I never, ever expected in my whole life that a few items on a shelf and a package of clothespins would bring me to tears. I was always the girl that never cried at the sappy movies or at anything sentimental (still am, but babies can bring a woman to a few more tearful moments than usual). But, over the last week, the Lord has brought some tender moments that I hadn’t really prepared for myself.
Little Miss started solids last week and the first couple of days were horrendous. To put it lightly, Ella abhors anything new. When we first got her an infant swing, she cried and screamed and cried some more. But, within a few weeks, it was one of the only things that could get her to calm down. This process has been repeated several times with several different things. I don’t know why she hates change and new things so much. I mean, I don’t know anyone (named Jennifer, perhaps) that hates change. I guess it will always be a mystery. Anyways…
After day three of screams, I was ready to throw in the towel. But, guess who showed up on day four? Miss McSmiley Pants! She was giggling and eating solids like a champ! Couldn’t get enough of it! I was beyond thrilled. But, at the same time, there were intermittent moments where I had to hold back tears. To start solids, we’ve been sititng Ella in her Bumbo on top of the dining room table rather than in her highchair (it’s just easier for now). And, on the wall by our dining room table, we have two shelves. One shelf contains some trinkets and photos, while the other contains some memories of our first baby. Remember this post? We do still have the shelf up and I love it. I love that our first baby has a place in our home. I love that I can look up at on that shelf and remember that the Lord has blessed us with two children, not just one.
And, just last week, Ella discovered the shelf. We showed her once before and she stared at it for a while, but this was the first time she found it on her own. She would stare at the shelf, get one more bite of food, then stare at the shelf. This process continued until she was done eating. And, ever since that day, most times when I feed her, she looks over at the shelf. Just seeing her stare at the ultrasound picture of her older brother or sister, was one of the most amazing moments for me since we’ve had Ella.
Then, yesterday, I did our diaper laundry (have I mentioned we are doing cloth diapers full-time now? So far, we’ve loved it! Another post on that later). To save on some electricity and to help naturally bleach out the diapers, I hung up our clothesline. I have never used a clothesline before, but thought the diapers would be a good reason to start. I set up the line and knew that I had brand new clothespins somewhere. The only thing I could remember is that I bought some one time for some type of craft. I dug through all of my craft supplies and couldn’t find it.
Then, to the laundry room. Nope, not there.
Then, to our junk drawer. Nada.
To the cabinet with the tools? Nope.
The garage? Not there, either!
Then, it hits me. I remember what I used them for now….
to surprise John that I was pregnant with our first baby. I used them to hang up baby clothes as a decoration.
I stopped in my tracks. Then, I thought how cool it would be to use something of the first baby’s for his or her younger sister. I went upstairs to the guest room closet where the bag full of stuff from the first baby lives. I pulled it out and there it was. The ribbon I used for the decoration still had the clothespins attached and the package of unused clothespins were in the bag, too. I took the unused ones out and went to my clothesline.
As I hung up each diaper, I remembered our first child. It’s amazing how a little baby that never even entered the world alive, can have marks all over my home and in my heart. I was reminded, once again, that God does not create living things without a purpose. That baby had a purpose and I feel like month by month I get another glimpse of it.
My sweet Ella has a purpose in this life, too. My job as her mom is to help her unravel it and to prepare her to fulfill what God has for her life. And, may I keep letting the shelves and the clothespins in my life remind me of the continuing work that is to be done in my sweet, second baby.