I am Weak (and Hormonal), but God Is Strong

Making time for family photos is one of my weaknesses. In almost nine years of marriage, we have never had professional pictures made. Not even for our wedding.

This week has been a roller coaster. Imagine me moping because friends and family finally pushed me to choose a baby bedding set; yelling at my husband because he “can’t do anything right”; panicking because we have less than two months to paint the room; sobbing because I can’t get Target’s baby registry website to work; and generally freaking out because “I don’t know how I’m going to handle this all!”

Yeah. It’s finally sunk in. I’m gonna be a mom. And suddenly, all my shortcomings are hitting me, smack dab, in the face. The necessity of dealing with the baby room, especially, has slammed me with bad memories from my childhood, where I never knew how to decorate my bedroom and was always dissatisfied with my pathetic attempts. My mom tried her best to make our shabby houses nice, with inexpensive touch-ups like a coat of paint and tablecloths, but decorating wasn’t her strong point, either. To this day, she and I both freeze at the prospect of even hanging pictures.

I knew this would happen. I knew having a baby would call on me to face my weaknesses: decorating a room, learning to be a better homemaker, learning to depend on others, and setting aside my own goals in favor of the family. In short, Baby Sam is calling on me to be less selfish.

David and Tasha, some of our good friends, offered to take semi-professional pictures of my husband and me about two years ago for Christmas. This last weekend, we finally took them up on the offer. Baby Sam made the difference.

But everyone knows that. It’s obvious that parents have to be less selfish. It’s also common knowledge that parenting calls forth people’s weaknesses. I knew this all along, and that’s why I put off children for my first eight years of marriage. I knew kids would test me, and until now, I wasn’t ready for that test. Instead, I subjected myself to lots of other tests, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, where all the questions were safely embedded in a two-dimensional world. There wasn’t much to mess up—at least, it would be hard to mess up someone else’s life. Now, the game has changed. Now, my decisions can make or break someone’s life.

Ironically, I know I’ve done some messing with my husband’s life by keeping too busy and being self- and career-absorbed over the years. It wasn’t really possible for me to live a self-contained life: our decisions always impact others. I just wasn’t ready for the mega impact of a parent-to-child relationship.

Good news, though. God is stepping in, like he always does. The verse I keep hearing this week is 2 Cor. 12:9-10. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Thank God for that!

We were tempted to cancel our photo shoot, because it came after a long day of grocery shopping for me and outdoor work for hubby: my feet were swelling, and his whole body ached from putting up a greenhouse.

One practical demonstration of God’s sufficiency (“my God shall supply all your needs,” Paul writes) has been a new friend, who enthusiastically agreed to help me with the baby room. She came over on Tuesday and helped me order a bedding set. She talked me through using the breast pump my other friend gave me. She went shopping with me to choose paint and other baby supplies. And she’s coming again today to help make some decorations for the baby room. Maybe these things seem trite to you homemaker women out there, but to me, they have been a godsend.

I don’t think my new friend realizes why this stuff is so hard for me—it’s fun for her. But that’s because she’s a hands-on woman; I’m a hands-off type (read: I like to work with words, ideas—basically stuff I can’t break). Amidst my wallowing that “I suck” this week, God has turned my sorrow (and raging hormones) into joy.

The beginning of the week was hard, but the end is getting better. So I know that homemaking is not one of my strong points. So what? God’s power is made perfect through my weakness, and through friends and loved ones he sends to make up for what I lack. I feel so blessed this week to be surrounded by friends and family who can help me. Generally I don’t like to ask for help, but this lack of dependency is just another weakness God is helping me through. It’s a weakness I intend to ditch, because I know if I hope to get through parenthood, I’ll need some help. It sounds corny, but that old adage is really true: the first step to change is admitting we need help.

Thank you so much, Lord, for sending help just when I needed it.

But we went to take pictures anyway, tired and grumpy. In the end we had a lot of fun, and now we will always have the memory of this moment. Thanks to Deborah, Tasha’s mom, for the great pictures!

5 thoughts on “I am Weak (and Hormonal), but God Is Strong

  1. Cheri November 23, 2013 / 8:53 pm

    Every mom has doubts, I still have them even with adult children, love your pics!

    • lindseygendke November 25, 2013 / 9:42 am

      Thanks Cheri! The more I talk to other moms, the more I realize that there’s no way to be completely ready. Trusting God (and getting all the advice I can) is all I can do!

  2. Vinodhini November 25, 2013 / 1:50 am

    Lovely pictures!

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