Jenny lives with her husband, baby boy, and two dogs in Lake Stevens. After enjoying a career in the physical therapy field, she is taking time to stay at home with her son, Henry. Jenny serves as a board member for The Anchor and is actively involved in the Young Life community in Lake Stevens. She often does home renovations with her husband and can be found regularly with a paintbrush in hand and an audiobook or podcast playing. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys hiking, gardening, and reading.
January 14th, 2022 is a day forever etched in my heart. This day brought the greatest before and after moment into my life timeline. Our sweet son Henry James entered the world, and my husband and I began the journey of parenthood. We are truly grateful and could not love our little boy more.
Being a Mom has been the greatest gift and also the biggest challenge of my life so far. I’ve heard many say it is the job where there is no instruction manual; a precious life depends on you. Vacation time? Think again. You work 24/7 and you get the bonus of a free little muffin top. (And also bless our female bodies because they really are incredible!)
Before I became a stay-at-home Mom to our little man, I worked in the physical therapy field for 12 years. My favorite part of my job was listening to patients tell me about themselves and their lives. Throughout my career and college years, I enjoyed a social life full of friends, family, and Young Life involvement. Prior to these years, I grew up in a family of four kids. Our home was lively, and I can hardly remember a time I was home alone.
The hardest adjustment of mom-life for me has been the loneliness of caring for a precious babe without the almost constant social interaction I was used to before. Going out with our little five-month-old is always fun but also completely exhausting for me at this stage. Sometimes making it out of the house with all the things and the right timing feels like an utter miracle in itself! I am continuing to learn the balance of mom dates and time at home. Despite my efforts and the many kind loved ones who visit, there are still many days right now that feel so lonely to me.
And then the questions… Am I being the mom he needs me to be? Am I qualified for this? Am I giving him what he needs? Why is this babe on nap strike AGAIN?! I love to appear as if I have it all together (ugh, something I am working on!), but I really don’t at all. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Some days I feel my heart will burst with pure joy and others I want to bury my face in my pillow and sob because of the 4-month sleep regression.
This season of entering motherhood with all its joys, tears, and sweetness has been overwhelming and a time in life where I have had to grab onto something bigger than myself, something firm that I could trust. A person who would meet my exhaustion and feelings of “not enough” with grace and fill me back up with life so I could do it again the next day, and the next.
For me that person is Jesus. The one who sacrificed all so we could come to Him as we are; exhausted and broken inside from living in this messy and beautiful world. He meets those broken pieces of us with tender love and gently leads us on a journey of restoration and healing.
As I spend time with Jesus, I find grace for today as well as so many mom-moments that speak to my heart. I think of Jesus in the moments that I’m trying to rush through my shower because the little man is getting fussy and needs attention. Or the moments I wish I could snuggle Henry all the time but what he actually needs is some sleep training. I wish I could stop the clock and soak in his snuggles forever.
I wonder if Jesus feels the same. He longs to just be with us, “snuggled up,” and holding us close. But also we need to learn lessons in life so we can survive in this world – just like my son needs to learn to fall asleep on his own so he can get the hours of sleep his body needs to survive and grow.
No matter what season we may find ourselves in, Jesus’ arms of grace are holding us close.
Some seasons of life, I feel God so close, guiding me and filling me with peace. Others, I feel I am flailing in the water – I know He is there but I don’t feel Him as close. I find that as time goes by, I look back on the flailing seasons and see how God was working in my life – even though I couldn’t recognize it at the time. Which makes me think of sleep training: the balance of letting my son know I am there and love him but also giving him time to “flail” a bit as he learns an essential new skill.
May our hearts rest in peace knowing that the God who created the entire universe loves us more than we can fathom. He cares deeply about the details of our life, and He has good plans for us. We can walk with confidence and grace into our day, knowing we are loved beyond measure. When life feels as if it is too much, He is there to give us hope and hold us tight.