So these are some of the busiest weeks and months that I think we have ever had as a family…
Weeks of locking keys in the car at Walmart and sitting on the bumper [7 months pregnant] with two little girls running around, waiting on a rescuer.
Weeks of preparation for my sister Jana’s wedding the end of this month, where Zoe and Olivia are flower girls and I’m the matron of honor [at 8 months pregnant :)].
Weeks of meetings at church where the Spirit of God met us and convicted us, and where we were exhausted and rejuvenated at the end of a late-night week.
Weeks of family visiting and sisters-with-fiances coming and lovely family times.
And there are My Faire Lady orders to make and final wedding shopping and bill paying and card writing and bed sheets to order because they developed huge holes and menus to plan…
But on this Tuesday, life doesn’t feel overwhelming, thanks to my sweet mother-in-law, who so graciously offered to watch the girls for the night Sunday night and part of Monday so I could catch up on rest. I feel like a new person, after sleeping until, well, I won’t say how long I slept. :) But with a little second-born that wakes up around 7am every morning, let’s just say that sleeping in isn’t a regular part of my life. Which makes it all the more special when given the opportunity!
So after a restful morning, and some very quiet time alone, my soul AND body are refreshed. The combination of the two hasn’t happened in a long time. :) And I missed my girls… Times of rest like that are so refreshing, and it also makes me realize how much I love being a mommy. Even though the house stayed clean and no toys were strewn around and the Ever Appearing Little Blue Chair did not follow me around the kitchen, I miss them.
I was editing a few pictures yesterday from the past month…
And I do know that it’s March, and long past Valentine’s Day, but we had so much fun making little cupcakes again this year.
Last year it was just Zoe and me, and we made special little wrappers and spent more time on the pretty end of things.
This year Olivia was delighted as could be to join in the helping, and we kept the baking quite simple.
But fun, oh so fun!
[matching aprons from Auntie Ervina ♥]
Seriously, having two little girls is the most fun ever.
Sometimes I feel like the big sister of two cute girls. :)
And then I look at my 34-week pregnant stomach and no, I’m no big sister. I’m a mother all right!
Little [goodwill] cowgirl boots make the baking go better.
High doses of sprinkles, by mouth or on cupcakes…
Tomorrow marks 34 weeks of pregnancy.
If any of my pregnancies has ever flown by, it’s this one. There have been times I’ve lost track of where I’m at in weeks, it’s been so fast! This week was one of them. I knew I was between 32-34 weeks, but the definite number eluded me, and I had to count back in my planner several weeks. It is definitely different than the first pregnancy, when every week seemed to take a month to by go. This time, it seems that every few days a month passes me by!
I leave next week for my sister’s wedding, and will be gone two weeks.
By the time I return, the due date will be 3 weeks away.
I’ve gone very late the past two babies, so I sort of expect that again.
But if I would happen to go early, I would probably have to stop at the store on the way to the hospital because I have no baby things ready!!
But for now, I’m a Treasure Chest.
Not in labor. :) And hopefully not going to be until after the long trek up north and back!
During my first pregnancy, when I was right at the end and feeling as big as a whale, a dear older woman just bubbled over about how she always felt like such a treasure chest when she was pregnant. I mean, yes, you’re big, you’re uncomfortable, you’re giving your life for this, and you’re carrying a treasure. a LIFE within you.
[photo shoot by my sister Ervina]
I suppose I’m realizing in a new way that mothering is a pouring out of myself for my children.
It’s not about feeling like a cute mom, a cool mom, a put-together mom.
It is about giving myself for them, giving my life for them, really.
This has not been the most easy pregnancy.
I can think of scores of women who have had it harder,
and scores who have had it easier. :)
It’s been morning sickness, back pain, round ligament pain.
Exercise is usually a big deal to me when I’m pregnant [and otherwise]
but this time it’s too painful most days to even do a short walk.
I’ve not felt the “cute & pregnant.”
It’s felt all pregnant and no cute. :)
I’m not saying that to generate sympathy, please.
In some ways I don’t even like to say this because I don’t want a pat on the back.
But I write this because I think there may be other women that have felt this way too…
This pregnancy has really pushed me toward God in new ways…
It’s not about my physical image, about having the ideal pregnancy body.
It’s about drawing my worth and security from God Himself,
even when I feel far from attractive.
Even when I feel like I have the “pregnancy waddle.”
My worth comes not from appearances.
It’s not about me.
It’s about giving my life in full surrender to God.
And it’s about welcoming a new life into the world.
Giving myself for another.
I feel that I’m just starting to learn about this…
And my prayer has been,
“God, as my stomach grows because of this life within me,
let me not focus on how big I’m getting,
but rather let my love for You and this child grow…”
Pregnancy shows the giving of life for another so drastically.
The food I eat, the vitamins I take, the rest I need… it all goes for the baby.
And with young children, my days are spent caring for them…
… endless supplies of food for their bodies, endless cries to God for wisdom for their souls.
It really is a sacred responsibility.
Far greater than who I am.
My source of wisdom and strength can come only from the Lord,
and that comes not from a theory of child-rearing, but from a daily abiding in His presence.
It is only then that my children can be taught in the ways of God.
And with labor…
It is still 6 weeks to my due date, but my record has not been fast or easy labors.
Approximately 20 hours and 50 hours, respectively.
I hear some women speak of the worship experience labor and delivery was for them, and I’m in awe.
I love to hear that, I wish for that.
But for me, labor felt like mere survival. All I could think was, “God, help me!!”
I’ve tried not to think of labor too much yet,
but when I do, my prayer is this,
“God, in the area of what feels like one of my greatest fears, BE STRONGER.
Meet me in my greatest physical weakness…”
And all that said, I may add that we are greatly looking forward to the arrival of this little baby!
I think this may be the most anticipated baby so far, because not only is it Ben and me looking forward to meeting him/her,
but Zoe and Olivia are both soo excited!
And seeing the excitement of little girls wanting to meet their brother or sister is priceless!
[can you tell I’m a fan of big families? :) ]
LIFE is such a gift, and I know of so many who pray fervently for the chance of carrying life within them.
Along with the physical challenges of pregnancy, I also view this as an amazing gift, one I’m unworthy of.
Why me, to carry this child?
Why us, to experience life, when so many have known miscarriage or losing a child?
To turn all of life back into worship of God, that is what I desire…
As Ann Voskamp has written,
“Worship is a way of seeing life in light of God.”
I have that written on my chalkboard, to be reminded of daily.
Be blessed in HIS life today!