One of the hardest parts about moving on from the hospital experience is moving on from the reality that life hung in the balance every single day we were in that hospital. With a placenta abruption time is of the essence, and because I had a partial abruption I was always hovering over the reality of a full abruption happening at any moment. For context, a full abruption means almost certain death for the mother and the baby in a matter of minutes. A full abruption gives no warning until it is too late, and then you are on the clock to save mom and baby. That is where we lived for three weeks, death crouching at our door. Every day we begged God not to let it walk right through to take Ben and me.
I joked after my book was finished that now I could go back to doing the work of the home again. I thought finishing the book meant I needed to get back to actually doing the work. I needed the perspective and the headspace to do it. But what I didn’t know is that I needed to experience the work. God wasn’t concerned about me getting back to work. He was concerned about humbling me and making a recipient of the work.
Of all the things I wrote in Glory in the Ordinary, perhaps the hardest thing for me to accept in the book is the fact that I can’t do it all. I wrote it. I’ve spoken about it. But I have a hard time believing it and living it out.
And then I went to the hospital.
There is a lot to be anxious about in this world. Even if you never turn on the news, you surely know enough about people (or even your own experience) to fill you with dread on any given day. This world is not the way God intended it to be.
I face my own share of things to be anxious about. I’m in the throes of the newborn days, so sleep is elusive. Wondering whether I will get a good stretch of sleep when my head hits the pillow at night can be anxiety inducing. I have four children ages four and under. I am regularly confronted with my limitations as a mom. That’s anxiety inducing. I also have my own sin that is ever before me. Will I ruin the people in my life because of my own failure and sin? And these aren’t even the worst of my anxious thoughts. Because of all that happened leading up to Ben’s arrival, I am still processing the trauma of that, which can lead to many anxious days (and nights). You could even say that on any given day anxiety is ever before me in varying degrees.
The days leading up to Mother’s Day can be hard. Even though I am no longer a barren woman, I still struggle with my own difficulties and guilt as Mother’s Day approaches. For the infertile or the mother struggling with loss, Mother’s Day is acutely difficult. It’s almost as if everything around you is reminding you of what you don’t have—what you long for but can’t have. And it can be painfully isolating.
The barren women of scripture didn’t have a national holiday to remind them of their lack, but they surely had their fill of individuals (Gen. 16:1-5, 1 Sam. 1:4-9). One person’s celebration is often the seat of another’s deep pain. The pages of scripture are filled with women who longed for wombs to bear children, who longed for children to be restored to health and wholeness, of women in deep pain over grief.
One of the dangers in writing a book is the perception that the author has somehow arrived in living out the message of the book. As I’ve said before, writing is something I’m learning to do before I’ve arrived. Otherwise I would never write. As Glory in the Ordinary is now officially out to the public, I am reminded again just how much I have not arrived on the “finding purpose in at-home work” front. So, lest anyone think I wrote the book from a place of strength and domestic prowess, I hope this post helps settle that notion once and for all.
It’s book launch week for Glory in the Ordinary! One of the primary reasons I wrote the book is because I believe that all work (paid and unpaid) brings glory to God. God made us to work. He works and we image him in our work in the world that he has made. But I also know that I’m a product of a culture that places value on certain types of work, namely paid or higher paid work. I don’t do a lot of paid work in a given day. Maybe you are like me. Your days consist of just as much work as your husband or friend who work in the marketplace, but for the most part people don’t see what you are doing. The impact of your work is long-term, so it’s hard to quantify how it contributes anything good to society (unless you measure in years, not days and weeks).
It’s almost time for “Glory in the Ordinary” to launch! I’m so excited to share this book with you and pray the Lord uses it in your life. The official release date is April 30, but next week is the launch week. We (Crossway and myself) have a lot of fun things planned for this week, starting with THREE Facebook Live events!
It’s not the baby that scares me, it’s all that could go wrong. And with my history, I have had enough go wrong to know that even a growing baby and strong heartbeat don't guarantee a positive outcome. Looking down the mountain of pregnancy, I know there is only one way out of this thing. I will deliver this baby either in a rush of exhilarating joy, or a rush of grief. It sounds morbid, but of all the things that I’ve faced in my life, pregnancy is one that has scared me most. I spend the better part of nine (more like ten) months in a moderate state of panic.
I’m usually pretty behind on the news, though this week I’ve been paying attention to the A Day Without a Woman strike set to happen today. The organizers of the strike are calling on women to either refrain from shopping, wear red, or stay home from paid or unpaid work. While they acknowledge this is not a possibility for many women (and say that they strike for those women, too), it strikes (no pun intended) me as a fairly privileged event—and therefore not for all women.