put down the book

put down the book


I had the belief that becoming a mother would be natural.

I  was a babysitter well into my college years.

I even spent a summer watching a dynamic trio comprised of a  3-year-old

and year old twins.

I was surprised to be sick my entire first pregnancy including

the delivery.

I hoped my experience would rival the scenes depicted in movies.

You know, the scenario showing a wife (beautifully made-up and without

bed head, I might add)

rolling over in bed and gently tapping her husband’s shoulder

and calmly whispering,

“It’s time.”

Instead my doctor calmly listened to my heart one hot September morning

and said,

“Your blood pressure is too high.
It’s time to induce labor.”

I also thought that nursing would be easy.

It wasn’t.

It was hard and painful and discouraging.

I felt a failure when it seemed the bottle had won my

newborn’s heart.

On one of those sleep forsaken days, when nothing I tried seemed

to provide any comfort for my wee one, I received a phone call.

My friend Amy called to check in with me.

She was decades ahead of me in the mothering journey.

I explained to her that I couldn’t get my baby to sleep and nothing I did


I told her that one book said I should try this and another book suggested

I try something else.

I am sure Amy could tell that with each sentence, I was falling apart.

After a slight pause, she ventured to get in a few words of sanity,

“Helen, put down the book.”.

“Just pick her up and hold her.”

“Trust that you do know what to do.

Sleep deprivation and off the chart hormones are a recipe for


I didn’t know whether to scream, cry or thank her.

I am grateful, I thanked her and hung up the phone.

I sat and I looked at my daughter and as she continued to fuss,

strangely I grew calmer with each wail.

There was a moment when she opened her liquid brown eyes and

with each blink, she seemed to trace my early morning trail of tears.

Perhaps she was gazing in amazement at how this freaked out new mom

had evaporated and been replaced with a mom possessing a lesser degree

of berserk.

We sat for what seemed like hours, both of us sizing each other up.

There was a knock on the door and it was Amy bearing  Mulligatawny soup

from Marco’s (if you know Marco’s, then you know it was a  Thursday most blessed.)

With a hug and a few words, I transferred my precious one to Amy’s arms and

I took a much-needed shower.

Yep, the angels were rejoicing.

Small bits of clarity had returned.

Our lives don’t always resemble what we have tucked

inside our minds and hearts.

Sometimes I have reached for books to fix the reflection in the mirror.

There will be days and situations which don’t feel natural and easy.

Trust yourself.

Remember you were made for the life you inhabit.

I was made to be Carlen and Courtney and Caleb’s mom.

It hasn’t always felt natural or easy.

Each one of them cannot be summed up in the chapters of a book

on child development.

All three are precious and unique and have been offered to me to

cherish and equip.

What isn’t coming natural to you today?

Is it a hard task at work?

A difficult person to love?

A wayward child?

Are you caring for an aging parent?

Do you have an innate dream which now feels like it resides

in a distant galaxy?

Did you just receive bad news?

You were called for this very time in your life.

Ask for help.

Don’t shoulder the hard places alone.

Words of encouragements can feel like swallowing the most comforting

cup of soup, warm, satisfying and nourishing body and soul.

Seek out someone ahead of you in life and soak up their experience and


Then reach back to those who are behind you and be ready and

willing to speak words of courage to them as the grapple with the reality

of life.

Put down the book and simply trust  you will  know what to do.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all were shoulder tappers?

Let someone tap you on the shoulder.

Hear them whisper,

“It’s time.”

Find someone else’s  shoulder to press upon and

hear yourself whisper calmly to them,

“It’s time.”

One day we will read the words God has recounted of our steps of


The Father’s  book will be one we will never want to put down.

It’s time, my friends.

You were made for this time.

3 thoughts on “put down the book

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