Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

Over a Cup of Coffee

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Hi friend. I’ve had a lot on my mind but not a lot of cohesion to write it all down in a readable format. Mostly thoughts, fragmented and half-formed, thoughts that feel too incomplete to type out. But over coffee? Well, over coffee I think I can share them with you …

This new baby. Oh my word I can’t shake the worries. I don’t know why my two bad experiences have overshadowed the two amazing ones, but I can hardly wrap my brain around the idea that this little guy is healthy and coming home with us, Lord willing. I keep saying things like that: “Lord willing” and “I hope”. Maybe that’s what multiple losses does to you? It’s very unnerving.

Speaking of unnerving, for a couple of days in a row I was getting a lot of texts from family and friends asking about my pregnancy, a thing that I certainly appreciated and thought was very sweet. But every time I texted the words “due date” my finger would hit the wrong button or autocorrect or something would change it to read “die date” and it really shook me. I know it’s completely stupid but I think the enemy was trying to get to me. I’m trying so hard to be happy and excited but it’s not been easy. I haven’t even used words like happy or excited or even said, “I can’t wait until _____!” I just can’t. It’s like my heart-guard named Self-Preservation who has been on vigilant watch duty since Evie’s diagnosis won’t let me. I can’t go there, to the happy excited place. I hope that changes when I see him’s adorable little face.

And I am soooo nervous about another birth. I have yet to have any type of pain meds during all four of my previous deliveries and so I know the pain. Heavens do I know the pain. And my midwife said, “Well, the carrot we dangle in front of you is that you get a nice, juicy baby at the end of it!!” Yeah, except 50% of the time I’ve endured that pain that reward hasn’t really happened for me. It is mentally a really tough statistic to get over.

It just so happened that an instagram friend shared with me the same verse that we are memorizing for Micah’s Sunday School this month. And so since it has come from two different places I’m taking it to heart and taking it as the Lord’s message to me as I anticipate another birth:

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

I’m trying. I really, really am. And ps, if you think about it, pray that this baby will not have meconium and that I will be able to labor and maybe even deliver in the blessed birthing tub …

Seeing that I am approximately one thousand months pregnant with Baby #5, my body is just not feeling it. And by “it” I mean life efforts in general. Some nights sleep evades me and I feel awkward and immobile in my own body. I wake up tired and my back aches constantly. I want to sit. A lot. And my mind is busy with prepping – nesting they call it. I want to have everything in order by the time this little guy comes because he’s coming right smack in the middle of a super busy season (Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas), so I want to be prepared. Christmas cards, gifts, birthday plans for Micah … the list goes on. So while the inside of my brain might look like the checkout line at the NYC Macy’s on Christmas Eve, my body feels like a beachfront tourist shop on the dead of winter. Hashtag, the struggle is real.

On top of baby prep, I’ve been wondering exactly what to do with my online space once my little man arrives. Certainly a maternity-type leave could be in order. But I don’t know? What if I need a longer break? What if adjusting to being a mommy of three takes much longer than I thought? When I’m tired the first thing to go is my motivation for anything creative and non-essential. Blogging and podcasting fall into that category. But should I just straight up call it quits for a while? Should I post sporadically? And what about my personal guilt factor? Oh I should be doing this with my online space or that or …? I don’t know. A rational mind would just tell me to go with the flow, see how it goes and then make the call. But I tend to be super Type A when it comes to planning (see above paragraph) and the whole “leaving it up in the air thing” makes me feel panicky. I want a text from Heaven or something that tells me exactly what to do. Hey, a girl can hope. Plus I really do love this space and my podcast. I love encouraging and comforting others the way the Lord has encouraged and comforted me and I love connecting with other women doing amazing things and sharing their stories and their hearts. But I don’t want to love it more than I love mothering in the trenches and being all I need to be for my young family.

I’m trying to sort through it all. I want to enjoy my time with my young kiddos over the holidays and soak up the newborn moments. I want to give myself grace but I also don’t want to let you lovely people down and completely disappear from the interweb. I think God gave me a story that I’m supposed to tell and I don’t think I’m meant to completely stop, even right now. So here are some rational conclusions that I’m working on accepting:

I am hiding Joshua 1:9 in my heart and quoting Chris Tomlin and Mat Redman as my anthem for this baby … the Lord is with me … I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side … Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. I am praying for a healthy baby and a safe delivery. I am trying to be hopeful and excited. And I’m hoping that once I see his sweet little face all my fears will melt away.

