It’s wonderful having a newborn around again. We have had a newborn in the house every year for the past 7 years and it never gets old. Newborns have traits that are unique to their stage of human development and those traits are endearing: the long process of waking up which is so exhausting that they fall back asleep not long after becoming awake; their squishiness; their ability to snuggle in close for hours at a time; the adorable curling of toes; the tight grasp of the tiniest fingers in the world.
And of course, there is the thousand yard stare. In these first weeks, our littlest girl gazes intently into space, apparently at nothing. She knows something is out there but can’t quite see it clearly. But I’ve noticed that if I pull her close to me and look right into her eyes, she is able to focus on my face. Immediately her eyes will light up and every so often a smile of recognition will spread across her tiny face.
The first time this happened I felt a nudge in my heart; this was something from which I could learn. I can feel very small in the midst of my daily challenges and all of the world’s problems; gazing into space may seem like the only way to manage my sanity. But it’s not the only way. The true solution is in drawing closer to Jesus. How do I do that when I blink and the day is already over?
Life with 7 children ranging in age from 7 years old to a month old has shown me that drawing close to Jesus needs to be woven into my day.
Rocket prayers are a necessity: throughout the day I am firing up little prayers for wisdom, patience, gentleness, kindness and grace- sometimes aloud and sometimes silently. When I read the Bible to the children, I soak it in for myself too. And when I help them memorize verses and hymns, I’m also memorizing them. But most of all, when I’m admonishing them to remember Jesus, I am admonishing myself.
The beautiful thing about it is that God wastes nothing! While I shepherd these little ones, He shepherds me. As a mom, I have neither arrived nor completely failed in the stewardship of these souls. I am still prone to gazing far into space at the start of a new day but I’m also looking into His face more intently and finding rest there.