Saturday, July 23, 2016

Emmy's Birth Story.

Emmy has become a 4 year old this week, and I am glad I can at least get this story down before she turns 5. :}
     So, first, allow me to take us back in time to four Julys ago....I had just turned 23 that Spring. We had just the month before celebrated our 1st year of marriage. Yep, that baby in my belly was a first year of marriage baby;} Was it our plan? Not quite, but , as we wrote on our wedding pamphlet the summer before, the verse from Ephesians "To Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.. to Him be the glory.."

     We lived in somewhat of a ramshackle of a first home: a fixer-upper Lancaster City home my husband bought the year before we met. He converted it into a two unit, and fixed up the first floor and rented that out. He lived on the second floor, thinking he'd live there and remodel it at a leisurely pace- amidst a life of traveling and working and being a single guy doing whatever he pleased with his time and money. ;) He never guessed he'd be raising a family in that half-finished second floor apartment before too long!

     We had our mattress on top of a box spring, which I didn't know was weird at the time. I was just glad to be married to Bron, in that dusty old row house. He had started a new job before we got married and money was tight, but we did budget for good quality bacon:) I had been a vegetarian from age 16 till right before I met my husband. While I was no longer a vegetarian, I still wasn't a meat lover. However, pregnancy changed that in me! I craved meat like crazy. It also helped me stay on track with my "pregnancy diet" of at least 100 grams of protein we were required to track for our Bradley class.

     We took an 12 week course of Bradley Method natural birth classes with a Mom from our church, and both of us were quickly really into the natural childbirth idea. :) I still am, but! It's just funny to remember how passionate we were. Everysoften Bron would find himself engrossed in a conversation about the benefits of natural birth, and realize all the men had left the room and he was chatting it up with the ladies. It was sweet. :) So, there's a little background: still kind-of-newlyweds, somewhat of a ramshackle home, nitrate free bacon, and natural childbirth passion. 

     Emmy's due date was July 5th, and whenever someone in the grocery store learned that about me ,they'd say with a smile, something along the lines of: " Well, Maybe you'll have a little firecracker!" Hehe. To this day that makes me smile. Like most first time Moms, I thought every 'Braxton Hick' was a true contraction and that I would definitely have my baby early, or at least on time ! In those last couple weeks leading up to my due date, we went to a park after Bron got home from work. We took walks like crazy, trying to get the baby to want to come. But, of course, none of those contractions were true labor.

     I was pretty disappointed when July 4th came, and it didn't seem like we were going to get that Firecracker. :} I actually told my parents in the weeks leading up, that we wouldn't come for the 4th of July celebration at their house. I was thinking I would have a baby by then! or at least be in labor that day ,or close to it. 

     But, alas, I was neither in labor ,nor close to it on the 4th of July. We were just home alone ,with no baby and no plans for the holiday- which made my soul a little sad. Bron asked me, his crying & hugely pregnant wife, if we should just go to my parent's for the day. I remember my face and mood instantly lighting up ,and immediately heading to the kitchen to make " a couple quick dishes" before we left.

     I whipped up a cucumber salad, chopped up some fruit for a fruit salad, baked a gluten free zucchini bread ,and then some deviled eggs (with eggs freshly hard-boiled already in the fridge of course) while it baked... All this in less than an hour. :AND: I cleaned up after it all! (Must admit ,sometimes I wish I had the motivation and creativity of a nesting-pregnant woman all year round;} So not my natural bent, hehe. )

     4th of July came and went, and so did my duedate, the 5th. We went to the Birth Center that day and they had me do a stress test to make sure all was well. They were not concerned, which was comforting ,yet not, hehe. They scheduled an appointment for me in 1 week, saying sweetly "But I think we'll be seeing you before then !" How I hoped they were right !! 

     However, That week came and went, lots of walking ,and crying, and bacon:). Looking back, I am a little disappointed with myself with my bad attitude through it all! I remember friends reaching out with sweet messages through text or Facebook, and I ignored the majority of them. Sorry ,sweet friends !! 

     Much to my hugely-pregnant-chagrin, I was there for that 1-week-late appointment as scheduled! I had another stress test and they kindly reminded me of their policy that once a baby is 2 weeks past the due date, I would have to be induced at their sister-hospital. Then, they told me to come back in 2 days. Bron took off work for all of these appointments, and the ones to follow. Each time they reminded me of their policy , and I looked up at him with sad-puppy-eyes. 