I can be unapologetic in my attempts to blog and podcast only as it works with my life. And although the inconsistency and spontaneity of it all will likely strain and stretch and suffocate the “J” part of my ISFJ self, I need to accept it. I don’t think anyone will die without their daily (or weekly, or monthly) dose of Sarah.

I can trust God with my cause. As I’ve heard Christy Nockels preach from her lovely podcast time and time again, the Lord gives us the desires and dreams of our hearts. He also gives us specific seasons of life. He is more than capable of allowing me to carry out my passions born from my experiences with Evie and Charlie, but maybe now is not the season. Maybe this is newborn/toddler/early school mom time for me and ministry me will come in a few years. I can trust Him with my dreams and desires and passions and know that I don’t have to strive for them, He has them. I only need to keep walking forward with an open hand and and open mind as to what He wants me to do in my current season.

So I will still be here. I will still write and I will still podcast. But I’m going to give myself permission to be a little more flexible with regular output and trust that you understand and won’t hate me forever because of it. I’ll still have things to share, I just know how my brain works … er, doesn’t work … when I’m tired. I need to keep my margins big so that my stress levels can feel small. Small-ish, anyway.

You’ll also still be able to find me writing for JellyTelly twice monthly (view my posts here) and Mothering Beyond Expectations* about once a month as well. Don’t forget to check out those wonderful blogs that provide a lot of great support for the parenting journey.

I think that’s all I have for now. Thanks for processing through these things with me. I’m wishing you a happy fall season with plenty of scarves and cardigans and boots and warm fires and hot apple cider. And as much PSL paraphernalia as you can stand. Happy fall, ya’ll.

*Mothering Beyond Expectations is a new collective blog developed by an old college friend of mine! If you’ve found mothering to be slightly different than what you originally expected (hello … all of us!) then head on over and be encouraged. Maybe also consider sharing a part of your motherhood journey as a guest poster. 🙂 

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  • Anna - I’ve recently been struck with something Lysa TerKeurst wrote in her newest book Uninvited. “To love God is to cooperate with His grace.” And how true is that! It’s scary when we don’t understand how He is working but His grace is sufficient. I hope you feel encouraged and know how much I love you! I’ve seen God help you through terrible things and I’m always encouraged by your testimony of love to Him! I’m excited to meet your new little love and cherish the moments I’ve had with each of your other little loves!ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - Thank you Anna. Those are such good words. I will keep those in the forefront as well <3 To love God is to cooperate with His grace …ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Ritchie - Thanks for sharing your heart! I love coffee conversations, and I especially love your heart. <3 Also, sometimes when stuff is way more up in the air than I'd like it to be, I give myself a certain time frame to not think about it until I know more, but then literally make an appointment with myself on my calendar for a time frame where I will have all the necessary info. (e.g. to use your example: "I know I will give myself ___ weeks off for maternity leave on the blog, and then I will meet with myself on January 12th to see how it's going, and make the next decision then. I'll post an update at that time."It's realistic about the control you have, and it gives you peace of mind, because there is a plan! You plan to plan in January. 🙂
    And sorry for the world's longest comment, but also, as a blog reader, sometimes missing one of my favorite authors makes me even more loyal when they do come back from a hiatus. Not that mothering is/will be a break, but you know what I mean.
    I love you! You're wonderful, inside and out, and I'm praying for your brave heart, and your beautiful little guy. He's coming soon! <3ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - That’s so good! For real. I mean I like planning, why not plan to plan 😉 I need to do that.

      I love you too Sarah … so glad you’re in my life and always speaking truth to me <3ReplyCancel

  • Holly Colonna - I love your honesty regarding fears over your 5th child entering this world and the permission it gives me to be honest about my own fears. Of course we know God’s plans are good–but we also know on an extremely intense level that His good plans often can include the things of our (earthly) nightmares. I pray He spares your new son from early death and allows your family the joy and privilege of taking him home from the hospital, allowing him to live, grow, and experience life on earth, crazy as it is. I pray your new son comes to know the Lord early, and fiercely. I pray and trust that his 2 siblings who are living on earth will both teach and learn from him, and that his 2 siblings who have gone before him to heaven will be used via the Holy Spirit to minister to him and guide him into the Kingdom. I pray that you be blessed with the gift of birthing him in water as you desire, and to labor with this baby in the way you desire, with a celestial sort of pain, caught up in a space between heaven and earth, redemptive and outstanding.ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - Holly, this is amazing and touched me so much. Thank you <3ReplyCancel

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