Precious

He was a boy who was a little too old to be buckled into the cart with seats at Target. I recognized right away that he must have some disabilities. But I also noticed his smile right away. This was a happy, beautiful child.

Dear mama, thank you for giving him life. Not just allowing him birth (although that is becoming less common and destroying life that might be imperfect more so). Thank you for giving him the best life. Do you know how I know?

His bib.

It is bright white, not a stain on it. He must soil them with drool and food, but you take care of even this small detail. Thank you for caring.

We walk out to the parking lot together, you carrying your child and me carrying my purchases. It is raining, so you pull his hood up and over his head. By his wide grin and upturned face, though, I don’t think he minded the raindrops one bit. Another lady is headed in the same direction and we share a smile at your son’s joy.

As I watch you buckle him up while I pull away, I pray for you, Dear Jesus, gird her with strength for this day, and the days ahead. I am guessing even the difficulties of his care can reach a monotony. If she does not know You, I pray that You would reveal Yourself to her; may she see You in that precious boy’s smile.

I know I do.

Welcome Baby

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Just when I have the opportunity to write, the words don’t want to come. I’m almost a day out from Julia’s arrival; at this time yesterday I was trying my darndest to get an epidural, not knowing that she would be born in only forty more minutes. That is the rough side of many hard experiences in life- we know not when they are to end, we want to give up… when the answer, the reward, is just around the corner. I didn’t mean to go all devotional on us, but it is true.

This had to be the shortest labor of any I have had. They didn’t even start the pit until 7:30, and she was born at 11:55. I think this is what I expected Elijah’s induction to be like, and when it instead became an all day affair, I decided I wouldn’t get my hopes up for Julia. I packed the Mitford book I was reading, my phone with Spanish app for practice, my iPod with music, trying to provide plenty to fill the hours (I thought). This did turn out to be a good tactic- I read for the majority of the time, then did my Spanish. In other labors I have avoided time-fillers, and I am not sure why. It definitely helped me keep distracted from the mounting pain.

She’s a sweetie. There are no words to describe how undeserving I am and how grateful I am of this gift from God. May He find me faithful.

 

Stop Fighting and Believe

I haven’t actually “packed a bag” for the hospital in, I don’t know, ever. But I thought it might be a good idea this time to set aside the clothes and things Baby and I would need while there. What a ridiculous plan; every day I go to that bag and remove something I need out of it. Perhaps that is what fuels some of my angst this time around; if I wouldn’t have a dwindling-sized bag sitting there reminding me…

Oswald Chambers was in Revelation the other day, and he talked of how we all are asked to “come up here” like the Apostle John. He challenged the reader to think back to the previous year, and consider in what areas we have grown spiritually, we have come up to higher ground. I can honestly rejoice at such a question this year. While in the past I might struggle with an answer, a couple of things popped right into my head now, times where I knew it was God calling me to higher, to better, than I was doing it before.

I wish I could remember the first example of this, because the second instance of this happening is kindof silly. Last week, I was shopping for a few more things to outfit my diaper bag, and thought I would like to find a Huggies travel wipes container. I noticed the stores around me weren’t carrying the kind I like anymore, so I looked online. I did find it at BabiesRUs.com, but they were only $1.50 and I would pay $7.50 before I was done, with shipping costs. And no, I have no use for 20 of them, the amount that would give me free shipping. The thought came to me- why am I fighting this? Why am I wasting time fretting over getting the thing I want, when there are plenty of other options out there, at my local stores? So last weekend, I simply purchased the newly designed Huggies travel wipes ‘clutch’- I don’t like it, but I know where I can get another one easily when it rips.

Fast forward to Monday morning, pre-dawn. I didn’t sleep well all night, preparing my mind and emotions for the induction. By three o’clock, it was evident that Luke would not be able to leave the house with me; he was sick with some kind of stomach thing. I began to go over my options. I began to feel guilty even thinking about going to the hospital wihout him, though- it is his baby, too, of course! And the thought again came to me- why are you fighting this? It is obvious this plan to induce is falling apart. We must simply cancel and work out something else later. Once I called and canceled, I felt much better, and Luke and I both got a few more hours of good sleep. Sam called us on Grandma’s phone at about 8, not knowing we were in bed at home. That was hilarious.

Later that day, I would be challenged higher again, this time by Luke’s words. My focus had become how to avoid the (what I thought were) needless doctor’s appointments that would happen all this week if I didn’t go into labor. I thought if we rescheduled the induction for Tuesday morning, that would be a good way of doing that, and staying clear of other things we have going on this week, like the kids’ first track meets and such. But Luke said no. “We’re pushing too hard, we’re rushing this. It is as if we are trying to make this baby fit our tee time.” Ouch. Again, the thought came- why are you fighting this? Why are you wasting time on the phone with the surgery scheduler when you could be on the couch with Elijah, reading him another book on borrowed time?

Okay, Lord. You win. I went obediently and humbly to my non stress test yesterday, I did my kick check this morning, I will do another non stress test Thursday, and will meet with my doctor to schedule the induction on Friday. I will be back and forth to Mansfield way more than I prefer, because that is the way You have marked for me. Plus, who knows? Maybe there is a person in that doctor’s office I can encourage or help in some way.

One faith hurdle jumped, one step higher. But the next one is upon me already. All of the wrong thought patterns I get into when overdue are fueled by one thing. I have come to believe, since having difficulties in labor with the last few, that I cannot do it on my own, and worse, that God is powerless to bring this baby forth in His perfect timing. Regardless of my body’s abilities, God is in control, and can do whatever He pleases. Psalm 50:1 speaks of how He summons the sun, moon, and stars. ‘Summon’ is a great word, isn’t it? If He can summon the sun and heavenly bodies to do what they do every day and night, surely He can summon this little one when the time is right. So today I woke up saying to myself, “I believe You can summon this baby at any time. I believe You are powerful in this.” The more I say it, the more I can unravel the lies I did have stowed in my mind, and replace them with God’s truth.

Here’s to going higher. The view from up here is spectacular.

Late Ramble

Interestingly enough, the last post for which I allowed comments on this blog was when I was overdue for Elijah.

Here I go again.

There must be something going on inside my womb that is causing this- I hesitate to say that my body is doing something wrong or that it doesn’t know how to have a baby, because of course it does. But these last few pregnancies have given me pause. A friend suggested that maybe my womb is tipped and that is affecting its responses when it would be time for labor. I don’t know.

I am glad, however, that I am not ‘in the dark’ this time like I was with Kenan and Elijah. The last weeks with them both were difficult for me emotionally, to where I felt spent even before labor had begun. This time, though, I feel strong. I feel like this will go okay.

So, the plan is to go the weekend, waiting for Julia to arrive. If not, then I will be induced early Monday morning. I like this plan; I love this date. First, it is the birthday of the little girl we sponsor from South America. It would be fun to have one of our own be celebrating that day, too. This is also a day for mathematicians- Perfect Square Day, 4/4/16. The last one was 3/3/09, the next won’t be until 5/5/25. We must make the most of this opportunity!

It never sinks in that in a matter of days, maybe hours, I will no longer be feeling WWF roundhouse kicks, but will be nursing my baby. Such good things to think about. Thank You, Lord.