Way to persevere, baby girl!

I tell people all the time that parenting and motherhood have been so much easier than Chris or I expected it to be. We have been blessed with a super laid back baby girl who just wants to be loved on, smile and squeal. She likes to sleep through the night, take good naps in the day, put rolls on her belly, and meet her milestones on time or ahead of time. Pretty awesome stuff, we sure are loving every minute of it!

That being said, transitions are always a little weird around here... specifically when they involve feeding this child.

Transitioning from tube feedings to nursing... incorporating bottles, trying to unincorporate bottles, pumping... pumping... pumping... trying to stop pumping, attempting exclusive nursing... starting pumping again, starting to incorporate full formula bottles, and finally, rice cereal... FROM A SPOON. I can't get over that... we have a 5 1/2 month old on our hands here, how did that happen so fast??

Anyways, all of this has definitely revealed something to me... Mercy and I have this in common: we like to take the easy way out.

It has been extremely hard for me to continue the nursing battle, but we're doing ok and as hard as it's been, I'm super glad that I've persevered. All that 'gladness' aside, every single day I've highly considered taking the easy way out and just going full formula.

And I don't think it's been too much easier on Mercy's end either. She knows her bottles and she stares them down while she's nursing! There were times she would just scream and scream, refusing to nurse until I would give her some milk from the bottle, then we would try again... Thank God, that's not where we are today, but definitely part of the journey!

So when we started the rice cereal we didn't know what to expect.... and it has been such a familiar experience. I had to start hiding her bottle  because she would scream and just look at it, as if she were begging, "Mommy, pllleeeease!!!! This is tooo hard, I'm hungry and this is soooo sloooow!" I gave in a couple times, I cried a few times, I made Chris take over several times... Oh, we were not enjoying this transition!

Watch this:

That's how we have our rice cereal these days! So sweet, right???

Just took a little perseverance on baby girl's part, and we're good to go now! It is part of the morning and evening that I think we both look forward to now. I just can't get enough of those squeals!

Momma was trying to give up... Mercy kept going, through the tears and the frustration and the awfulness of WAITING and not understanding what that new weird consistency stuff was... she kept going.

...and now she is all smiles, loving every bit of it, even acting like she wants more when we're done! So proud of that sweet girl!

Watching her own this really got me thinking about my tendency to take the easy way on A LOT of the things I do every day... as a housewife, as a mom, as a daughter of the King. I have a super lazy streak, and that really contributes to just doing what's quicker and easier instead of what's better and might take a little more effort... not something I'm proud of, but something that's true.

Here's another little nugget of truth for you:
We're not promised ease. In fact, we're promised quite the opposite:

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b)

That's Jesus talking there... He also said this:

“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)

Talk about not taking the easy way out, right?? And this is what He asks of us:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:23-25)

Nope... not promised ease at all... and believe me, that's not an 'easy' message for a lazy girl!

But one thing I know for sure is this: It. Is. Worth. It!

It's worth the extra effort, the frustration, pain, persecution, hardships... it's worth every bit of it!

Wanna know why?

"...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)

So why should we care about being loved by God? Because this is what He promises us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

...and how can we not put in the effort it takes to live in amazement and gratitude for that!

Eventually Mercy's going to move on the next thing, and we'll learn and grow together again... I will continue to look back at these times, that sweet video, and remember those squeals... How worth it it was for her to persevere and put the extra work into eating from that spoon, how squealingly happy it made her... and hopefully I will learn again and again from her perseverance as I seek to put real effort into being a Godly wife and momma.

Where are some areas of your life that you tend to take the easy way out?

For me, it's keeping my house clean, folding the laundry (I really just want to throw it all in the drawers, but ironing... that's really a lot of work!), cooking good meals (instead of frozen pizza several times a week!), relationships, confrontation, really getting into God's word... Sometimes my desire for ease leads to sin, to unbelief, to growing backwards... and that's something I need to work on.

Let's work on it together... Let's do this:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:1-3

It's gonna take some effort to break the habit of taking the easy way out... it's time to stop being lazy, friends, and start really living for the One who gave His very life so that you and I might have an eternity of rest and ease within His presence. Pretty awesome. Pretty worth it!