     So, I have natural-birth-loving-friends who would fight that 2 week policy, and just trust their body's ability to go into labor. While I respect and admire that sentiment for the most part, I am not :that: passionate. I do not particularly enjoy being pregnant -especially the last month! So ,if there was anything natural we could do to speed things along, especially 3 days till my 2weekspastdue date, I was all for it! And I was all for being done with pregnancy A.s.a.p. ;) And, A.n.a.p (as naturally as possible), hehe.

     Finally, when I was 3 days to my due date, I wholeheartedly agreed to some natural induction stuff, and so they tried a "foley balloon". I won't go into details ,but it was supposed to help things to dilate. They sent me home again and told me they would do another balloon the day before my due date if it wouldn't work this time. I prayed it would! But it didn't.

     We were back , the day before my due-date, and they did another stress test ,and another balloon. Bron again took some time off work ,and we were there at 9am. The midwife told me that if the balloon didn't fall out by lunchtime, then to take (the dreaded) castor oil. And if the castor oil didn't help within an hour, to take another tablespoon. ("And if that doesn't work, see you tomorrow at the hospital". She didn't say that, but that was my inner dialogue;} .

     Again, I won't go into details - but from what I understand about castor oil - it helps induce labor by moving things around quickly in the stomach, and therefore make a uterus move around too, and hopefully get the baby out of there. Layman's terms. :)

     So, Bron went back to work for a couple hours, if I remember correctly. And I busied myself around the house, wearing that nondescript balloon thing, making muffins and cleaning and trying not to cry too much;} praying that I wouldn't have to be induced the next day, but feeling like it as inevitable. 

     Bron came home for lunch at noon, and in keeping with my pregnant lady motivation, I freshly juiced some carrots and added a tablespoon of  castor oil to have before we sat down to eat together. Nothing happened, as Bron and I ate our lunch, and I was beginning to get a little cranky about everything. When we were finished eating, I did have to use the bathroom- but, I wasn't in labor. I started to cry and went upstairs to our room. Another hour passed and I took another tablespoon, with no results.

     I remember just crying and laying in bed, and Bron tried hard to comfort me but it was no use! I had fully embraced my crankiness , and my supposed fate that I'd be induced the next day. I had some Braxton hicks contractions while we laid there, and was just totally annoyed that they weren't real! Hehe. 

     But then one came, that felt a little different, -but I was so tired of getting my hopes up for the past 4 weeks, and I didn't tell Bron. But then another came, and I sat up and wiped my tears and said, with an annoyed tone,  "That might have been a real one,..but I don't know !" 

     It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. And suddenly I didn't feel like being in our room anymore and I went downstairs to lay on the couch. I remember kind of ignoring Bron , and he lit a candle to help me relax and cleaned up lunch, what a Sweety. I was really restless and wasn't comfortable on the couch at all ,and the sound of the air conditioning in the windows really annoyed me :for some reason:. I didn't know it yet, but I was finally in labor!

     I told him, as he scurried around, sweetly serving his wife, "I think I have to go to the bathroom again!" And when I got there, the balloon fell out, which meant my cervix was dilating. (Sorry, I hope this is all women reading this! Tehe. ;} )

     So, because my labor had to start in the bathroom- I sort of didn't want Bron in there with me, if you know what I mean. I remember he popped the candle on a table in the bathroom, between contractions as he called the midwife. My contractions were immediately 5 minutes apart, and I had probably labored for about 30 minute before he called! He was talking to me from behind the closed bathroom door;) 

     I couldn't believe how painful it was !!!! And suddenly I decided I didn't care if Bron as in the bathroom with me,and he quickly obliged:). The midwife called back and Bron explained to her what was going on, and she said we should "come now !" So, Bron ran and gathered our things and went out to the back parking lot, and pulled the car our front. 

     It was summertime, and our Lancaster city street was a bit more bustling that time of year;). There are always plenty of people sitting out on their front porches, and being somewhat loud and rowdy; they had to have known what was going on! We had a fairly lengthy staircase to climb down to get to the front door, and the car was running for a bit because I kept having contractions, and wanting to stay still for that minute. I asked Bron for a pillow to hug [which has become my favorite way to get though contractions - if I have to have a favorite way;) ]. Somehow Bron finally convinced me to run downstairs and out the door, and down the front porch steps and into the car. 

