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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

human BEING.

My favorite part of pregnancy was the birth.

Yes, you read that correctly. The 6 hours of labor at the hospital, with the grand finale of 20 minutes of pushing was my favorite part. Don’t ask my husband, I am pretty sure my scream at the end is one he will never forget; BUT being handed my baby boy moments after is something I will never forget.

It was the first part of the whole process where doing something led to an outcome. I knew if I just kept going, soon it would be over. BONUS: I would get to hold my baby.

The last 9 months, and now first two weeks of postpartum has taught me a lot about myself. I am a doer (no surprise there), who has a hard time with being.

I am most often stuck somewhere in the future dreaming, and planning for what is next. This gives me plenty of things to do, and often not a whole lot of time for things like rest, presence, and simply being. Well news flash, life with a newborn is a whole lot of being. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to get my normal list of things done, and I have had to rely pretty heavily on my husband’s support. To say this has been difficult, would be an understatement.

Even now, Jedidiah lays on one side of me, and Bellie on the other. I stare at my screen hoping to feel some ounce of accomplishment at having completed something. Being is an intentional exercise. One where we embrace the mundane, we name our blessings, and we allow the work to be done in us, as opposed to through us.

All of it reminds me of a familiar biblical story, the story of the sisters Mary and Martha. The biblical passage in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) reads as follows:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

On any given day I am Martha. I attempt to perfect wife, friend, sister, Executive Director….and now mom. In my mind in order to “do” all of those things I have to keep going. In reality all of those roles are asking for me to be. There will always be more work to do, but the relationships, those don’t evolve without presence. Which begs one question, why do we feel like we need to earn our place in people’s lives? What is the motive behind your doing, and who in your life can you simply just be with? Are you more Martha, or Mary?

The irony in all of this, is our son’s name is about resting in our status as beloved. It’s the reminder that there isn’t a thing we can do to earn God’s love, it is a gift, the perfect gift that empowers us to live loved. There’s nothing we can do to earn it, and in the same breath nothing we can do to lose it. What a gift. This just goes to show we can know things in our mind, but it’s the hard and intentional work of letting that truth…be in our hearts.

Labor was about doing, the real work is figuring out how to be a mom. Taylor and Jed (don’t forget about Bellie) deserve my full being. So I will keep wrestling with the tension of being a whole lot less productive, and anticipate the great work He is doing in me.

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