Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Apr 29, 2008: The Wisdom of the Father

It's been a few days since I posted, but I can assure you, nothing much as changed here - STILL having painful, irregular contractions and the ever-present low back pain caused by this little one's head, which is "engaged" in my pelvis. What the midwife omitted to say that "engaged" means that "from now on you will be in excruciating pain and will not be able to find a comfortable position if your life/sleep depends on it!!" At least that's what it SHOULD mean.

In these past few days I have been marinating some theories in my head, and now I hope to present them to you for your consumption, if you are hungry, that is. I titled this entry "The wisdom of the Father", but, no,no,no I'm not talking about MY Father, second generation race-car-drive-extraordina
ire, whose knowledge is primarily of the crank-shaft and piston variety...you know, that "handy", p-r-a-c-t-i-c-a-l know-how that comes with garages and oily stuff. Not him, but my FATHER, as in OUR FATHER, who art in heaven. The Alpha and Omega, creator of the universe. Yup, THAT guy. And what turned my baby-brained train onto this particular track was at church this Sunday, after the ladies sang a beautiful rendition of "He knows my name". I'll put the lyrics here so you can get the feel for it, if you don't know the song:

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

It's a simple, beautiful song, and very comforting. Don't misunderstand me, I don't pretend to have experienced even a tenth of tragedy or personal loss that so many others have had to go through – BUT, I'm not so na├»ve not to think that there will be hard times coming. I've just been blessed so far, and I thank the Lord for that.

Sorry, tangent…back to my original thoughts. Anyway, I sat there in church mulling this over, God's infinite wisdom and it is just mind-altering. He KNOWS everything. He is the "Ancient of Days" (as I learned in my Beth Moore bible study), which means He was here BEFORE time began, He is here NOW, and He will be here at the very end…and I use the word "time" loosely – because he actually transcends time. Soooo, while I sit here trying MY best to persuade this baby to come out, and complain about this minor pain I'm going through, God Knows exactly when he will be born – he even knows HOW much pain I can handle – so even if I beg and plead and try to CONVINCE Him that I have reached my absolute limit, only He knows if I have or haven't. Scary thought. Not that you can ever "bargain" with God, but He does have the upper hand on knowing how EVERYTHING is going to turn out in the end. Having faith in his omniscience should be enough to get most everyone through anything, don't you think?

Those of you that really know me know that I am a sleeper. I really enjoy my sleep, relish my sleep. I once slept for 24 hours straight, only waking up to go the bathroom and then climb back into my cozy, dark, nest of fluffy comforter. Well, last night, I couldn't sleep. And of course, it's because of THIS BABY in my belly, and what he doesn't know is that is the LAST STRAW, messing with my most treasured slumbering moments! (Also, just so you don't think I will be disillusioned when he gets here, my OTHER children are champion-sleepers, too, usually from about 9 weeks old!! It might be genetic!) Well, as I was tossing and turning fitfully trying to lull myself back into a catatonic state, I pictured an analogy of God's plan for us.

IF left to my own devices, I would have been a kindergarten teacher by day and solid-gold dancer by night (according to my third grade aspirations), and I would most assuredly be married and divorced three times, blaming myself for every failure. BUT, somehow, God interceded and saved me from that path. (Thankfully so – since He also did not bless me with the gift of dance!) Just so you know, I didn't come to know God until 2005, but I can tell you that, looking back, He had his hand in my life, guiding the way, even before I KNEW him. I made my fair share of wrong turns, and paid for them, too – but here I am today, HAPPILY married to my soul mate, whom He crafted JUST FOR ME (and it took a while, too – Jeff is 7 months younger than I am), and now we are waiting for our next little blessing to come along.

