A little over three weeks ago, this handsome addition to our family arrived! We are so very thrilled to have Declan Michael with us. His name is from Irish origins, meaning "Man of Prayer." Our prayer is that he will live up to his name, seeking Jesus first in his life. The girls are beyond excited to have a baby brother. Declan spends much of the day getting passed between them and being showered with many, many kisses on his velvety little head. He is a very relaxed baby for the most part, as long as he has someone close by! He also eats a ton and I'm happy to say that he had already grown an inch and gained more than a pound since his birth.
As with the others, I am endeavoring to breastfeed him for this first year. Let me just be perfectly honest. That is a challenge for me. I do enjoy nursing my babies, but it is so hard for me to take that time to be still, especially with older siblings clamoring for my attention. Nursing is something I consider to be a good bonding time with them when they are little, so I do make it a priority. I'm just saying it doesn't come easy!
Speaking of challenges, I'm going to share one I'm going through. I think one of my biggest challenges (and failures) in motherhood is trying to avoid the trap of comparison. Social media makes the struggle even greater. I read these amazing things that other homeschooling moms accomplish and see their little school set-ups and the projects they do with their children and I am both inspired and depressed at the same time. I can't figure out how they have the time for these things or how they get their little darlings to participate so well! Trying to get back into the swing of homeschooling has brought this struggle to a forefront for me as we also juggle the preparations for a move (down the road just a bit) and just life in general. The week Declan was born, our ladies' Bible group was going over the Belt of Truth in the Priscilla Shirer "Armor of God"study. I can't even begin to describe how much that lesson hit home.
Without me even telling him of the struggle, Josh began speaking truth into my life as well, reminding me that God made me who I am and I will do things differently than other moms. He tells me that I am doing a wonderful job and he is so glad I am his wife and the mother of his children. I have many texts and emails over the last weeks affirming me in these ways. I am so thankful for the wonderful man that God has blessed me with. He challenges me and encourages me, and he shows his love for our kids daily by going that extra mile beyond work (and ministry) to read with them at night and listen to their happy chatter about their day.
These next weeks ahead have so many changes for us, and I look forward to sharing updates as they come both in our family life and ministry here.