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This week has been physically and emotionally draining. Baby Boy is teething, which means we are both covered in drool, neither of us are sleeping well, and at least one of us is usually cranky. Then on Wednesday, I was spared from witnessing a young woman take her own life by just minutes.

At 12:55 pm, my co-workers and I were getting ready to take the children we work with for a walk, and right before we left, a 25 year old woman threw herself off a balcony of the 28th floor of the building next door, landing just feet away from our entrance. Inside our building, we just reached the lobby when someone stopped us, and we could see police lights flashing outside the glass doors.

When I heard that the person was a woman so close to my age, it struck something inside of me. A summary of my life flashed through my head, and I couldn’t imagine ending it so soon. Who was she? What was she like? What was troubling her? Did she know that there was a church right next door, where she could’ve talked to someone instead of doing this?

These are the thoughts that ran through my head when I saw the white tarp covering the spot where she still laid, surrounded by flashing lights, people in uniforms, and yellow tape.

Why do these things happen?

I couldn’t get my head around it.

While driving home from work, I pass by another church that has a bell and steeple. My mind was still buzzing, trying to process everything.

Traffic slowed down on the road in front of this church and I could hear its bell begin to toll the hour. Soon, the noise of traffic picked up, and cars slowly started rolling forward. Yet, I could still pick out the sound of that sweet bell above the roar of motors and the shrill honking. I counted its chimes for the hour and felt a sense of calm.

It was like God’s “still, small voice” piercing the clamor of the day, reminding me that even more faithfully than that bell announces the hours, God is always…always…good. Even when I don’t understand what is happening or why, I can always rest in Him. He is bigger, stronger, greater than any situation – beyond my own sight or understanding.

I still don’t know anything more about the young woman who died, but I think about her when I drive past her spot on my way home, and I pray. I pray for the family and friends she left behind. And I pray for myself, that I will never forget to cling to the hope that Jesus has given me. No matter what is going on around me or in me, I need to listen for that voice to guide me, to speak truth into my soul.

What reminds you of His voice? What or who is He speaking through to you?

*Ah-choo*

Please excuse me a moment while I dust off these keys…

So, apparently having a baby is everything everyone ever told me it would be: time-consuming, stressful, sleep-depriving, busy, really busy, scary, confusing, messy…

And absolutely wonderful!

In the past five months, my whole world has been turned upside down, shaken senseless, and re-prioritized. Some parts have been downright painful (like labor, delivery, nursing, and hormonally-driven emotional surges), but there are other parts that have been just…amazing. Completely, breathtakingly amazing.

Before the birth of my son, nothing and no one would make me understand what it’s like to be the mother a chubby, toothless wonder that has stolen your heart away by doing nothing else but simply existing. Or that I’ll actually be OK with being pooped on, peed on, vomited on, drooled on, chewed on, and bit by him, because he’s got the most beautiful toothless smile you’ve ever seen. I’ve heard at least two people describe motherhood as “watching your heart walk around outside your body,” which I have personally found to be true.

Of course, it’s not all lollipops and rainbows over at my house – don’t get me wrong. My laundry has piled up, the floors need to be scrubbed, my bed hasn’t been made since…yeah, let’s not go there, and you probably shouldn’t turn on the light if you want to use my bathroom. My husband and I haven’t fought this much in a five-month time span since we were engaged while living 1,300 miles apart. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, and don’t get me started on the list of things that nobody tells you about when you’re pregnant.

But, I am surviving and, dare I say, thriving by the grace of God. His grace keeps me going. It allows me to soothe the crying baby when all I want is for someone to hold me so I can have my own good cry. It helps me get dinner on the table when I want to just crawl under the covers and hope my messy house will just go away. It shows me how to love and respect my husband when we’re both sleep-deprived and cranky. It lets me be OK with the fact that there is no manual for being a parent.

I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of space on this blog processing what I’m going through and learning, now that I’m a mother. Some people may find it to be just another mom blog, but I hope that for some it will be an encouragement. Maybe you’ll relate, maybe you’ll get some insight, maybe you’ll even have some advice for me. However it happens, my life is forever changed because five months ago my son was born, and there’s no going back. So here I go…