SHANNON :: MOTHERHOOD

indianapolis portrait photographer captures mom and daughter  

MORE OF MY PRAYER FOR OLIVIA I want her to have the kind of spirit that only comes through knowing you. I pray life comes easy to her. I want her to know it’s better to be kind than to be right. I want her to surround herself with good friends. The kind of friends that can wipe dirt from her face without judgment, that can build her up, that can help during troubles and double her joy, friends that can enrich her life and invest in her. The kind of friends you have blessed me with. I want her to be the kind of girl that doesn’t let kids eat alone at lunch. I pray she is someone known for her character. I know she is going to mess up. However, I pray she doesn’t mess up so badly that there are life altering consequences. I also pray during these hard times that we are always her first call for help.

I want home to be a place of refuge and love. A place she can find your grace and mercy. I want home to be a place she wants to be. A place of happiness and peace. I pray that when she looks at our marriage she sees a great picture of you. I am grateful for this precious life you have given us. And while I haven’t even met her yet I already know she is going to be wonderful. I pray the way we raise her brings a smile to your face and that you would lead and guide our steps through parenthood. I know that without your love and faithfulness we could not do it. It says in scripture that you came to give us life and that we may live it to the fullest. I intend to take you up on that offer and enjoy parenting to its fullest. I love you and am thankful that you hear me. I am thankful you are who you say you are. I am thankful for this life growing in me. And I am so thankful for Kevin. In the days to come may we never lose sight of how blessed we are to have one another. How blessed we are for our families and most of all how blessed we are to have your love.

In Jesus’ name Amen.

 


 

I have one little girl, Olivia Ruth Sauer, who will be two on December 15th. I'm also expecting our second little girl in early March of 2015! I want to raise my daughters to be the type of women that care about people more than things, that want to do what's right more than whats cool, and to be women that always strive to leave places they've been more beautiful than when they arrived. I want them to be the kind of women other people want to know.

My husband and I were dating when we found out about Olivia's arrival into the world. We had known for some time we would get married and were anxious for that time. However, she came to us as a big surprise. The biggest surprise we've ever had. I can remember crying thinking how much was going to change in such a short time, and how different things would be than our original plan. Had I only known then how much better our life would unfold than the way we had it mapped out. We started a great adventure together the day we found out we were pregnant. A journey that we take the most pride in and plan on taking full advantage of.

When Olivia was born, the first time they put Olivia in my arms all I could think was "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS BABY WAS LIVING INSIDE ME YESTERDAY! THIS IS CRAZY!" And then the feeling of shock quickly passed and I was totally consumed with love and astonishment that she was our baby. It really an experience unlike any other. There I was with a baby of my own. And with that giant wave of love that rushed over me in the same way a rush of responsibility did as well. I knew that this was going to be the one thing in life I wanted to get right. This was the one thing I wanted to shine brightest at. I wanted to be the mother this perfect baby deserved. And while I mess up a lot, and I mean a lot, I can say that is my goal everyday. I still remember holding her for the first time thinking she is starting life with this blank canvas and it is my job to make it as beautiful as I can for as long as I can.

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Olivia has made me realize what is important in life. She teaches me everyday to find the beauty in the world and to appreciate the details. See, she never lets flowers go unnoticed or puppies uncelebrated. She is seeing the world for the first time and exploring its beauty. And seeing her see life for the first time allows me to live life twice. I get to see the magic in the world again. I get to see wonder where time had made things dull. She changes and challenges me everyday.

The best thing about being a mom is that I now understand and appreciates God's love for me more than I ever have before. I remember rocking Olivia to sleep one night (when she was a newborn) thinking how can I love something with every fiber of my being that does nothing for me. At that point she could not give me love in any way, yet I didn't care. It was the perfect love. I loved her wanting nothing in return. And I remember in that moment thinking that this is how God loves me. Since that day I have had countless moments where the same feeling has came over me. I am so thankful that God loves me in the "no matter what" kind of way. And after having a child I understand why the best comparison he could give for his love for us was a mothers love for her children.

One of the challenges for me is knowing that she is going to have struggles and there is nothing I can do about it. There is no amount of love or shelter that I can give that will prevent her heart from being broken. I am a fixer, so knowing I will not be able to fix all her problems is hard.

It surprises me how as a mother I never get a break. I don't mean that in a poor, poor me way. In fact, we live very close to both sets of grandparents and have wonderful relationships with them. My husband and I get breaks all the time. However, she's never far from my mind. I never hang my "mom" hat up for the day. No matter what I am doing or where I am, I am her mom. This is a beautiful thing and can also feel like a "there's no light at the end of the tunnel" thing. I am always surprised at how much of motherhood becomes who you are and not just what you do. I don't think people fill you in on this because there is no way to explain it until you've been there. And once you're there all you can do is nod and say "me too. I know exactly what you mean."

It not my words so I can't take credit for them, but David wrote in the book of Psalms "there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning". This is something I find myself repeating on hard days "joy comes in the morning." So moms, remember, everyday is a new day. And don't confuse a bad day with a bad life. You can have moments in your parenting where you feel like a failure. You WILL have days where your kid drives you insane and you will remember a simpler time before they were born. (I am always shocked at how many people say they can't remember life without their children. I totally can and it was great!) However, just allow yourself the time to feel your feelings. And then look at that sweet life you love so much and you will find joy again. I am always amazed at no matter how bad a day can be there is always joy in the morning. Also, be present. Don't confuse proximity with presence.

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ASHLEE LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY provides both studio and outdoor, natural light photography in Indianapolis, Indiana. The studio in located in downtown Indy near the canal and IUPUI. Family photography, as well as newborn sessions, maternity pictures are provided.