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!

~clarita

 

33 thoughts on “Pink Cupcakes and a Treasure Chest

  1. fruitloops115

    i loved this post more then just a little, guess the whole pregnancy subject hits pretty close to home
    I did want to say that, altho you don’t feel cute, you LOOK cute-at least for your photo shoot Your pictures got really great!
    I don’t think I’ll even have to courage to do something of the sort @ 34 weeks, or whenever this was. I have a feeling this is gonna be a BIG boy,just the way things are popping already. It IS kinda nice to know that there is another treasure chest out there who also doesn’t feel the glam as much as the pg
    Have a great day, and week, and month!

  2. appalolly

    I understand about feeling ALL pregnant and NO cute!  That’s pretty much how I felt, especially with my first 2 pregnancies.  (I know you don’t want a “pat on the back”, but seriously, you ARE a very cute pregnant lady.  I can vouch for that, for sure!!)

    And about mothering…it is a pouring out of ourselves. It is about giving. About being unselfish.  That is the essence of what motherhood is.  Which is why it is SO dang hard!! Because sometimes…I just want to be selfish! 

    I hope these next few weeks go well for you. I can see how being so busy makes the time fly…even when you are pregnant.  And that “treasure chest” idea…that is a really cool word picture!

  3. madisonsmom2

    Such beautiful little girls you have… I look at my own sometimes and it just scares me to think that I am responsible for their little hearts. You are a lovely pregnant mama, so easy for me to say when I’m not the one in your shoes. :)

  4. SherriMonCheri

    Love, love, LOVE the aprons for the girls!  I made matching ones for Abigail & I and she loves wearing hers whenever I have mine on. 

    I so enjoyed your pregnancy pictures…I know you might feel uncomfortable, but there is something about carrying a child that makes a woman beautiful.  I don’t know what it’s like to have hard, long labors; Abigail was a little over 3 hrs. and Brady, a little over 5 (although that situation was so vastly different, maybe it doesn’t count).  You will be in my prayers as the time draws closer, that it will be a quick, easy labor/delivery, but most of all that God’s presence will be felt like never before! 

  5. aSeriesofFortunateEvents

    You may not feel the cuteness, but you look it! :D Each pregnancy adds a little more round ligament pain and so on than the last one. At least they did for me.

    You have such wise words and sweet thoughts, Clarita. You hold a special little piece of my heart. I <3 ya lady!

    I cannot wait, by the way to find out if this baby is boy or girl!!! So excited.

    maybe having so much to do will help those dragging last weeks to go by quicker!

  6. mytoesareblue

    ahhh you look sooo great. love those pics that your sis took of you celebrating this time that you have with your ‘little one’ inside. so exicited with you guys to meet the little him or her.

    so precious to also have those moments with your girls. what a great memory making time.

  7. grandpas_gurl

    Darling photos of the little girls in the kitchen!! & thanks for being willing to be in my bridal party, even though you feel you are great with child. ;) You will be a lovely maitron of honor! :)

  8. grace_to_be

    love all the fun and girlyness of the first part of this post-
    those POLKA DOTS and the BOOTS!

    and the beauty and wisdom of the last part- your words!
    you are gorgeous my friend. outwardly, yes. but your heart even more.

    can’t wait to see if that treasure chest is holding more fun girlyness,
    or a bit of wild boyness!! :)

    excited for you as you come into the home stretch.

  9. redladybug18

    those are the most darling bakers ever!
    I like that thought of carrying a treasure chest…never heard that before.
    Well whatever you say about not looking cute…I don’t believe it at all! Fun pictures!
    So excited that little one is close to being here fairly soon!

  10. clearlyhis

    the pregnancy part of this post I can really identify with.  I’m with you in this time loosing track of the weeks and having to recount. so funny! ….  I don’t always embrace this pregnancy body of mine like I should.  I’m ashamed how often I sigh and long for freedom from this weighed down body.  But, when I stop and consider all of the blessings and especially for me and at my ripe age of 42….that God is blessing us with 4 beautiful children!! I’m in awe and so so so thankful to carry this precious “treasure”!  Clarita, you are so beautiful from the inside out!  I pray all will go well as you go and help celebrate your sister’s wedding day!!  Round ligament pain.  yes, I know.  Let’s keep hanging in there. It will be worth it all! =)

  11. down_onthefarm

    pink boots with cupcake baking and sprinkles?!!! oh that looks so fun! your girls look all yummy and sweet too. :)

    and i love those wise words about being a treasure chest. it’s such a precious gift…truly. and yet it leaves us feeling especially vulnerable somehow. i know what you mean, i do remember. and i just had someone Last Week tell me again *it’s been seven years forcryingrightoutloud* that they thought i had had the biggest pregnant tummy ever. i don’t cringe anymore when i hear that now. :) but there’s a lil gulp inside even though i’m agreeing with them. i heard so much beauty in your words ^^^…because encouragement is just that. beautiful. and so IS the encourager—you!

    wishing you the best in all of your *whoa* busybusy! safe travels and happy wedding celebrating! <3 <3

  12. MartinTreehouse

    I love your thoughts… and marvel over your perfect pregnant figure… it’s true. However, I remember all too well of just wanting to get my baby out of there and hold it!