Oh yes, the analogy – well, I pictured a maze, like in Dylan's highlight's magazines…where there is only one way out, but LOTS of dead-ends. So we all get dropped into this big maze, and we immediately start going somewhere, God tries his best to guide us to the "right" path, but sometimes the allure of the "wrong path", whether it looks pleasing/easier/fun/more exciting, entices us, and we may venture down it. Will God stop you? Nope. Will He make it unbearably hard for you because you chose the "wrong" path? Maybe, maybe not. Will he allow good things to happen to you on that path? Probably. But, what He knows, and you don't (although if you listen he might try and tell you), is that the path you are on leads to nowhere. He might let you get all the way to the end to discover that, though. The end for some people is a lot darker than some, it could be drugs, alcohol, depression, or the quest for money, or vanity, or fame but once you get there, and realize there is nothing more than an insurmountable wall, what do you do?

Remember, God is looking down just willing you to "look up" and seek Him, Luke 11:9 says "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Have you heard that before? Well, it's true! Do you know what happens then? He will pick you up from your pit (whatever it may be) dust you off and drop you onto the "right" path!!! You might ask, why would God let me go on the "wrong" path for so long? Or, why would He allow me get to the "dead end" before He saves me? I'll tell you! When he created you, he also put inside you "free will" – because He wants you to make a conscious decision to come to Him. He doesn't want blind robots to mechanically follow after Him; he wants you to choose to love Him! If you have kids, it's the same concept. They shouldn't follow you because they Fear you, or because they just think that's what they are "Supposed to" do…they should want to love you, because of your repeated demonstration of your love for them.

I want to leave you with a final little "nugget" of scripture…because I know many of you may be at that insurmountable wall I talked about. I also have an inkling that around 7-9 cm I might be joining you at that wall…so here it is, and you may have heard this before, too. "If he brings you TO it, he will bring you through it." To borrow from my Beth Moore bible study again, there is a a story that illustrates this point perfectly. In the third chapter of the book of Daniel, three of Daniel's friends, (who were Jews taken into Babylonian captivity), refused to bow down and worship King Nebuchadnezzar when the horns and flutes started– which was the rule in his kingdom. They knew that the punishment for refusing to worship the king was being thrown in a fiery furnace, a blazing, huge pit of fire that could melt even metal. Why would they do that? Well, they knew that the worship of anyone other than God was wrong, and they also knew that God's providence would cover them, and He would somehow intervene to save them. I don't know how sure I would have felt when they strapped my arms together and dragged me up to the top of this fiery pit, but Beth Moore put it this way: (paraphrased) God has three options for you – he will deliver you FROM it, deliver you THROUGH it, or deliver you home to Him. Any way you look at, it's a win-win situation. So, up the mountain they go, and the fire is blazing so hot that even the guards that carried them up there died from the heat – but do you know what happened? Jesus himself (I think it says "a man like the son of God") WALKED THEM THROUGH THE FIRE!!! They came out on the other side, completely un-crispy, and NOT EVEN SMELLING OF SMOKE! This gives me tremendous hope and comfort, and I hope it does the same for you.

Those of you who don't know the story may doubt, but I encourage you to read the book. Also know, that if he is going to bring you through it – he will give you ALL the strength you need, "I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13), which is another mantra I will be repeating to myself in the midst of labor…ha ha. Anyway, thanks for hanging with me, sorry, I kind of Jeff-ed you there…but these are all the things I was thinking about last night, and it's not these ideas just materialized out of nowhere – I've known them for a while, I just wanted to share them with YOU, because a lot of you that may read this might not know this side of me yet, and since I'm not usually a "talker" like my husband, putting my thoughts on paper/screen comes much easier! Love you all, talk to you soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Apr 24, 2008: Holy Nesting, Batman!

"Today's the day, the sun is shining, the tank is clean, THE TANK IS CLEAN...??!!"

Okay, if you can't tell me what movie that line is from you are OBVIOUSLY not a mom whose kid wants to watch "Finding Nemo" over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Because I am, and so is my friend Julie, whose lets me spend all day with her adorable little guy Lathan...that line is the first thing she said to me when I greeted her at the door! We both have nemo-addicts on our hands and thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have memorized the entire dialogue via our car's dvd system.

TODAY would be a great day to go into labor, you hear that little-whatever-your-name-
is-going-to-be????? Yup, talking to you, whose head is so snugly pressed up against my cervix and spine that I can't get into ANY comfortable position....I love you a ton already, baby, but I really can't wait to see you OUT HERE in the real world!

