What Only A New Baby Can Teach Us
I am sitting at my desk this cool September morning with a steaming mug of coffee and my Bible open in front of me. What a glorious day to be alive!
A myriad of thoughts and emotions are running through my mind …
… A friend who is battling for her life after a stroke is never out of my prayers …. She needs a miracle ….
… How can I possibly be turning 60 this year when I still feel 26 in my soul ….
The years have raced by much too quickly … I want to live longer and stronger.
… I get to write another book … My heart is beating with joy and incredulity … Only God …
… Bible Study starts tonight … I am traveling out of town this week-end to teach the Word … How am I so blessed to be used by God at this moment in history?!
… I need to record some radio programs today … Praying in financial support to take radio to the next level … Father … You are my Provider …
… And then … my phone rings … it’s Matthew. My oldest son.
“Mom … we are on our way to the hospital. Emily’s contractions are just a couple of minutes apart.”
Baby # 4 for Matt and Emily will arrive sometime today. Olivia … Wesley … Boyce … and now another little girl. I will know her name in just a few hours.
How can this be?! Matthew was just placed in my arms yesterday. I’ll never forget looking at the miracle of life that the love of his father and I had created.
I will never forget his blue eyes staring seriously back at me. I will never forget the McLeod cowlick … so dominant in his newborn forehead.
I will never … as long as I live … forget the overwhelming love in my heart for a little person whose chief accomplishments were to sleep more than 2 hours … poop in his cloth diaper … keep his pacifier in his rosebud mouth … and burp for the whole world to hear.
And now … we are eagerly anticipating his fourth child.
When Craig and I were expecting our second baby, I wondered how I could possibly love the new one as much as I loved Matthew. How could my heart expand to unconditionally and completely love another child? It has been the quandary of mothers since the beginning of time.
Is my heart big enough to love another baby?
Am I enough to mother a second baby?
A very wise mother gave to me some sage and loving advice when I was at that maternal crossroads of doubt, “Each new baby comes with its own little world of love.”
How right she was! A new baby wiggles its way into your heart and life and brings as a heavenly gift the capability of loving more … loving bigger … loving to excess. If a new baby teaches us anything, it is simply how to love.
A new baby teaches us how to love in the middle of the night.
A new baby teaches us how to love in the midst of searing pain.
A new baby teaches us how to love without a word spoken … without an act accomplished … without an expectation completed.
A new baby brings its own little world of love.
And so I wait at my computer for the phone to ring again. As I wait, I will prepare for Bible Study … write a blog … record some radio shows … answer some e-mails … fill up an already too full calendar … and write some meaningful words for the new book.
But none of those endeavors will teach me how to love more completely. Only a baby can do that. A baby about to be born 2,000 miles away. I won’t get to hold her for a month or more … but you can be sure that she will already be nestled deeply into this Marmee’s heart.
My prayer for you this autumn morning is that your world of love would be increased. I hope that in the midst of busy-ness and productivity that you would take the time to love someone deeply. Lay aside your calendar and pray for the people God has given to you … make plans to spend time together and to get to know one another on a deeper level.
Babies grow up … friends get sick … relationships may become demanding … but the goal of life this side of heaven is to learn to love more deeply and with sweet intent. Perhaps that is why God sends us babies … to teach us to love others like He loves us. No one is able to ignore the world of love that only a baby delivers.
"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three: but the greatest of these is love.” – I Corinthians 13:13.
One of my dearest friends, and Matthew’s favorite babysitter, wrote a song for Matthew when he was just a tiny bit of humanity. We called her “Lynn” but Matthew, as soon as he was able to talk, named her “La-La” because she sang every minute of every day.
I have sung La-La’s song over every one of my 5 children and have modified the lyrics appropriately for each gender. Today, however, I sing it to the new baby who is sweetly bringing more love to my heart … the new baby girl being born into this raucous, loving, enthusiastic, competitive, joyful family known as “McLeod”.
“Little girl … little girl … how do you do?
Little girl … little girl … I once was like you.
I was just that small, wanting all the world to be true,
For little girls and little boys like you.
And little girl … little girl … how are things this far?
Little girl … my little girl … I know you’ll reach the stars.
And little girl … my little girl … that’s why I sing this song.
Because you won’t be a little girl for long.” – Lynn Parker Fields
Welcome little girl. We love you already!
**Update - Elizabeth Joy McLeod, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 ounces was born shortly after this blog was written.