• Dana L. Butler

Some Honesty For You [About How I’m Struggling Lately]

I’m coming up for air today.

And this post has actually been a little hard for me to write.  Because deep down, I secretly really like y’all to think I have it fairly together.  Mostly.

But today?  I don’t know that I do.

I don’t know if I’m PMSing or what.  [Okay, actually – I’m pretty sure I am.  Keepin’ it real.]  But life feels a little more overwhelming than normal lately.

Prior to the last week or so, I’ve been rolling with the intensity of adjusting to parenting 2 kiddos pretty well:

“Moms adjust to 2 kids all. the. time.  Roll with it, Dana.  You’ve got this.  His grace is enough for this.”

And let me say this first: I am so CRAZY-thankful for our baby girl – absolutely ADORE her.  She’s amazing and sweet and incredibly beautiful.

But can I be real with you guys for a minute?

She also has reflux.  Gas.  Colic.

Thought We’d Learned Our Lessons

Now, big brother?  He had all of the above as well.  He was an even more challenging as a baby than Maia has been thus far.

I feel like the Lord used Isaac’s babyhood to strip me completely of the idea that I could possibly exert an ounce of control over my baby’s schedule/sleep/eating.  Or my own, for that matter.

Enter Maia.

We just knew God wouldn’t give us another baby with such major digestive issues.  Surely He’d refined us sufficiently through Isaac’s struggles – right?

How wrong we were!

This poor precious baby girl.  We have tried donated breast milk.  Expensive Whole Foods formula.  Goat milk formula in various forms.

Nothing helps her.  🙁

I will say though that we’ve recently had some measure of success with a couple different reflux medications that her doctor has prescribed.

But even though Maia’s less of a challenge than Isaac was as a baby, the combination of her needs and Isaac’s almost-3-year-old-ness continues to be quite a challenge to me on a lot of days.

It’s Not Easy, Y’all

To be completely honest, I’ve struggled lately.

Struggled to maintain focus and perspective.  Struggled to discern and respond to the invitations of Jesus in the midst of the daily grind.  Struggled to remember that He receives my service to my family as worship.  To zone in on His nearness and tap into His grace for each moment.

In the last several days, the thought has occurred to me more than once – I need to go back and read my own words. 🙂

Back when I was a mom of one, writing to other moms about encountering Jesus in the midst of our long mothering days, I knew the things I was writing held true no matter how many children one was mothering.  No matter the intensity of one’s parenting circumstances.

Things like this (From How Interruptions Aren’t Really Interruptions):

And God offers us grace to cherish these moments – the here and now – when we turn our hearts toward Him in the midst of them.  These “interruptions” of our “real” life that are REALLY our LIFE. And there’s LIFE to be found in them. There’s LIFE to be found when I choose to stop feeling interrupted and wholeheartedly embrace this moment, the one I’ve been given.   When I jump into RIGHT NOW with both feet, my heart anticipating divine encounter. God’s waiting in the right now, wanting to reveal Himself, to offer grace for the “interruptions” that make up our real life.   Grace to stop feeling interrupted and be fully present – to God, and to our lives.

And these thoughts about a tough mothering day that left me feeling sorry for myself (from Obliterating Mommy-Martyer Syndrome):

This was SO not something I could pull off in my own strength.  I had been powerless to “fix” myself on my own.  It was the grace of God, His kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). The moment I repented for trying to walk on my own and intentionally – in my heart – leaned into Him again, trusting Him as my Source?  The grace was there.  Everything I needed was there. It’s all found in dependence on Him.

I knew they were truth.  Across the board.  1 kid or 10.

But I remember wondering – back in those mom-of-one days – how I’d do at continuing to live tuned in to the nearness of God if/when He finally allowed us to adopt a baby.

How I’d adjust to being a mom of 2 littles.  How I’d cope.

How I’d focus and respond to His invitations throughout my days when the intensity level of said days rose a notch or two.

And just shooting straight with y’all here – some days it’s easy (sort of).  Some days (like the last few) it is NOT.

I lose focus.  I run low on patience.  I have to apologize to Isaac for speaking to him in anger and not in love.


Sometimes being a mom of two brings out my ugly.

I am so humbled, y’all.  And oh, how I will (try to) never again judge moms who speak a little too harshly to their kids in the grocery store.

I’m learning at a whole ‘nother level what it means to be brought to the end of myself.

Running Into His Strength

This afternoon I found myself praying something like, “Lord, I know your strength is supposed to be perfected in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).  Please, PLEASE, show me what that looks like practically in this season!”

And I know He will – if I keep looking to Him.

Tonight I read 1 Corinthians 15.

My Bible app on my phone miraculously started working (hasn’t worked correctly in months) while I was feeding Maia a bottle.  Maybe not a coincidence?

And as I was reading, I almost physically felt a weight lifting off of my heart.

His grace.  A breath of fresh air.

I am absolutely running out of strength– and running into His strength.

He really. is. faithful.

And Life Is So Good

Moving on with life.  Tomorrow’s Tuesday.  We finalize our sweet girl’s adoption this Friday.  Life is so good.  GOD is so good.

And I fully know that this is just. a. season.  One of these days, I’ll blink and it’ll be over.  Maia’ll be a happy, fun, busy toddler and sometimes I’ll just ache to hold her and cuddle her on my shoulder like I did when she was a newborn.

And God uses the pressure [good pressure!] of seasons like this to refine.  To reveal Himself.  To draw me nearer to His heart.  To manifest His perfect strength in my glaringly weak places.

I pray that I respond to Him well in this season.  That I let Him have His way in my heart in the midst of all of it.

Reaching out to y’all – would you pray with me?  for me?

Blessings and love and great grace to you, my friends.

A quick dose of Maia-cuteness for ya before I call it a night 🙂

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