     I remember as soon as I got into the passengers seat, Bron had barely shut the door for me , and another contraction came ! I hugged my pillow and was able to maintain my "quiet " Bradley Method labor fairly weIl. Bron got in his seatbelt quick as a flash, and started down the road. I remember being aware that people were probably watching, and trying not to care!

     Our Birth Center was about 45 minutes away, and the quickest drive is right through the "Tourist Trap", as my husband likes to call it, hehe. It was summertime in Lancaster county, which is tourist season and traffic season in certain areas. He took some short cuts, but it was still a long drive ! Actually the drive was the hardest part for me ! (It is one of the main reasons I chose a home birth with Sadie, so we didn't have to do the stressful transition to the car ,and driving an hour. )

     I remember this hard contraction moment as we drove through farmlands that I realized "Hey, wait a second...I can make noise!" One of the main things about the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth is the idea of relaxing through the pain and trusting your body's ability to go through labor and delivery; breathing and taking one contraction at a time, and not freaking out and screaming about the pain, like how birth is usually portrayed in movies and tv.

     And while ,of course I wanted to take one contraction at a time, and relax and all that ...I needed to make some noise! Natural birth is no joke !! So that's when I started making noise, and as a person who is more on the quiet side, my husband was a bit surprised at how loud I was ! I was too. But it hurt so bad ! I told Bron that for the rest of the evening.

     So, when we finally made it to the birth center,  they ushered us into the birth room through the side door. I was glad to see the midwife on duty was one of my favorites ! Karen checked me and I was at 6 centimeters, and asked if I wanted to her to fill up the tub. I had signed a waiver weeks before saying I wanted to have a water birth, just in case I wanted to use the tub- but I actually wasn't necessarily planning on a water birth ! I signed it just in case, thinking I probably wouldn't like being so far away from Bron. But, when she asked me , it sounded like such an amazing idea! Hot water and jacuzzi jets were like the kindest think anyone could give me at that moment !

, or just my body missing the relief of the hot water, but the contractions were just driving me crazy. The midwife told me they did have some shots of saline water that can help with back pain they could give me. I did oblige to getting a shot of it in my back - but half way through the first shot I asked her to stop because the needle hurt so much !!! She was like "Really?!" And I was like "YES!!". I yelled at her!;) I really don't like to yell at people, especially non-family members who I barely know.

     Looking back, I think that was my body transitioning to get ready to deliver that baby. I labored a little longer on the ball, and the small  half dose of saline water didn't make a difference at all. I told the midwife I felt like I had to use the bathroom, which now I know is normal for ladies ready to push. She checked me, and I was not quite at 10cm yet, but she was able to press a little to get me there. (Again, I hope this is only ladies reading !!)

     By this time there was some midwife turnover, and it was my other favorite lady- MerryLee. I told her I wanted to push, and she said I could ! I did a couple pushes in the bathroom, but then I thought "What the heck!  I don't want to have my baby on the toilet !" I asked if I could get back in the tub ,and was overjoyed that she said it was okay.

     It was a comfort thorough it all, as Bron counted by tens, through each one minute long contraction.  The first 30 seconds were hard, and the last 30 were terrible !! But it was a comfort to have his voiceover in all the blur and pain of 12 hours of labor! I pushed for about an hour . Pushing is not easy, and very painful of course, but it is so nice that you can do something with the pain! No more counting, just finally being able to push and Lord willing, be finished with it all soon, and meet your baby.

     When she was almost there, with her head/shoulders out ,MerryLee knew it would be my last push and said  : "Liz, reach down and grab your baby!" I hadn't at all planned to be the one to do that, but I was! And it was pretty awesome! One last push, and I reached down and pulled her up out of the water and onto my chest. And so, Emmylou was born around 2:30 in the morning, making my labor about 13 hours total.

     Because we didn't cut the chord right away, and maybe because of the easier transition of womb to water, she didn't cry right away. She literally opened her eyes and looked up at Bron who was right behind me . Of course who knows how well infants can see, but her eyes were open and just looked like she was trying to figure out what was going on.

