I remember finding out I was pregnant. I immediately went out and started buying tiny clothes and soft blankets. I also remember deciding to homeschool all my children. I couldn’t stop buying books and crayons and science experiment supplies. Those beginning days were full of excitement and hope.
Now, I also remember my babies being born, and I remember my children graduating from high school and moving on to college. I remember finally holding my little one and kissing her toes. I remember the pride in what kind, smart, and determined women they grew into. Those days of dreams coming true, and all my hard work coming to fruition were celebratory and full of joy.
However, those in-between days- being on bed rest during all of my pregnancies and struggling with teaching a topic- those days were full of almost all the emotions. The in-between days held excitement, hope, and joy. However, they also held weariness, discouragement, and sorrow. I can remember while on bedrest because of preterm labor wondering if I would be able to keep my babies in long enough to have a healthy baby. I was afraid and worried. I can remember losing my temper with my three little girls and crying in my room, wondering if I should be sending them to school. The in-between days held so much wonder, and not the fun wonder of awe, but the wonder of the unknown.
When I look back at these in-between times in my life, I learn some of those hard days hold some beautiful memories and powerful lessons. While I was on bed rest, I had to depend on Andy. He did everything for me. I also had to rely on the help and kindness of family and friends. I learned how to allow myself to be cared for and loved. While teaching the girls for all those years, I learned how to control my temper, grow in patience, learn to really listen to their needs, and to let go of hard moments and move on with hope.
To get through all the in-between days to come, I will need to feel the excitement with the weariness and the joy with the sorrow.
Of course, John O’Donohue has a poem that speaks to me about these in-between days.
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
I have filled this post with macro images of my Delilah flower in the middle of her bloom to remind me that even the in-between days can hold great beauty. For more thoughts of “in-between” head over to my friend Melissa’s blog.