Mar 4, 2014
It really seems unbelievable that in less than a month (or so) we'll become a family of four, that I'll be mama to two. I've thought about writing a pregnancy update post so many times and just realized tonight as I sat down that I haven't actually posted anything about this pregnancy other than announcing it back in the fall before we went on our internet break.
The time has went by so fast, especially in comparison to what I remember about being pregnant with our first. These last weeks I am anxious and so very excited to have this baby in my arms but at the same time somewhat nervous about labor and feeling unprepared. (Is anyone ever really prepared?)
I have a mental list of things-to-do-before-baby and nesting has definitely set in for me as I've been purging and cleaning out cupboards and even doing little decor projects around the house. And then there are days when I want to do nothing but stay in pajamas and cuddle and tickle my little boy and play all day and soak up these fleeting last moments of him being my baby.
I can't wait for him to have a sibling and for all that lies ahead but this is me, sentimental at every approaching change, wanting what's coming but at the same time aching for time to stand still just a little bit longer.
My sister and her husband (who live a couple hours away) are expecting their first baby ten days after I'm due so it will be interesting to see who goes first, or how many days apart. I was right on my due date last time but anything could happen! She carries bigger than me but I still feel this picture is flattering to my actual size. And I have been told that I now waddle...sigh.
I love it that we are pregnant together - I don't get to see Chrissy as often as I would like but we smile remembering the days (not very long ago) when we were both single and wondering if we'd ever be married or have children. But here we are, prayers answered and both very thankful for God's provision.
Oh, and a fun fact - we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl this time around but I got another look at baby on an ultrasound today and the technician was laughing about how much hair this little one appears to have - crazy how clearly it showed up, floating out behind the head. I can't wait to see!
Twenty six days to go and counting...
Feb 20, 2014
For years, I've been a collector of words - scribbling down in notebooks phrases and poems and quotes I came across and wanted to remember.
I read somewhere recently that it's not whole books that change us, it's sentences, and I agree - it's the small bits of truth and beauty and encouragement that stay behind and change us after we've forgotten the rest.
For some time now I've wanted to turn some of these collected words into art for our home - framed and hung on a wall or placed on a shelf, to be glanced at and pondered as we go about our day.
I've seen some beautiful prints online but, lacking the right computer software or skill, designing my own wasn't really an option.
And then I began to notice lovely script that looked hand-done here and there on the internet, and realized it was calligraphy. I didn't know people were still doing this but apparently it's made a comeback! Not the stuffy, old english style I attempted as a teenager, but bright, fun, modern lettering (do an image search for modern calligraphy to see what I mean).
I was in love, so what was there to do but get myself some beginner's supplies and get to work?
I've only gotten a bit of practice in and I think it will take much more to get even close to skilled but the creative possibilities are endless and I'm excited to improve and make some of those prints I've been itching to do!
Feb 11, 2014
One of my current reads was a Christmas gift from my husband, written by Elyse Fitzpatrick. (I've mentioned her before here.)
This is the third book I've read by Elyse and I have to say once again I am thankful for her focus (no matter the topic) on the gospel as the main thing, or more specifically, all that Christ has accomplished for us and what this means in our daily lives. More on the book another time, but this one thought has been on my mind and I thought I would briefly lay it out here and invite your comments.
For some reason I find this a difficult concept to articulate - the doubtful counter-response I've sometimes heard sounds like "but aren't we supposed to be doing good works and being better people as Christians? Shouldn't we focus less on theology and more on doing?"
Of course, obedience and good works should be the result of a life changed by Christ, and yes, we should strive for them (with right motives), but I don't think this should be our main focus, and much of what I've read over the last several years (in both Scripture and other writing and preaching) has helped me think through this issue and believe this more firmly: the main point in all of Scripture (and therefore, what should be the main focus in our lives and growth as Christians) is who God is and what He has done for us through Christ.
Time and again in my own life I've learned that simply hearing a long list of do's and don'ts and inspirational messages on making a difference and changing the world and becoming a better person don't truly inspire real growth or a changed heart because the focus is on human effort. It can seriously be discouraging because we know our own hearts and our record of failing over and over and the thought of just trying harder can be exhausting. (Or perhaps another response could be pride as we try to amass for ourselves a list of good deeds and accomplishments, looking down on those we think don't measure up to where we are.)
In contrast, it's when I've taken time to dig into Scripture to discover the amazing truths of the gospel and the character of God, when I've heard Christ preached and shown as infinitely beautiful and worthy and all-satisfying - it's through these things that the love of God burns in my heart and I'm drawn to true worship and am motivated by all that I've seen and tasted to live for Him.
My deepest need is not to do more and be more - it's to see Christ more clearly and know Him more intimately, living in the joy this brings and trusting Him to instruct and convict and change me on the deepest level.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts - do you see a greater need in both the church in general and our daily lives as Christians for the truths of the gospel and what Christ has accomplished to be emphasized more, or do we need a greater focus on the implications of that lived out through obedience and good works?
Feb 5, 2014
Once upon a time I loved to wake up early in the mornings so that the day would begin, not with the frantic rush of getting out the door for work, but with leisurely cups of coffee in a window seat, with space over the open Word to breathe and think and pray and watch the sky change color as the sun came up.
Even on days with a full schedule and responsibilities there was something calming and necessary about these morning minutes belonging to me.
And then life changed fourteen months ago with the arrival of our baby boy. For most of the first year he was up numerous times a night and very early in the morning, making rising before him impossible. Now we are in a stage where he (finally!) sleeps through the night to a decent morning hour but I'm finding with this pregnancy I need the extra rest of staying in bed until he awakes.
So this is the season we are in - getting up together and plunging right into our day - changing the diaper and making breakfast and (on most mornings when we are home) filling those playtime hours until finally it's nap time.
Then comes the coffee and quiet and a little space for what my soul so deeply needs. It is a different pace of mornings, embraced and enjoyed on most days but complained about on others.
This is only one small piece of life that motherhood has changed for me, and of course there are many others - a new way of living that puts a little person at the front of my mind and responsibilities and myself second - daily moments of (slowly) learning to die to self.
And here is something I want to remember, a bit of truth to spread out over the course of these days, coloring both the atmosphere in our home and my heart's attitude: Being mommy is my priority, not a disruption. This is the job I've chosen, or rather, the one I've been gifted with.
The little one with breakfast on his face and a diaper that needs changing (again) is needing me. He doesn't deserve to be seen as something in the way of what I really want to do, whether it's tasks on a to-do list or desired relaxation or hobbies.
Of course, there is a time for independent play, for a little one to learn that he is not the only person in the world. But too often, don't we brush aside the opportunities to read the book just one more time, to get down on the floor to do a puzzle or tickle a tummy or be silly or dance a baby across the room?
It is in these small and fleeting moments that I can choose to show love to my little boy, to tell him in the way he understands best that I like him, that he's fun to be with, that he's what's important to me.
Fighting selfishness day by day, may I long and learn to be a mother that deeply enjoys her children - not as disruptions but as joyful gifts.