I normally blog first thing in the morning, but as of this moment, it’s 4:20 in the afternoon and the winter sun is already making its way down the yellowing horizon. Sigh. Where did my day go? Usually, you’ll catch me typing fast and furiously at my local cafe, surrounded by hustle and bustle and powered by coffee and creative juice. But today, I’m bouncing at home on a birth ball, sluggish and sleep-deprived, 33 weeks pregnant. What was I talking about again?

Baby Brain, insomnia, back pain and intensifying Braxton Hicks have popped up to slow me down.

With only one month till Baby’s arrival, my hospital bag is (half) packed, our nursery is (haphazardly) set up, and I’m officially confused as to how a human so small could need so much stuff? Although I want to be prepared and organised, Baby Brain (forgetfulness and mind fog), insomnia, back pain and intensifying Braxton Hicks (practice contractions) are just some of the things that have popped up to slow me down.

Pregnancy, though filled with many joys, is no walk in the park. On this side of eternity, motherhood, like any type of work, has been cursed with thorns and thistles. Neither modern medicine nor Instagram filters can erase the effects of the Fall. But while our story begins with a curse, God promises that it will end with renewal and redemption.

In the words of Risen Motherhood: ‘motherhood is made up of a million tiny moments for worship’. Although my pregnancy has been littered with unwanted challenges, God has used these moments to strengthen my faith and to reorient my priorities. I am learning that even thorns and thistles can become a means for my sanctification (growth in godliness) and lead to praise and worship.

Here are two ways that motherhood has done this so far…

Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler

Redefining Productivity

Pregnancy has encouraged me to redefine productivity and to trust in God’s plans for my life. These days, everything feels harder and slower. Why am I late? It took me 30 minutes to put on a sock and to remember why I had started the car. Unpredictable bodily changes have forced me to cancel cherished plans and place limits on my social calendar. Never before have I felt so out of control of my own freedoms and schedule, but it is precisely in my feelings of FOMO and discouragement that God has shown up to remind me that his providence pervades my calendar:

In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

I am learning to pray and waddle slowly and intentionally with my God-given strength.

I can make plans for my life, but ultimately it is God who allows me to experience what I do, within the hours and capacities that he has granted. This means accepting my limits in pregnancy and allowing God to set the pace of my productivity.

So, instead of racing through the week with my ‘to-do’ list, I am learning to pray at the beginning of each day, and to waddle slowly and intentionally with my God-given strength.

Instead of proudly tackling everything on my own, I am learning to accept help from God and others … and thus admitting to myself that I am not self-sufficient—never was and never will be!

Instead of feeling like the master of all my days, I am learning to ask God to show me how I can be faithful on my ‘good’ pain-free days and ‘bad’ bed-ridden days. Even in stillness, there is so much to learn!

Instead of resenting interruptions and cancellations, I am learning to accept that every hour—whether painful or comfortable, efficient or inefficient—can be repurposed for good by the One who establishes my days and steps.

Under God, every moment under the sun is ‘made up of a million tiny moments for worship.’ If we put our trust in God’s providence, there is no such thing as a day wasted. We only need to be faithful.

Understanding God’s Love

As the weeks roll by, my heart has been filled with a kind of love that I didn’t know existed

One of the greatest surprises of pregnancy is the growing love I feel for my child. As the weeks roll by, my heart has been filled with a kind of love that I didn’t know existed—a maternal love that’s fierce, protective, sacrificial and even accepting of pain if it means that I can bring forth new life.

I look forward to seeing her at every ultrasound (even if all I see is a squished little blob). Her kicks to my ribs leave me gritting my teeth—but also make me grateful for the reminder that she’s growing and healthy. I even started exercising and eating boring (but healthy) food, empowered by the fact that my decisions will affect her future. I haven’t always desired children, so it has surprised me that I could feel such tender affection for someone I am yet to meet.

What I find staggering is that my unborn daughter has done nothing to earn my love. My affections aren’t born from her success or good works. I have no idea what her potential is or who she will become beyond the womb. She has no qualifications, no job title, and no capacity for productivity, and yet I cherish her because she’s my child.

Pregnancy has given me a taste of God’s ‘perfect love’ for his children—a love that is both joyful and costly, and where acceptance precedes performance. A love that is unconditional and does not demand to be earned. I have no doubt that motherhood is going to come with challenges that will spotlight my selfishness and failure to love, but for now, I am learning to see and taste God’s love for his children through the love that I feel for my own.

Pregnancy may be hard, but it’s certainly been filled with a ‘million tiny moments for worship.’

First published at heiditai.com