I TImothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
So I’ve been parked on contentment for a while. I think it’s important to life, and I think it’s a lesson God has been trying to teach me. In Ecclesiastes, it talks about how there is a season for everything. One season of my life just ended and a new one has begun, for which I need both contentment and grace. 🙂 Grace is a common theme for me too, because I don’t give myself and often others enough of it. I talk about not judging, and then I find myself doing it. It’s like layers of an onion, and slowly on this journey, God is peeling back those layers and allowing my heart to show.
So moms, I’m in the no longer pregnant season, but the mom of 2 season. It’s exciting and beautiful, and EXHAUSTING!! All of you know that exhaustion of being a new mom. But along with that exhaustion also comes the blues of my clothes don’t fit, nothing looks good. Ever try to get dressed for a simple event like church and try everything on in your maternity and non-maternity wardrobe and leave your house feeling terrible?? That was my Saturday night. And I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. Mostly because I have come to learn that I can’t live by what I feel, and the more I do, the less content and enjoyable this season of life will be.
I have read repeatedly on Facebook, this picture and adage that babies ruin bodies. And honestly, I hate it. Because I don’t really believe its true. Babies don’t ruin bodies. I think any mom knows the beauty of that body…how it houses and protects your baby, who changes your life in the best ways. How it feeds that baby, and although nursing is hard and tiresome, there is beauty in those moments of quiet that only you and your baby share. How it comforts that baby, the softness of your postpartum offers comfort and ease to a crying baby.
So what am I saying? I am saying that babies don’t ruin bodies. My body won’t be pregnant or postpartum soft and squishy forever, but for now it serves a purpose. The athlete and go getter in me so badly wants it tight and trim and ready for the beach in just 8 weeks, but for now, my goal is not that. My goal is to enjoy the first 12 weeks of the life of my little guy and the next 12 weeks with my daughter. These days will pass by and part of me won’t miss the being up in the middle of the night or nursing for 45-60 minutes at times throughout the day. But I know these days are a necessary part of the journey as the little boy that not so long ago grew inside me will continue to grow outside me into the awesome little man that he will become. His sister grew so fast and changed my life, and my eyes fill with tears now from the joy, love, and pride that have filled my days because of her.
This body, this time is just a season, and I can find contentment here. Sure, I could strive to do it in my own strength, but why would I do that when there’s a better way? I can simply trust God instead and be aware of Him and His provision instead, and He will open my eyes to that contentment. You all know how I love Judah Smith. His message of Jesus and grace so revolutionized my life and belief, that our son’s name is Judah. It means praise the Lord. And I am doing that in this season. Anyway, Judah preached a sermon called Instagram isn’t real. It’s awesome, and the focus is the verse you read at the beginning of this blog. I Timothy 6:6: Godliness with contentment is great gain. And so Judah contends that contentment is sexy, and I agree. I know ambition and drive and success so sound much better in our American rhetoric, but contentment is beautiful because it lets you be you in your season and gifts and talents, and it lets others be themselves in each season of their lives without competition or comparison or bashing. It lets peace reign and each of us be happy for others where they are and with what they have, and it lets us relax and enjoy the beauty of what’s around us knowing that our God is right in the midst taking care of our needs.
But how many content people do you know? I know very few, honestly. We are clawing and climbing to outdo and outperform and outgain, that we we miss the beauty of all God has given us for today. We try to hedge all our bets and build fences to protect and think ahead to avoid every pitfall instead of just trusting God to give us wisdom and meet our needs. Instead we seek to meet our own needs, and then we read Facebook and Instagram and other social media, and we think we are so far behind where we should be. I do it. I see a new mom on Facebook who’s back in her old clothes 4 weeks after having her last baby, and I think man I need to get out the jogging stroller and run.
But this season, my goal is different. One year you will read about my running a half marathon and fitting in size 4 jeans, but this season you won’t. You will instead see the belly where that beautiful boy was carried and the body of the mom who is nursing him. And in it, I will trust God for contentment and believe He will take care of that body so when this season is over and my next one begins, I will be healthy and equipped for that season, too….you know the one where you are chasing another beautiful toddler around. My whole life is different, and I am thankful. But it takes effort to guard the heart that is emerging, so I don’t get back on the wheel and start trying to juggle all the balls again.
In Judah’s message, he talked about the meaning of godliness, and he’s right. When we think of godliness, we think of doing everything right, but godliness in it’s original meaning actually means being aware of God in every moment. It’s God awareness, not our ability to perform. Thank God. So godliness, awareness of His presence and help in my season mixed with contentment, which He enables me to have, are great gain. And I think that about covers it.
So I am content to slow down right now and watch movies and play at the park and turn down playdates when needed to see and enjoy this season. I didn’t do that with Emme because I was so concerned with doing everything right and keeping up appearances that I knew what I was doing and had everything under control. Well, I don’t. God does, and He is so faithful. My husband has been so helpful around the house and willing to stay at home with two kids under 3 when I need a little space for myself. He has cleaned, washed and folded laundry, done dishes, cooked dinner, scrubbed bathrooms, and then held me and got up and rocked a crying baby or changed him at 2 in the morning for just a few extra minutes of sleep for me. That’s provision. He’s given me so pretty awesome friends who have texted encouragement, called to see if they could grab things for us while they were out, brought us dinner, and just stood alongside this family with advice and support in our season. We have a church with great classroom teachers for our 2 year old and a nursing moms room with a tv so I can watch the message and feed the baby. We have wonderful family who have come down and stayed the night and changed diapers and made breakfast so we can get adjusted. I would say that’s provision, and I am thankful He has given me eyes to see (God awareness) how He has shown up throughout these past weeks.
So babies don’t ruin bodies. They may change them for a season, but they are far from ruined, especially when you see the beauty of the lives that those babies grow to be. God is good, and He has contentment for you in each season! Just ask for eyes that are aware of His goodness and provision, and place everything in His very capable and extravagantly good and loving hands.