns into new firsts for the adult child’s parent. They discover that you do have some intelligence after having had none through their teen and young adult years, and this starts a new cycle of firsts…and lasts. The first advice when the babies get sick. The first questions about investments. The first counsel after mistakes at the job, etc. These first firsts again become first lasts as the losses that accompany aging necessitate that parent and adult child reverse roles. The cycles end at death because in heaven we all have all. O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting? I Cor. 15:55

Wow, Craig, you got me thinking again. You’re not the only one learning here. Being clued in to mom thinking you may forget to change the oil in your car when any girl you may be dating mentions you’ve been going together 6 months. You have to take the bad with the good. Ha!
God’s richest blessings,
Dawn

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Craig November 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

First of all Dawn – there IS no dating. Too much to do now – and I still think there’s not enough in my backpack to offer anyone – just this space – just this ability to write – just this heart – and nothing else. You never know – but right now I’m guessing I’ll be changing my oil before my next “date” – and that’s okay. About your comment – I just have nothing to add – I read it in awe – in awe of your wisdom – I heart your wisdom – and I know people read your comments – and I know they learn from them to. God bless you my friend.

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Dawn November 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Craig,

You know, I just think I have lived a long time and have a lot of experiences. God is merciful that way. As we slow down, He has graciously planned that we would have this pile of stored experiences to counterbalance the the astounding speed of the youth around us.

You bless me with your writing and model compassion with your heart,
Dawn

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A. November 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

Craig, thank you for making this a place of so much sharing about heart. I am in a dark heart place right now…I am not even sure what that means- ‘dark heart’, I guess a place of lots of pain, uncertainty, even fear if I let it go there, so to come to this oasis of good heart brings me tears, just lots of tears right now.

Per your having little to offer someone: what you have to offer is the most important kind of thing. And that means your fishes and loaves are enough, in fact, are bountiful, to the right person.

thank you,
A.

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