Motherhood for the First Time

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”—Winnie the Pooh.

“Making the decision to have a child—it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”—Elizabeth Stone

The first time it happens it is set apart from all other births. It doesn’t mean that you will love this child more than any other. It is your initiation into birthing.

It is going into the complete unknown with all its wonders, its magic…and fears, but not quite like an astronaut going into space.

Is the baby a boy or girl?

Will it look like mama or daddy?

Will it be short or tall, blue eyes or brown?

Will he be smart like dad, or sensitive like mom?

Then the inevitable scary thoughts you don’t want to think—will I have a healthy baby? Thoughts creep in during those long nine months, and linger at the back of your mind and take some of your joy. Try as you may to push them from your mind…you still wonder. Could I handle it if my child was unhealthy?

There is nothing to do but “trust God.” Yet it sounds so trite, as if saying would make you believe it and be completely safe.

To the Father, He makes babies whole, even if they do not appear whole.

You read the books, (or currently the apps). The doctor educates you each month on what to expect, but you are never ready for labor until you experience it.

It’s been a long time since I was in labor with my first child, but I still remember how I felt when I first saw her. You hold your baby for the first time and you’re shocked at the intensity of love. You carried that baby for nine months and slowly learned to love, though you never saw him, never held him in your arms. Have you not felt it yourself? How did that love grow?

I am on the other side of it now. I am a grandmother once again, for the 18th time, (yes 18). This time, our youngest had her first baby and I saw once again, the total, complete change of a wife opening the door to motherhood.

I saw it so completely on her face.

The wonder is not so much the birthing, but the carrying, the waiting, then the first sight. Those unknowns are pushed aside, forgotten, when you see your child.


That first look, the first touch of that baby soft skin…the pudgy red face all wrinkled up, and the arms and legs flying everywhere trying to understand what happened to that warm place he came from.


When his Mama holds him to herself, he stops flailing and snuggles in. He knows the smell of her, though he was in the womb. He knows her voice, and looks towards it.

Birth is miracle like no other.

“There really are places in your heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child”—Anne Lamott (quotes from an unknown source).

You wonder where this strong love came from when you just met him. You wonder how you could love someone you just met so fiercely.

Nothing would ever be the same again, motherhood bloomed.

Welcome to motherhood!

Welcome to the world little one.







New Paths…or Wildflower Gardens are such a Crapshoot

This year I opted out of a vegetable garden. My children wouldn’t believe me until I brought home oats to plant as a cover crop. Not really my choice, but it was the wrong time to plant buckwheat.

Before it leafed out, I pruned back the Rose of Sharon bush; climbing in and out of it, with head to the sky cutting back branch after branch. After that, there was no turning right to left with my neck, and up to the sky was not an option. My neck was frozen with pain.

I know what you’re thinking—why didn’t you get a ladder? Some things cannot be figured out with a ladder.

I have recovered the unmovable neck, but somehow the humidity and lack of vegetable garden has kept me from wanting to tend to the flowers.

Each year I put in wildflower seeds by the side of the house, where the sun shines the strongest. The fruit of my labor is always a challenge as I pick and chose between the weeds and possible flowers. Usually I leave the weeding until something substantial starts showing up.

It’s always a crapshoot.

You never know what or how many flower seeds are actually in the wildflower bag. You spread them carefully all over the brown earth and when they grow up you have clumps of flowers here and bald spots there, and everything is random.

The bald spots…mostly weeds.
Crowded…with a nice bush of milkweed for the butterflies.

With such lovely rain this year, I should have an incredible abundance…but even the roadside wildflowers are more plentiful than mine.

Something intriguing started growing with light green twisting shoots. I talked to friends and asked, “What is it?” In the end it grew taller than I wanted and had just a few microscopic flowers on top. That’s when I pulled them out.

Except for the interesting turn of events of my long time plant, I have let the flowers tend to themselves…and it looks it. It’s not like me, and each time I look at the mess I feel a bit guilty, but instead I decided a bit wild is rest for me.

The Hens and Chicks always burst over the pot, wanting to spread everywhere. This year one decided to grow up. I’ve had this plant possibly thirty years and this is a first. Instead of hanging over the pot and trying to escape, it decided to look up and keep growing.

It has taken a new path.

Mini poppy.

A Jeep ran off the road into that old, deserted pasture where I walk, and made deep ruts in that dark earth. He missed a small tree, but hit a mailbox and somehow turned farther into the field and there we saw his Jeep bumper. That Jeep was messed up. A few days later the bumper was gone. No more evidence that someone’s Jeep ran off the road, but for the ruts.

An accident? A drunk?

No one knows, but he made a new path and it wasn’t a good one.

In childhood we form habits within our families and circumstances. Hopefully most of these habits are good, but sometime down the road of life you may realize that these habits (good or bad) aren’t working for you anymore.

You find they are holding you back, making you uncomfortable, unhappy, or just plain lost.

A new path.

Changing paths of old habits can be tricky. It can take you down roads you don’t want to go. On the other hand, new insights can be a rich experience. Meditating on it can wake up your brain.

Christ was a man of change. He shocked the Pharisees, and with his words and gave freedom anyone who asked. We read in Colossians, “ So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Don’t waste time regretting your past; it won’t change. It is what it is, and it’s what molded you. If there is bitterness or anger, let it go. Remember there is much freedom and joy in learning from your past.

A path in Colorado.

Dig a new ditch, reroute the paths of your life-ruts and you will begin to see good changes. Take positive action to move forward. Remember that this could be a long process, and it could be harder than you think. But don’t give up, unless you are giving it up to Christ.

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. That is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

Wake up to the Light. Your life may have crowded spots, or bald spots like my flower garden, but there’s always room for change and that’s a little wild!