     It was just crazy! 30 seconds before, I was in major pain and anguish and it was loud;) . And then she was here, quietly on my shoulder , "looking" around. Bron told me she looked like my Dad. We just looked at her and couldn't believe how little and how pretty she was !! I was so glad it was over and so glad Emmylou was here with us ! MerryLee splashed her with water to get her clean, and I said "I can't believe how loud I was !!" She laughed, "You weren't that bad." Oh, but I was. :)

     Some people don't like the idea of water birth, because then after baby is born, you're in there with all the after-birth stuff;} But truly, I have no memories of that ! When I look back on this moment, it's just me and Bron and baby Emmy looking at each other and being so happy. I can't remember what the water looked like. Sorry, weird note to end on perhaps? ;)

     But I just read in my Bible time yesterday the verse in John 11, "When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world." 

     That moment in the tub ,after the hours and hours of pain! and how it was suddenly just gone. I was holding that sweet baby, seeing her face for the first time, and all was truly so joyful and peaceful. God brings that picture to mind often. When hard things come and they just go on and on, and lay us low and last for months and months, or years and years! The tears and the prayers; the anguish: It won't last. On Earth, if the Lord allows. If not on Earth, in Eternity when we shall see His face. 

     Of course, friends who have had babies and enjoyed epidurals can still relate to this! And I have friends who have desired natural births and were not able to experience it. And I have friends who lost babies, early in pregnancy or late in pregnancy. So this pain for hours and hours that was suddenly gone ,and made sweet and fruitful is not a perfect picture. But it is  a picture we can all know in Christ. All of our anguish will be a distant memory one day. All will be worth it when we see His face.

Even if I got out of the tub and into the reality of life with the newborn- shocked at how hard recovery was for me! I was shocked with how how hard nursing was, and how the lack of sleep everyone warns you of is true. And how hard everything in life becomes when sleep deprived and hormonal and feel like you have no idea what you're doing! But there is so much joy that outweighs it all, and there is the sweetness of God's help through the transition. For me the Lord has used that picture often as a reminder and encouragement to my heart throughout these last 4 years as a Mom.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.

On Saturday morning, my husband woke me up at a little before 7. He let me know he was going to hop in the shower, and then I could go. (The house was gloriously quiet with both girls sweetly asleep, which we still can't get over!) It has been a while since I'd done it, but we were trying to get back into our old practice of my going out on Saturday mornings while he watches the girls.

 I used to love these mornings! Leisurely mornings starting at a coffee shop with my Bible and notebook, and then perhaps going to "Market", as we call our Farmer's Market in Lancaster. Depending on the amount of time my husband was able to give me that Saturday, maybe some thrift-store shopping would occur, a favorite past time of mine. 

I am definitely an introvert, needing my time alone- which of course is not easy to come by in this season of life. (As we've been over on almost every blog post I've written so far!) The times when I've been able to make it happen this year have been sweet. So, I was rather excited to wake that morning.

"So when would you like me home?", I asked, in a very typical-wife moment of already having the answer in my mind which I would like him to tell me. "9:30?", he gracious replied. And then I replied, not so graciously, how I was hoping it would be more like noon! He kindly reminded me of all the things we really needed to use the day for, and how a whole morning with me gone would not work so well. I told him it was hardly worth going out for just two hours! And then he took his shower.

I complained in my heart for a while, and laid in our bed instead of making it. With half a mustard seed of faith I prayed that God would help my bad attitude. But I also let Him know how annoyed and disappointed I was!-having all week daydreamed about a morning away and alone.

Then, I heard little footprints. Emmylou's. She opened the door quietly and smiled her sleepy smile and crawled into bed with her cranky/searching-for-grace Mother. She snuggled into me carefully and quietly for a moment, then sat up and said, "Is it morning or is it night?" I told her it was morning, but it was still dark out. And curiously, she hopped out of bed and pulled back the shade. "You're right, it's still dark.", she said in such a big-girl way, and cheerfully climbed back into bed with me.

It was one of those moments I have often as a Mom. I am set on being miserable and cranky and selfish, knowing it's wrong. And I half heartedly pray about it, not really expecting anything to change. But suddenly ,the simple sweetness of one of my children brings me back to reality. Their innocence melts my heart. The answer to my half-hearted prayers for help! I can't help but smile as I think/pray: "She is so darn cute. I love being her Mom. I wouldn't have life any other way. All the little sacrifices are so worth it." You just see it so clearly for a moment. And strength and joy comes for the next task of the day.

