A Surprising Birthday Gift at 2am

On the eve of my 30th birthday, I eagerly anticipated the events of the following day. I was excited to go to breakfast, open presents, see friends, and have a date night with my boys. As I fed Luca one last time before I laid down to sleep, I hoped it would be a good night. By “good,” I mean, I hoped that Luca would sleep a little longer than 3 hours before needing to be fed again. Usually, if I can just get one 4-hour stretch, I’m good to go. Well, a 4-hour stretch didn’t quite happen. It REALLY didn’t happen. I should have been exhausted and cranky because of this, but I wasn’t. In fact, it ended-up being the best worst night’s sleep I ever had.

Luca woke-up once EVERY hour on the eve of my birthday. He was very fussy and even screamed a couple of times. Waking-up to a scream is unnerving but I really felt bad for Luca. The poor guy was getting his second tooth and wasn’t happy about it. Let’s just say that my son seems to be more sensitive to pain than other babies. I tried to comfort him as best I could. At one point, he actually slept on my chest, something we haven’t done in months. Needless to say, I didn’t get very good sleep that night.

There was something that happened though, I’d say it was around 2am. Luca woke up crying (something he very rarely does) and I guessed that he was teething again. In that moment, as he whimpered in my arms, I knew that this was a birthday gift. My birthday gift was the profound realization that I was deeply needed by this precious little soul and that all of the things that were once important (like a birthday celebration) no longer mattered. In this moment, a little baby needed his Mama. He didn’t know that it was my birthday and that he should treat me extra special that day. No. He just knew that he was in pain and that I would comfort him.

This realization brought me peace and a deep-seated JOY. There’s something about knowing the purpose behind our pain that makes it less painful. I was tired, I was disappointed, but those feelings were now outweighed by a peaceful joy. As I laid there with my son in my arms, I reflected on my life. My twenties were a time of self-discovery and well, ME. My thirties will be marked by continued self-growth in the direction of becoming more selfless. The thing is, I’ve prayed for years that God would help rid me of selfishness. He has answered my prayer by making me  a wife and now, a mother.

I’m not trying to sound like some kind of martyr or anything. Being a wife and mom has brought me more joy than I knew was possible. However, my life is no longer my own. Marriage and motherhood come at a cost. The cost is freedom but the gain is true love, purpose, and above all sanctification. I am thankful for the way my marriage has grown me. I am now thankful for how motherhood has deepened my capacity for love, humbled my pride, and realigned my priorities. My selfishness is slowly being chipped away.

I couldn’t have asked for a better gift on my 30th birthday.

Thank you God, for bringing me one step closer to sanctification. And thank you, thank you, thank you for my two loves.

1-Caleb Luca Balboa

If you liked this post, you may also like:

On Becoming Interruptable

God is a Gentleman

The Loneliness of Motherhood


9 thoughts on “A Surprising Birthday Gift at 2am

  1. I kind of needed to her that this morning. I’ll admit that I have been a little bitter about the fact that Cory was able to go on a long overseas adventure, and I was stuck home with a baby. I even said to him last night that my ‘Lindsey adventures’ were over. It’s so hard sometimes to not be selfish. But slowly motherhood really is chipping it away. I try to savor the special moments as much as I can. Even now as I write this Darcy is flipping my shirt and harassing me. It won’t last forever. 🙂


  2. One of my favorite posts and as always hitting so close to home. When we are children we don’t understand that giving is better than getting. How could it we are wired to receive (like Luca). But now giving is the best, not always easy but certainly the most gratifying. Maybe the older we become the more we understand it.
    Keep em coming mama!


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