Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Baby Bug

It gets to many of us.  I've talked to multiple women so I know it's not just me.  For years, you've thought about how wonderful it would be to share your life with someone, to be married to the man that God has for you.  You spend months planning details for a wedding, whether or not you care about the symmetry of every table decoration.  Then, not long after you get home from your honeymoon, the baby bug bites.

Married?  Check.  Children?  Not yet.  Wait a minute!  Children?  We weren't even thinking about having children until a few years into our marriage!  Yep, I remember thinking, after being married for only one month, that it must be time for Teacher Man and I to start having children.  In my mind, I knew that was crazy.  He had two more years of his undergrad.  We were living in a two-room apartment off of my salary as a private school teacher.  We're talking less than $20,000 per year.  We're talking a budget too tight to buy ice cream.  Why on earth did I feel like the next step was children?  Let's try a more realistic goal...  How about graduation for Teacher Man?  That seems a bit more logical.  Right?

We honestly thought that expanding our family was years away.  Years!  However, seven months later, when my waistline began to expand, we realized that sometimes God answers the desires of our heart in completely illogical ways.  Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  I love that verse, but I often think that we receive the desires of our heart because He has given us those desires.  It is actually HIS will that those desires come to fruition.
Teacher Man and I were delighting in the Lord, in serving Him together, in the life He had given us; and so He saw fit to give us another life.  And after the initial shock, panic, tears, and chaos of figuring out how we would provide for and love this little gift; Caleb truly became our delight.  And after Caleb, Ben filled the desire that God had given us to raise Caleb alongside a brother.

I say all of this because several months ago, I got bit by the baby bug.  The boys were getting bigger, and both Teacher Man and I truly desired another sweet baby in the house.  By His grace, God saw fit to give us another child, to gift us with the desire of our heart.  Some days, I'm overwhelmed by my life.  There's too much to do.  There are too many needs.  There is only one of me, and most of the time I feel like I'm falling apart at the seams.  However, God has been so faithful.

There are times when I will see a friend with her new baby and think, "I wish we had another little one..." only to delight in remembering that we are only three months away from meeting our precious daughter.  What an amazing reality.

There are times that I worry about not having enough time to go around, not enough resources to meet every want, not enough patience to handle every mishap.  But I know that there is more than enough love to go around in this house.  I know that each of our children, planned or unplanned, is wanted, is a blessing, has an incredible calling on his/her life.  Each of them was sent not only to fulfill the desires of our hearts but to accomplish the will of the Father and to delight in Him.  So we will keep on keeping on, delighting in the One who created us and in the gifts He has given us and depending on His faithfulness, which is so much greater than we could ever imagine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What's Important?

I have vivid memories of being in college, feeling like I was busy.  Papers to write, meetings to attend, giant textbooks to read, midterms to take.  Everything seemed so important.  So here I stand, looking back five years and realizing that I didn't have a clue.  Yes.  Education is important.  Investing in knowledge to prepare for a better future is a noble thing, but I wish I would have realized what important actually meant.  I wish I would have seen the eternal.  Clearly, God knew I needed children to open my eyes.

I am carrying a daughter right now, twenty-six weeks down and the Lord only knows how many weeks to go until I can kiss her sweet face; and I am struck by the importance of my days right now.

When you are awakened in the morning by a human life who needs your help and love to survive the day rather than a buzzing alarm clock, suddenly important takes on a whole new meaning.  When what you eat in the morning affects another life that you carry within your body as well as the lifetime health habits of the lives in your care, eating goes beyond just refueling for the next four hours.  When what you read and learn either motivates you to godliness or selfishness, there become even fewer gray areas.  When the friends that you choose also determine the company that your children will keep, you realize that your companions are influencing relationships that have the potential to last longer than you will.  I think this is what the poets would call legacy.

Each day is completely full of the truly important.  Reading the Word with my sons.  Therapy for my baby boy.  Care for a new mom.  Holding a precious baby for an hour.  Reading more to my sons.  Having dinner alone with Teacher Man, hearing and being heard.  Running (okay, walking really fast) with a friend and laughing about a week gone by too fast.  I fall into bed exhausted, having accomplished nothing on my list of assignments but also having the firm knowledge that I wouldn't have changed a moment of the day.  Not. one.  I know that what I'm doing is truly important.

When I had one child, I could still pretend that so many things were important.  I could still maintain my house the way I wanted it to be.  Dinner could include multiple side dishes.  No one ever saw me unless I'd had a shower.  I still knew where all the puzzle pieces were to that silly farm puzzle.  You know?  Now I find myself falling before the throne of God and begging for Him to show me what's important and for His peace and wisdom to not care about the rest.

Pray for me, friends.  I know that baby girl will be a joyful, beautiful, exhausting, and eye-opening addition for us.  I already feel myself digging in my heels and trying to figure out what I can do ahead of time to maintain what I think is important, but I know in my heart that it is not so much about what I do but how I do life that will make an eternal impact.

If I read the Bible to my children but speak to them hurtfully in my anger, the Scriptures will mean little to my children.
If I prepare balanced meals but don't have time to give their hearts focused attention, they will starve.
If I plan a great birthday party but fail to teach them of the greatest Gift God has given them, they have nothing.
If I iron every shirt my husband owns and have a shining home for him each evening but I don't have time to truly communicate with him, it doesn't matter.
If I keep every appointment on the calendar but don't obey when Holy Spirit prompts me to move, then I've missed my most important meeting.

So that's where I am.  And why I'm not blogging as much.  Being fully present in my life and more responsive to what I think the Holy Spirit is asking me to do is taking my time and, rightfully, the vast majority of my attention.  I'm hoping the season will return when I can write more, process more, share more; but that's just not where we are right now.

Praying you are having a blessed week, friends.  Let the colors of fall soak into your soul and drink a fully-caffeinated pumpkin spice latte for me, okay?