With the sound of my husband's shower in the background,and the darkness still outside,(and Emmy not knowing what was going on in my heart at all)-I asked her,"Do you want to go to a coffee shop with Mommy this morning?" In her Emmy way, she cheerfully/nonchalantly said,"Oh. Sure!" We went to her room and got dressed. I took a couple pictures of her being cute with her little stuffed bunnies and I let Bron know she was coming with me. He smiled at me, his crazy wife.

We packed a bag full of stickers and notebooks and things for her to do while I worked on a couple things, and off we went. Emmy commented on "the lovely sunrise", and I was instantly so glad I brought her with me. I drove the short drive to the coffee shop downtown, and she squealed with delight over the houses with Christmas lights, and the sparkly wreaths on the lampposts lining the streets.

She did so well at the coffee shop! She chose baked oatmeal with blueberries, and picked from the basket of toys they had there to play with. She barely made a peep! She just smiled and enjoyed herself immensely. I couldn't help but turn away from my work to interject a few questions into her concentrated-play ,"How do you like being a big sister? "What do you think Daddy wants for Christmas?" She answered me politely, and probably thought I was being weird. ;}

It was our first Just-Emmy-and-Mommy-Date, and I think it might have to become more of a regular thing. I couldn't imagine time alone at the coffee shop, even a whole morning alone, being any better than that time together. I truly just felt so blessed by my sweet daughter!

After some time there, we walked right next door to Market. She put change in the red Salvation Army bucket. She helped pick a donut for Daddy, and waved shyly to the lady at the flower stand who goes to our church. We bought a chicken and some sausage from the meat stand, and two lovely mini poinsettias for the windowsill.

 She held a dollar in her hand to pick a Christmas cookie. But before our last stop for that, we swung by the Amish stand that sells all sorts of Amish handmade things, and a random pile of used Little Golden Books. Much to my surprise and delight, I found one I've been dreaming of adding to our collection!
Eloise Wilkin's "Baby's Christmas".  I am always trying to hunt down books of hers- her illustrations are so detailed and beautiful and filled with simple home-life things. When I saw this book, I snatched it up with an audible gasp. I couldn't believe my eyes! This stand usually has lots of character books- Mickey Mouse and Big Bird and such. It just felt like such a specific and tangible blessing for me, from a God who knows and loves His children. I couldn't help but smile, inside and out.

We got home, and  put our poinsettias in their spot. We read our new book quite a few times. Little sister Sadie especially loved it. And then, we got to work- as my husband had planned. What did we need to work on? Well, among other things- Saturday was the day we set aside to officially organize my art area!
It is no Pinterest-worthy art room, but all those things in the corner-shelf had been hidden, rather symbolically,
in boxes since we moved into our home two summers ago. And now, all of my creative supplies are set out and ready for time to start making things again, as the Lord allows. Such a happy thought for me.

I was super excited to find two of the last things I've ever made. An unfinished girl, waiting to be placed in some kind of background with some kind of Scripture around her. And a very unprofessional embroidery of a favorite line from a Johnny Cash song. The song my husband and I walked down the aisle to together after saying our wedding vows.

On Saturday morning, I woke thinking that all I want to do is be alone for a few hours- and giving that up brought about such sweeter fruit. That happens so often in the Christian Life, doesn't it? Most days, we feel like we are just searching and praying and trying to get through. Then one day you are just so aware of the goodness of God, and you wonder how you could ever forget. You know you did :nothing: to deserve it. The end of the book of Ephesians comes to mind.

"That according to the riches of His glory

He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit

in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—

that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,

according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory.."

Ephesians 3:16-21


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Those wonderful ruby windows"

A quick update:We decided this month to not continue with preschool for our 3 year old. I thought it would be a lot harder of an adjustment, but really it's been rather wonderful! I genuinely have been enjoying these last ten days. Just two months in preschool really has sent her into the ranks of being such a "big girl". She just seems to have matured, and having her home has been sweet.

