In the spring of 2008 I first prayed for a baby, and in the spring of 2011 God answered that prayer with the birth of our beautiful daughter. My joy was full but so were the fears I wrestled. In some ways I felt like a baby Christian again, caught in a whirlwind of emotions, learning and applying what I have known and trusted into a completely new life - I know I'm definitely not the first to feel that! Friends of ours had given us a card when their first son was born; it was full of prayer requests for his little life, a prayer for every day of the month. My prayers were not quite as coherent as those, especially at first, but the urgency of the moment drove me to my knees. “Help her, help me” baby prayers at 3am; prayers as I heard the baby monitor light up in the morning; prayers when I thought of her safety, her soul, her future; prayers with my husband; prayers while Eliza listened in.
When people found out that I was pregnant one of the most frequent comments I received was how my creativity would discover a whole new vista of inspiration as I became a mother. So, when Eliza came I was anticipating a fresh flow of profound poetic thought, but instead I was swept up in the constant flow of changes and feedings and “Old MacDonald had a farm!” I was expecting full sentences, but I was blubbering looking at my beautiful girl! I actually wondered if I'd ever be able to write again. I just about tucked some thoughts away to ponder later when my brain would start to fit itself back together again (still nowhere near a completed process!). As I continued to learn the wonderful balancing act and privilege of mothering, homemaking, writing, traveling and singing, Keith and I began to write a song for Eliza choosing this theme of praying for her, and the end result was “A Mother's Prayer.”
My parents have faithfully prayed for me my whole life, and I remember when I was younger my mum met with other mums to pray for all their children – a “Moms in Touch” group in Belfast. Even just the knowledge of that helped me, and I want Eliza to know we are praying for her and trying to guide her in this context that reaches to the call and purpose of her whole life and an understanding of the Lord's grace and faithfulness. We're now in the toddler stage and some of the prayer needs are shifting.
We wanted the song to reflect the different seasons - ones we had discovered and then those still to come. We also wrote it to remind us of our promise to pray for her through all the years we're given. We hope this song for her – and even more our praying for her – might catch her ear and help guide her heart as she grows up.
[embed width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoy74orJu10[/embed]
I noticed an older journal of mine amongst the debris of an Eliza playtime around my bookshelf and sat down to leaf through it. Before the sickness and tiredness of pregnancy, in the days when I had time in abundance and thought I was 'busy', my most focused and best devotional times were always when I journaled. To my shame, through pregnancy, and even now I have not managed to be anywhere near as consistent as I'd like to be or need to be. But in this newly discovered old notebook I read through a few prayers I had scribbled pre and post baby and remembered again God's continuing faithfulness through the transitions of new life, chapters and all the unknown days ahead. It also inspired me to really focus on journaling again! I noted some of the prayers below - they're nothing grand!- but I hope they might help someone in someway...
December 26th, 2010 (10 weeks until baby comes)
'Lord, help me not be afraid'
January 4th, 2011
'Father in heaven. What a miracle it is that a little one is hidden inside of me and that You are weaving her together piece by piece, inch by inch; that You know all her days before they come to be, her abilities, her struggles, her humor, her disposition, the color of her eyes, the shape of her feet. Such knowledge is too marvelous for me. I praise You for she is fearfully and wonderfully made. Lord please protect her within my womb...'
January 8th, 2011 - 8 weeks and 2 days till baby comes
'Thank you for this little child within my womb - may she very early in life add her praise to the great song of praise and that those looking on might see Your goodness and strength through her young voice. Help us teach her Lord, inspire her, make known what is right and how holiness is always beautiful...'
The same day -
'I think today of those ladies I know who long to be mothers remembering my own heartache and how hard it is to wait and not know. Father, please enable them to conceive and carry babies full term. Help them to get through each day fulfilling what it is you have called them to for that moment. May their greatest delight be in You and if children do not come move in their hearts by Your grace that they may not be lost in the distraction or disappointment but know Your healing and purpose for their lives. You know the pain - draw near to them this day'
April 8th, 2011 (Eliza is 5 and a 1/2 weeks old)
'Father in heaven, thank You for this new morning and safety and rest through the night as Your unsleeping eye watched over us. Thank You that all our nights and all our days are known and measured by You. Thank You for the joy of family and that You love and care for each member of my family more than I ever could. And yet the love of a mother is both fierce and gentle, strong and tender - thank You for our beautiful baby. Forgive my anxious thoughts, worries and any idolatry in my heart. She is Your child and may I love and serve You well in loving and protecting her to the best of my ability. May I love and honor You by loving and honoring my husband well. Thank You for Your care of me in these last weeks'
First Mother's Day - May 8th, 2011
'Today is my first Mother's Day as a mother - thank you Lord for enabling me to be a mother and for the precious gift of Eliza in our lives. Help me be a godly and gentle and hardworking and loving and joyful mother to the glory of Christ. May He be first in our hearts as we pray He will be first in Eliza's heart' ______________________________
Kristyn, what a treat to have you as a guest writer! We appreciate your openness about your faith and motherhood. Thank you for collaborating with us on this Mother's Day project and for reminding us that the most important thing for our children is that they know Jesus' everlasting love! God's continued blessings to you and your family!
If you missed Kristyn's introduction to her song, "A Mother's Prayer", no fret! Click here and you can hear more about the background of the song and little Eliza Joy who inspired it all. :)
Leading up to Mother's day, we will be sharing intimate posts related to Kristyn Getty's "A Mother's Prayer" and how our relationships as mothers and daughters are reflected in the lyrics.