My first child was a boy. Or at least, that’s what I told everyone. There was not a doubt in my mind that the baby growing inside me was a boy. And so I did the sort of things that anyone would do if they were a hormonal, mildly OCD pregnant woman with anxious tendencies and an excessive need for control. I spent hours, no really…hours…talking about, researching, deliberating, and just plain obsessing over a name- for a boy of course.
The first name out of the gate was a home run. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be named Lake Hausch? Did I mention that crazy hormones were coursing through my body? But after I realized that Lake Hausch would be better suited for a retirement goal than my first son’s name, I began to circle around other possibilities. When my sister quietly mentioned that she loved the name Bree, I felt a piece slide into place inside me, but shook my head, “maybe one day when I have a girl.”
At fifteen weeks along, Nathan sat beside me in the dark room as the doctor slicked my belly with the cool gel. At first the little one didn’t want to cooperate, the hands rested over the secret that would forever shape our lives. The doctor prodded my belly to cajole the baby into shifting. He finally got the perfect angle. I looked at the doctor’s squinted eyes behind his smudged glasses as he deciphered the map of my baby’s body,
“Oh here it is!” he said finally. I inhaled and held my breath.
“Three little lines…so… you’re having a girl!”
We barely spoke through the rest of the appointment. Nathan kept chuckling nervously. My face glowed red.
When we got in the car, I turned to Nathan and said, “Her name is Bree.” He smiled sheepishly. “You sure about that?” He thought I would change my mind. “Yes, Bree, I’m sure.” We never talked about names again.
And at fifteen weeks she announced who she was, our Bree, and there was never really a question after that. She rushed into the world a month early on one unsuspecting Thursday night. Since she was born she’s been an unquestionable presence, whether in her noisy grunts, that first face splitting smile, her infectious first giggles, her first steps that looked more like a dance than a toddle, her words that constantly surprise, challenge, and entertain.
It’s funny how so many great attributes start with the letter B. Bold. Brave. Bright. Brazen. All seem to fit my Bree. I look at her and wonder how she came from me, her Scandinavian beauty, her uncontainable joy, her fearlessness.
Fearlessness. Love. It reminds me of something. “Perfect love casts out fear.”
As we feel our dreams growing inside us, we’re tempted to prod and analyze and decipher what they will become. In our fear and uncertainty, we want to be able to call things by name.
When my second daughter announced herself with two pink lines, I enjoyed sitting with the rounded curve of a question mark and all its possibilities. She revealed herself slowly in flutters and kicks. Then her ultrasound uncovered three little lines in the shape of a girl.
I knew her name would start with E. “E?” they asked. “Why E?”
I didn’t know why, I just knew, with a soft glowing certainty of trust and acceptance.
When we settled on “Elyse (Ee-leese)” just days before her birth, I had to laugh at God’s sense of humor. He had given me the first syllable, like a clue in a treasure hunt. But this time instead of running in circles, making myself dizzy with question marks, digging a maze of holes to uncover answers, I rested in Him.
Bree’s turning three, and I still don’t know who she will become. But time has softened my edges and allowed me to tumble more with the rhythm of life. I’ve found that God’s answers are always better.
But still there are moments when my fear wants to give form to the future to feel like I’m prepared for it. Nothing can prepare us for the beauty and the mess of life. This chaotic, lovely life is best breathed in in lungfuls; the gasp of learning it’s a girl, the deep labored breaths of bringing her into the world. The aah and sigh of watching her declare who she is, one day, one minute, one second at a time.
Because like our kids come into the world and declare who they are, without apology, without question, life happens and challenges us to accept it, as it is. I’ve learned that often the beautiful mess of motherhood means sitting with question marks.
It means dreaming of possibilities while trusting God to declare what they are. It means living with each moment and soaking up the flutters and kicks, the toddles and strides, the coos, giggles, and words that shape into stories. It’s remembering that when I became pregnant, God gave me a new name, MOM, and its my favorite one.
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Suggested Book Selection From Lisa Brown Creator Of Blog – Affiliated With Amazon
“Often the biggest obstacle to living out our faith is our own doubt–about our worth, our abilities, our relationship with God, and situations in our lives. A Confident Heart gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Author Renee Swope shows us how to identify, overcome, and learn from our self-doubts so that we can live confidently in God’s assurance, truth, and grace. Perfect for women’s small groups or individuals, A Confident Heart is an authentic, insight-filled and encouraging message for any woman who wants to exchange defeating thought patterns with biblical truth that will transform the way she thinks, feels, and lives.” A Confident Heart
“Bestselling author and popular blogger offers an inspiring vision that art is what happens when welive like we are actually alive, blessing God and others in the process.” A Million Little Ways:…
Desperate is for those who love their children to the depths of their souls but who have also curled up under their covers, fighting back tears, and begging God for help. It’s for those who have ever wondered what happened to all their ideals for what having children would be like. For those who have ever felt like all the “experts” have clearly never had a child like theirs. For those who have prayed for a mentor. For those who ever felt lost and alone in motherhood.
In Desperate you will find the story of one young mother’s honest account of the desperate feelings experienced in motherhood and one experienced mentor’s realistic and gentle exhortations that were forged in the trenches of raising her own four children.Whether you are a first time mom, or an experienced mom, Desperate will inspire you to be a part of the ultimate goal of the book, to be a part of the no-more-desperate-moms movement.
“Read the Wall Street Journal bestselling book that has helped close to 100,000 women embrace who they are and become all they’re created to be.
With this heart-to-heart message, licensed counselor and certified life coach Holley Gerth invites you to embrace one very important truth–that you truly are already amazing. Like a trusted friend, Holley gently shows you how to forget the lies and expectations the world feeds you and instead believe that God loves you and has even bigger plans for your life than you’ve even imagined.
“This is a book for every woman who needs to find her way back to hope, Jesus, and everything she was made to be in Christ. Holley Gerth is a fresh voice for every woman–she echoes the voice of our Father.” – Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts ” You’re Already Amazing