 My husband and I don't feel at all like we regret the decision to try preschool, we do feel like those two months were a blessing! But we realized as the weeks went on that it wasn't the best fit for Emmy. She just needs to be home, playing with her Little People, and her little sister, and reading lots of books with her mom.

So we are experimenting with some *very light* homeschooling things and enjoying staying inside on cozy Fall days like today. Most of all, I feel like I am just figuring out a new rhythm for our days.

So, that's why I've only written two blog posts so far! I like knowing it is sitting here on my computer, waiting for inspiration and time for writing. This blog started with the mind-set of being a place to record the details of my quest to make things again, and I do still hope for that! But for a while, it will just be motherly ramblings. So, here I go;) -

One main thing that has been a hard adjustment for me in motherhood, (especially when a second child arrived!) has been figuring out what it looks like to have time with God. My favorite way to start the day since my early adult days, is with a hot mug of something and my Bible open. I have struggled with anxiety and depression through the years and I can remember as a single girl how my first waking thought was to run to the Lord who speaks to His children through His Word. I have found such solace there.

Fast-forward 6 years!

While I had been able to make Bible reading in the mornings and naptimes work for my oldest's first two years of infant's (not)sleeping schedule was added to our life, and then Big Sister dropped her nap soon after...together, these things made it seem impossible to rise early, before my children. To make a very long story short- I have felt so lost without my morning time with the Lord!

I'd been pretty discouraged about this until recently, when I've heard from some other Moms -who have survived been through these first little years with children- that this is a pretty normal thing. Time with the Lord just looks different in this season of life.

So, this week, I've been attempting to have my "quiet" time right there in the middle of the chaos of our mornings. I have even been able to tell my oldest daughter that Mommy *needs* to read her Bible, and how great it would be if she could play nicely with her sister while I do that! Once this week, I overheard her pretending with her dolls, telling them that she was "having some time with Jesus." :}

I have memories of waking up in the morning as a teenager, and seeing my Mom's Bible wide open on the kitchen table.  It really meant a lot to me! I can remember thinking "This is how my Mom begins her day." And now that I'm a Mom, I wonder how much time she actually had to read it! But just the fact that it was open each morning spoke volumes to my teenage heart.

God used my Mom's open Bible! That encourages me for this season. I want my Bible to be open, even if I don't have as much time and brain-space to pour over it's pages as I have in season's past.

While I do miss having a longer stretch of time, I am reminded of the loaves and fish! Jesus can multiply a mother's rest, and a mother's alone time in His Word, and make it enough to serve her family.And what a difference it has made in my day!

Really, it hasn't been anything too exciting. I am reading through the book of Psalms, usually with at least one child in my lap or on my leg, and I usually have forgotten exactly what I read by lunch time;)

,But there is just the awareness that I've begun my day with the Lord. Opening my Bible sets my face towards Him, and directs my thoughts toward His. Even if it was just 4 minutes(!) ,the day has begun with a fresh awareness of God's eternal truths, and of His involvement in my day. And what could be an overwhelming and stressful day of child-rearing, now can be filled with "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,"

In Eternity, I'll have all the time in the world to bask in His presence. And because of Jesus, I can experience that in a small measure now, even as I wash dishes and sweep up millions of crumbs.

As I read this morning from Susannah Spurgeon
 in her meditations on Psalm 139 a couple hundred years ago: 
[Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, 
thou understands my thoughts afar off. 
Psalm 139:2]

 " Happy are you, my soul , if you know that God looks through Jesu's wounds' on you, and through those wonderful ruby windows sees you so changed and beautiful that He can say 'Thou art all fair my love, there is no spot in thee.' 

'My downsitting and mine uprising', Lord, do you love me so much as to watch tenderly over me in such small matters? How the thought comforts me!

We do not care about the details of the everyday life of strangers: but when we love anyone very dearly, we take great interest in all that concerns them; and even so, my God, this searching, knowing, understanding, compassion, besetting, laying of your hand upon me, are all most precious tokens to me of your indescribable love. "

& Psalm 25, 
the perfect morning prayer for a Mother of little ones.
" Make me to know your ways, O Lord;teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are the God of my salvation; 
 for you I wait all the day long. 

 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, 
 for they have been from of old. 
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; 
according to your steadfast love remember me, 
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 
He leads the humble in what is right,and teaches the humble his way. 

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, "