And then she smiled

The past few weeks have been hard. A combination of work, remodeling noise in the office that has interfered with Alice’s napping, and new mobility that has rendered her travel bed obsolete for naps in the office (she can crawl right out–and does!) has made me a little crazy. In the head.

Picture this: a baby is crying for all she’s worth, covered in snot. She’s exhausted but won’t nap, and is wailing like it’s the end of the world and mama has left town without her. The phone is ringing and it’s a customer who is particularly needy. My boss is leaving for a trip the next morning and at the last minute needs me to put a presentation together. Which I need to finish before he leaves the office in an hour so that he can print it (and yes, my baby is still crying). My boss bought lunch for us, but it’s 4pm and I still haven’t had time to actually eat it. I can’t mother Alice like I want. I can’t focus on work and get it done efficiently like I want, and I think my head might actually explode this time.

At the height of my mental chaos, when I feel like I’m about to fall into a hundred pieces, I cry out to God: help me. Sometimes that’s all I can do, but if I have a little extra in me, I add, keep me from sinning. Because I can sense that I’m about to scream, or swear, or give myself over to anger/despair/panic.

I trust in his providence that he is using this time to sanctify me. I always comfort myself during hard times by saying “God isn’t letting any of my suffering go to waste. He’s going to use every ounce of it to accomplish something.”

I’m not sure what, but he won’t let it be for nothing, I’m convinced.

And let me add on to this: I am so thankful. I don’t feel thankful when I’m caught up in the tornado of emotions of a bad day, but as soon as I have a minute to compose my brain and think a coherent thought or two, I remember that all of the things that feel like a disaster are actually a blessing. I have a healthy, gorgeous baby. Case in point:


I have a boss that allows me to bring her to work. Add to that a job that is normally quite calm and manageable.

I get to leave around 2 or 3pm every day and then work from home until 5pm. I get to work from home all day on Fridays. I have a boss who doesn’t mind the wailing of a baby, and has done absolutely everything to accommodate the two of us.

God is good!

And of course, when I see this little face, my heart sings.



And when she smiles . . .

DSC_0015. . . my cup not only overflows, but I see that it was overflowing all along.

5 thoughts on “And then she smiled

  1. Twinky Satterthwaite

    Yay!! A new post of my favorite granddaughter!! And my favorite oldest daughter!! And a God who is taking care of both of them in amazing ways!! Hang in there =)

  2. Kate

    Oh sweetie! When juggling homeschooling and part time work at home, I liked to remember what Susan Sarandon said “You can’t pay someone who wants to be with your children as much as you do.” You’re also showing her that sometimes things don’t go her way at the moment she wants but she IS free to communicate her displeasure to you. And you’re giving her the message that you can handle all sides of her – not just the sunny side. I think it’s a great lesson! Your Mom’s comment reminds me of what I said to my two kids when they asked who was my favorite child. “I love you more but you better.” This post makes me think of Annie Lemott’s quote about there being two prayers “Help Me” and “Thank You.” I admire all you’re doing!

  3. Veronica

    Oh Jenna you are such a strong woman and I’m so sorry that strength is being put to the test!! I do love how you turn the focus to your blessings because they are so very true. I hope this insanity passes and if not….do you think you’ll still quit after the year’s time is up like you were counting down to when you first returned?


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