Here she comes. Schlepping into church. Twenty minutes late. Again?

Her big pregnant belly. No husband. Those three kids running through the parking lot.

Why does she even bother? The service will be halfway over before she finds a seat.

Those boys wear the same shirts every week. And what about her daughter? Sweatpants and a shirt two sizes too small?

Maybe she needs to go to bed earlier. I would hate to see the rest of her house.

What is up with her?

I might have had thoughts like those 10 years ago. I couldn’t have possibly understood what I know now.

Now that I know what’s it’s like to be her.

Now I understand what the morning was like. How even 12 hours of sleep didn’t feel like it could possibly be enough. How it hurt to stand up.

Now I know how easy it would have been to stay home and relax. Even walking felt like such a chore. And with one child buried on the floor in a sea of blankets refusing to get dressed, it would have been so much easier to stay home and focus her energy on the house that seemed to have puked mountains of toys, clothes and dirty dishes.

Now I understand her determination.

Now I get it. She just smiles at the outfits the kids have chosen, not sure why they bypass all the clothes in the closet for the same shirts every week. Not sure why her daughter chose velour sweat pants. But just happy and relieved that they were dressed.

And now I understand that swallowing her pride and walking in halfway through took far more courage than turning around. The unspoken admission that she doesn’t have it all together. She isn’t on top of her life. She’s empty and broken and presses on just so she can be filled up.

Today I’m thankful for my church. Where people offer grace and love, rather than judgment and criticism to people like her. To people like me.

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  1. It's hard to be her. You can do this! It's way more important for you to get rest and be with your kiddos than worry about that toy mountain. It will get taken care of eventually. Thinking of you……

  2. Forgot to comment earlier. Very well said. I wonder sometimes what people think of me and my brood and our creatively dressed one. Alas, we are what we are.

  3. Hi, Emily!I won't say "You're getting close to the end now!" because I know as a recently preggo woman, that type of comment made me want to rip a person's face off. Discomfort now is not negated by the fact that the end is near.You asked on my blog for my perfect recipes for recovery. I think Edwards Hospital (are you delivering there?) does a great job with whatever they put in the spinal for C sections. I've delivered at four different hospitals and this was my most pain-free "getting up" experience on the same day.Also, rather than just Vicodan, my OB had me alternating that in between times with Motrin (600mg). Seems to really have helped with pain management.Third, keeping the plumbing going afterward, always a HUGE issue for me, was not a problem this time. In addition to twice daily Colace, I recommend a suppository on day 2 or 3 in the hospital (My nurse was cute. "It's just another way to deliver medicine" she kept reassuring me.) and Miralax once every 3 days for the first week or two. Wish I had known that winning formula with the first four kids!Oh, and it seems that I have to be registered somewhere/somehow to vote on the middle name, but I love Jayda Grace.Best wishes!Blessings,Holly

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