To pass time, I have been "fluffing" our nest - like a mad woman. Yesterday, I completely cleaned and disinfected the fridge, (which included reorganizing and grouping like items), washed all the linens in the house, did a couple loads of laundry...ummmm, all between changing two little boys' dirty diapers and chasing them around the house. Oh, yeah, and then I went to the commissary and seriously stocked up - as Jeff would say I "got a little carried away". But seriously, I needed all that stuff for recipes, which I made half of today. I made and froze a lasagna, whipped up a batch of soft ginger cookies for my friend, (who has been experiencing debilitating morning sickness attributed to what she just discovered yesterday is TWINS!!!!!), and I am making chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight. So, yes, I'm nesting.

I'm kind of afraid to go on one of my power-walks (where I strap Luke & Lathan into a double stroller and end up walking for over an hour), because I am convinced that will push me over the edge, and being that we don't have a plan for where the kids are going to go yet, I'm not really sure if I want to really help labor along that bad. At least not yet. Talk to me tomorrow. Maybe if I had somewhere to go...

Thank you guys for listening, and hopefully some of you are reading your bible and memorizing some scripture, because honestly, that has helped me grow more than anything. Plus, I can brag to my husband who can't memorize a thing...but again, another reason why WE were meant for each other!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Apr 21, 2008: Still Pregnant...

Okay, so little ELI is all snug in the womb still, but there is still incredible pressure...I'm hoping to keep him in there at least until Jeff's mom comes on Saturday, but jeesh that seems like a long way away!!

ALSO, I wanted to encourage anyone reading this to start putting some scripture in your memory vaults - at the beginning of the year I made a commitment to meemorize at least a verse a week and so far I have memorized like 26? I lost count. The verses I chose are pretty long...but yours don't have to be!! I'll get you started with one of my favorites:

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." - Matthew 26:41

I love that verse because it is sooooooo true in my life. As much as I want to do all the right things, I struggle everyday, and if I'm not praying about it or reading my daily bible (Yes, I do that, too - although I have been slacking lately) then I will "fall into temptation", and although MY temptations may not be the same as yours (only you know what they are), the devil will attack us where he knows we are weak, so watch out!!!!

Anyway, love you all, and I'll keep you updated.

Apr 22, 2008: False Alarm! Still Pregnant, but maybe for not much longer!

Just got back from my appt - I am 37w 4d, (which is lie 9 1/2 months for the guys reading this) - and after my contraction-filled sunday, I asked my midwife (who is sooooo great, I love her!) to check me to see if all that pain did something. Well the GOOD NEWS IS, IT DID!!!

I am now 3 cm dilated, and the baby's head is "engaged" at a -1 station! Woo hoo! I was soooo happy. She also gave me hope because she said she would either see me at my next appt (next weds) OR before that in labor!! (of course she probably says that to all her impatient 37+ weekers to make them feel better!) My blood pressure, however, was not good - and I actually almost made a trip to L&D TODAY!! They repeated it 3 times and finally got my diastolic to come down under 90. They let me go, although reluctantly. I DO NOT WANT TO BE INDUCED!!! Phew.

So, temporarily, I am elated - and to know that all that pain was actually doing something makes me feel validated. Jeff thinks that Thursday is a good day - 4.24 - which, of course, I agree with - but Jeff's mom isn't getting here until Saturday night, and I would really like her to be there when I do go into labor. I won't have all my girls around like with Lukie - and Aubri, who was the GREATEST friend and support I could have ever asked for there.

It is kind of surreal that this is happening again....it does seem like just yesterday I was going into labor with Luke. Time really does fly by, it's amazing. I would really like to be more in control this time around, I felt completely helpless and tied down last time - I am going to be much more outspoken about my wants this time around. I DO NOT WANT TO BE TETHERED TO THE BED the whole time, for one! Okay. I'm done complaining. I'm excited, and I will be making calls when I am on my way in!

Love you all. Read your bible.