I love holding my baby girl. I love kissing her dozens of times a day. I love her little noises. I love the different faces she makes. I love when she wraps her tiny fingers around mine.
The first few weeks with her are a blur.
Sure...everyone told me to expect that, but I did not realize how true their warnings would be until I was snapping Lila's one month pictures on the floor of her nursery.
I felt sadness. I felt guilt.
Where did the time go?
When I think back to the first month, it's a rush of visitors, nursing, pumping, logging dirty diapers, documenting the length of each nap, swaddling, unswaddling, rocking, bouncing, worrying about her weight, worrying about my weight, writing thank you cards...and going, going, going!
I would have classical music playing in the house while Lila stared at me - attempting to engage her on her play mat. "This is an elephant. These are blue polka dots," I would say aloud.
Next it was off to a walk around the neighborhood, or to the swing with a colorful mobile twirling overhead, then to tummy time, reading, nap time, feeding, rinse, wash, repeat...
I was super-engaged, super-charged and super-distracted by everything I was doing to try to be a super first-time mom.
Guess what, though? When I stared down at my one-month-old during our amateur photo shoot, readjusting her headband and onesie for the "perfect" shot, something hit me like a ton of bricks: I needed to learn to be still.
"Be still?" I thought. I don't have time for that! After all, I have memories to make...
And that's just where I got a bit off balanced.
In the rush of trying to achieve my own version of motherhood success, I was running a race with no finish line, keeping up a crazy pace, and missing out on the beauty of the mess around me.
So there I was, sitting on the floor of the nursery, and I found myself taking off Lila's little outfit.
With her in her diaper and tears rolling down my cheeks, I let my fingers touch her baby soft skin. I felt her chubby little rolls and played with her hair. I kissed all over her face, fingers and toes.
I sat in the stillness and took her in for what felt like the first time.
Why hadn't I allowed myself that moment before? It certainly was not my intention to miss out on anything - in fact, I was doing everything in my power to appreciate the significance of every moment during that blurry first month.
But I did not realize how easy it was to become distracted in that process.
When Lila would make a cute face, my default reaction was to grab my phone to capture it. I'd turn away, get the phone, focus the camera, then guess what?! No more cutesy face:( I only enjoyed it for a split-second because of my attempt to enjoy it more later.
I can also think back to long nursing sessions in the middle of the night and reading more "What to Expect" than one should be allowed as Lila filled her tummy. Why couldn't I just hold her and let that be enough?
Let me tell ya - it is enough now.
I have not cooked a meal in a while. I need to go to the gym. I have not been to the grocery store in weeks. I am way behind on thank you cards and returning phone calls.
But I'm okay with that.
In the stillness, I've fallen madly in love with every adorable ounce of my little girl. In the stillness, I've come to appreciate and respect my husband more than I would have thought possible. In the stillness, I feel that peace that passes all understanding.
I understand why we are told in Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."
When our lives are so noisy, it's hard to hear from our Heavenly Father and be in tune with His Spirit.
Similar to my good intentions in being an all-star mom, we busy up our lives with work, service opportunities, ministries, and activities in the name of a greater purpose - but are we creating so much chaos that we miss the very calling right in front of us?
The brakes are part of a car for a reason. For me, it has taken the brakes and "park" to get to the point of savoring this season of life.
And it's pretty darn sweet...