Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just a typical day

Daddy coming in to dinner inside of a children's play tunnel.
At least no one's playing with their food.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood

"I can't do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I'm not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn't he?" (John 5:30-33)

I am a blessed mother of two small girls, two and four-years-old, who fill my life with a lot of happiness, creativity, loudness, frenzy and love. Loudness and frenzy aren't so bad when wrapped up in little packages of golden-red hair, peachy skin and baby blue eyes. I was so fulfilled with my princesses and with the busy, social whirlwind of a life that I'd allowed fears about the future to cloud my trust in the Lord. How? I began to seek control of the future, something that God repeatedly tells us not to even concern ourselves with, and my heart suffered.

I couldn't figure out the reason for suddenly feeling so low. I had a joyful, healthy family, great girlfriends and a loving, fun husband. Something inside gnawed at me, though. I couldn't shake a feeling of wanting more, needing more, but knowing that it wasn't connected to anything earthly that I could attain for myself. I've always been a believer in God's provision and He's been taking care of my family since he began it. I want to live to please Him, honor Him and help others to come into His arms and be loved, as well. However, there was a major wall building up in between my Savior and I, and it all had to do with, gasp, children!

When my husband and I first began our family, I wanted a whole mess of kids. Granted, I hadn't even had one yet and smile at my former self, realizing now that you really must take things one child at a time. Still, we were thrilled when our Alice joined Rose and we had two darling daughters to love and raise as best friends in the Lord. After Alice, I immediately began wrestling with whether or not I wanted more children. In a different world - one where I was more patient, didn't crave so much alone/me time and wasn't afraid to have a son (it's a girl's world at my house!) I would have oodles more kids. A gaggle. A football team (and with the way the Eagles season ended, maybe I should start staffing their future...). What I needed to remember, and what that Lord brought me back to resting in, is that His ways are best.

My husband and I have never prevented pregnancy since our first daughter was born, knowing that His will for our family is of the highest importance. Face it, I'm a terrible planner (I can't even remember to get ketchup when I've known for a month that we're low) and God's super awesome at it. He can be in charge. Why was I struggling so hard to assume control for myself? Now, I'm not opposed to limiting your family size. Quite the opposite. I believe in listening to what the Lord is telling each and every one of us in regard to our children, ourselves, our lives. No one else hears the voice of the Lord speaking directly to her heart like you will, because God speaks lovingly, confidently and personally to every single one of us. Our relationship with Him is so special and intimate. My problem was that I was trying to push away His voice.

He was telling me to wait, be patient (my worst skill - and it is a skill because it must be honed and practiced), trust in His provision and His ways. It's one thing to pray to God to direct you, and it's another to actually obey when he says to park it in your RV and wait for him to acquire satellites on your GPS. I'm much more of a "drive-around-even-though-I'm-lost" kinda girl. Even though I kept wondering, pondering and praying about whether or not to have more children, I never lost sight that God was the one in true control. My husband and I could never bring ourselves to prevent another child if it was his will. Even though I kept seeing life in the future with just the four of us, there was always that blurred image in the center of the mental photograph that I kept imagining. Was it our next child? Was it just an illusion of my own mind? Why was I caring so much when this child may never even have been meant to be born? Maybe two children was it for us? Stress, stress, stress. It may seem so unnecessary to worry about whether or not you're going to have a third child, but that concern was directly tied into what God needed to change in me: take the future out of my hands and remind me that it had never been in them at all.

What changed for me? I got pregnant. I was blessed with a pregnancy. Total shock? Yes! I was completely surprised, though my husband wasn't and had suspected it already. How can men do that? I shouldn't have been so thrown, though, since I became pregnant in the same time frame as when we found out that we were expecting Alice after Rose. Still, you never know when God will create life in your womb, and, just like Sarah the wife of Abraham, you need to trust in His timing. Now my husband, daughters and I are expecting a new Child of God in our family this summer and we are thrilled to pieces! I used to pray that I would learn to be calm if God gave us another child, and I should've known that I was pregnant because the week that I found out I experienced the most abnormal sense of peacefulness. I'm an energetic, go-getting lady, so contentment for me? Peacefulness? Fleeting moments of those two, sure, but a whole attitude? Yes. Now. Finally!

I didn't realize just how much that bigger family still meant to me until God gave us this gift. I didn't understand that what was driving me crazy from the inside was the person who I am - the girl that God created - desiring to refocus on Him, and only on Him, again. Having another child, one that God surprised us with creating, is more than a blessing. It's a salvation. I pray that for this child, and all of my children, I can help to return the favor.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tiny people, big hearts

"Did you ever see a man sitting in his own orchard with the trees (which he planted with his own hand) pouring down their ripened fruit upon him, and he and his children and his grandchildren rejoicing in its beauty? That is the picture of a man who took the truth and planted it, and now he is sitting under the boughs that overarch him. His days are happy and his life is full of joy and usefulness."  (Author Unknown)