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A calm, sweet spirit
July 12, 2012 - April Leiffer Henry
Before I got pregnant with Cecilia, I read a small, obscure book called “Supernatural Childbirth.” In it, author Jackie Mize describes her struggles with infertility and miscarriage. Encouraged by the Bible’s promises, she began praying for healthy conception, pregnancy and delivery. She and her husband Terry eventually welcomed four children into their home, crediting God for each miracle.
A large portion of the book details prayers the Mizes used, many of them based on scripture passages. During our efforts to conceive, I also offered these prayers to the Lord. Lifting up specific requests for perfect conception and implantation helped renew my faith. In fact, I prayed with a faith I hadn’t experienced in years; I really began believing what I asking for.
After those initial prayers were answered, I moved on to addressing the baby’s development. In addition to asking for perfect formation of all the body’s systems, I regularly prayed for the baby to have a “calm, sweet spirit” and to “sleep well,” so Mike and I could also get adequate rest to take care of two children.
Ever since Cecilia was only a couple weeks old, people have been telling me what a "good baby" she is. Of course I've noticed that she rarely fusses and hardly every cries. Yes, it is relatively easy to take care of her.
I have to wonder, however, if the opposite were true, if she fussed a lot or cried frequently, would people say she is a "bad baby?" No, I doubt it, though they may think to themselves that she is "difficult."
For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about how to respond to someone who says, "Oh, she's such a good baby" or "She's really an easy baby." I mostly hear these sentiments from the women who work at day care. While I suppose I appreciate that they notice her easygoing nature, I've not known exactly what to say. "Thank you?" Or perhaps "I know?"
Then, I remembered the words "calm, sweet spirit" and how often I asked God for that characteristic. I knew I didn't deserve any credit for Cecilia's laid back temperament. It occurred to me -- I should be thanking God for answering that prayer.
Writing all of this has made me ponder what parents of "difficult" babies might think of this post. In response, I can only say that God does not always answer our prayers the way we think he should. In this case, he did, and I am grateful. But, there have been many times in my life when his answer has been "Wait" or "No, I have something better in mind."
All that said, I would love Cecilia just as much if her temperament was not mellow. The Lord gives all of us -- babies included -- different personalities that shape us into the people he wants us to become.
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