Photo credit: @jpr.photos
I always knew when these pictures were taken on Mother's Day last weekend, that they may be the last photos of me in freedom for a while... And it seems they are. I write this from my hospital bed... The prospect of four weeks in hospital ahead of me, and the hardest bit is knowing this little family of mine will be fending for themselves. A month feels like a long time away from your husband and children, and the uncertainty surrounding the arrival of our last little bundle makes answering questions difficult.
But I'm thankful to have enjoyed this last week of freedom....
Watching my youngest daughter splashing about in the swimming pool, the biggest grin on her face... Chatting over big decisions with my husband... Quiet mornings playing trains with my little boy, an evening snuggled up in bed with my big girl reading her chapter book to me.
When I said goodbye to the children yesterday morning, it was with a lump in my throat... Our eldest, eyes serious and downcast, seems to get some sense of the situation... My littlest girl was chirpy and cheery, her little world unshaken for the time being, and our youngest clung to me... Not understanding why mama was leaving him again.
And it's days like this that make me realise that precious as these photos are, one happy family posing for the camera, it is the little ordinary moments of the everyday that really capture what family is all about. Being there for each other, spending time together, chatting over dinner, working through disagreements, laughing at some silly expression or terrible joke.
It's these things you cling to in the hard moments.
I've shed tears in the last 24 hours, it seems so hard to be away from this little brood of mine. But there have been tears of joy too... Of recognition of the things I so often take for granted. Of thankfulness for my amazing husband, for these three little souls who have been entrusted to us, and this fourth little soul I am carrying who is growing stronger by the day.
And thankfulness for my own family, who in all the in- and outing of hospital this past month have dropped everything to support us, and who I know will pick up the pieces and keep things as normal as possible for our little crew while Mama is away.
Honestly, I am so grateful for each one of you...
Me, and all of mine; God-sent precious gifts whom he has provided to help me weather this storm, and keep pointing me to him.
And to all of our dear friends, wider family, church family, local community and even the Instagram community who have rallied round, promising prayers and meals and visits... Thank you. Every text, every message, every phone call means so much.
And to the Lord Jesus, who knows my struggles, wipes my tears and promises hope go the greatest thanks of all.
All for your glory.