The Anxieties of Getting Ready for a Newborn

We’re two months away from welcoming baby number two into our family, and all I can seem to think about is making sure we have the perfect floral crib sheets picked out for the nursery. How did I spend so much time online the other day searching for the picture-perfect one? As we get closer to the reality that this baby will be here in no time, I’ve found myself fixated on the color of the nursery, the wall décor, and making sure the clothes we have for this baby girl are all washed and separated. I could go on and on about the things that can keep me up at night – do I have my hospital bag packed? How far away are we from James being settled into his new room? What’s on our to-do list that we just really need to make sure gets crossed off?

But oh how I wished I spent as much time praying for this new life as I spend thinking about all of the anxieties of the material. These things aren’t bad things – of course I want to have a relaxing nursery and of course I need to know what the plan is for our toddler when we go to the hospital. But I am so easily tempted to spend my (limited) energies on embracing the comfort that I can build for myself here on earth – the American dream – rather than remembering eternity, and remembering my true role that God has given me as a mother. How do I refocus my heart on the eternal? Here are a few reminders that I need daily:

  1. This new baby is a precious gift from God, an eternal being because she was created by God, and looked at by God with the eyes of eternity. Psalm 139 describes this beautifully, David marveling over the mysterious process of a developing baby:

For you (God) formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
My soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
Intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me.

God has formed this baby, He has knit all the cells and limbs and the very soul of this life together. She has been fearfully and wonderfully made – crafted by God to be exactly who she is. God knew this baby from conception and knows her intimately even now. I’m moved to thank God for her, because it is a blessing to me that God has stamped his image upon her and given her to us to steward in love and enjoyment.

  1. It is God’s sovereignty that will set this baby apart. The ESV Study Bible notes tell us that the Hebrew word for “wonderfully made” could also be translated into “I am fearfully set apart,” which is the term that is used for God setting his people apart and making a distinction between them, those who are his people, and those who are not his people. The person singing this would be someone in the Old Testament who was the child of faithful, believing parents, and he’s affirming that God set his special love upon him from the earliest stages of his life, before he was even born.

This is what I want to pray regularly for this new life: that God would be setting her apart, that he would look upon her with his particular love and care, writing her name in his book of life.

  1. The Lord is my rest, my portion, my rock of refuge, and he will continue to be with me. In allowing us to have a part in his creation of this child, God will use us as parents to help shape her life. In God’s purpose for this child, I am her mother. Just as being a wife is a more noble and greater calling than any of us in ourselves can accomplish, the Lord has also given me this call of motherhood, and it is beyond what I am capable of. But thankfully, the Lord is a merciful God and He will strengthen me to do what he has called me to do. As we face new challenges that come with having another child, we have to remind ourselves that we don’t have everything it takes – I won’t be able to be the perfect mom who makes the perfect meals and perfectly meets everyone’s needs at every moment – but there is comfort in that. Because He, the Lord, is all I need, and He will give us all we need.

At the end of my life, when I stand before God and look back on the lives that God has called me to steward, I’m convinced that I will not wish I had given more of myself to the comforts of this world – namely, the Pinterest-perfect nursery and the plans that have been perfectly made. May my trust be not in these material solaces and luxuries, but in the ever-present strength of my good God.

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