  13. WasabiBek

    great post Clarita! being pregnant is never easy. i haven’t forgotten. oh no! cheers to you and yours today. giving your life… oh yes. a million ways every day. hope your trip up here goes well and you have a great two weeks. of sister/family time.

  14. singingrachel

    Beautiful words clarita. i’m with you in that i think i learned more about myself and the things He wanted to grow me in during those stretching9monthsoflove. love your heart. i can’t wait to hear what the lil’munchkin’ will be… boy or girl. smooth next couple weeks to you.

  15. lin789

    when ever i feel like i just will have to scream…i come here. because you are calm and soft and gorgeous. and you always inspire me to be more. some people just make me want to react. but you inspire. LOVE those pregnancy shots. like i have said before, pregnancy bellies are so so cute. and sexy. i think so, at least. hope there is enough calm and order in your hectic schedule to just keep you in line!

  16. Elizabethmarie_1

    You are the cutest pregnant girl ever, you know that don’t you?
    Love the matching aprons. Your girls are adorable.

    I love coming over here and reading your posts. You’re always so encouraging.
    Your family is blessed to have you!
    Love the Ann Voskamp quote….I am re-reading 1000 Gifts. So much richness.

    Enjoy all your wedding planning! Such an exciting time.
    Happy Busy Week! =)

  17. lonnasjoy

    This post was so encouraging to me right now! I am at about the same stage you are in your pregnancy. I too was so determined to keep up my exercises, but the pain is so bad with this pregnancy it is hard enough to do my daily duties, so I can really identify with you. I love the idea of being a treasure chest! What a beautiful thought! I will remind myself of that these days. You are so beautiful by the way inside and out I love how the beauty of Christ and His sacrificial love shines through your blogs.

  18. lifeisadance

    @lin789 – “calm and soft…”  that is so far from what i feel i am!! that is what I WANT to be, but please don’t put me on a pedastal because these days are just a bit over the top! but thanks for the encouragement on the baby belly. :)

  19. lifeisadance

    @lonnasjoy – someone else that can hardly exercise?? are you serious! sometimes i feel so wimpy, like i should just be able to endure the pain and somehow it’ll get better, but it is too painful most times! but we’ll be treasure chests, regardless of exercising, right? :) i hope these last few weeks go well for you – and that they go by quickly!!

  20. lonnasjoy

    I know I feel the same way at times. Like I should be stronger. Hope these weeks are good for you as well, and here’s to a very short labor for us both.

  21. cupajava

    yup I’m right there w you-this has been the fastest pregnancy for me too! 34 weeks today for me. I knew our due dates were close but forgot we were this close…good luck these next couple of weeks!

  22. smilesbymiles

    “not from a theory of child-rearing, but from a daily abiding in His presence” …. I so wish I would have known that before I gave birth the first time. It feels as though I am learning so much in the last year or two and I just wish so very, very much I’d have known it all back then. I am so grateful that God gives grace and redemption …. that we can always go forward. And that hopefully one day I will really pour out my life for my children unselfishly like I want to. You are so inspiring to me, girl. And I really hope all goes well with traveling and labor and delivery. I went to an out-of-state sibling wedding at 34 weeks also, and it was pretty much torture because I can’t even sit through dinner w/o excruciating back pain at that stage. I can hardly wait to see baby!

  23. dreamstillcometrue

    I love this so much. You’re the best mama ever and I can’t wait to get lots of wifely wisdom from you these next few weeks. How blessed I am to be your kid sister…

  24. The_Carpers

    This is truly a glimse of your soul, I love it and I am pretty sure I would love you! =)

    70 hours of labor for two adorable little girls!!! WHOA!!!! I think I may have only had a third of that with 4 kids! It was fast and furious and agonizing and I am still try not to think about it 2 years since my last labor! I will pray for you that you will get to experiance a quickie! ;) Ok lets not dwell on the labor!

  25. LatteLuv

    Your girls are adorable and oh so girly with all the pink white and red gone on.  And you totally look amazing at 34 weeks!  I hope your deliver goes good. 

  26. lifeisadance

    @smilesbymiles – i wish i could remember this every moment of every day too… there are times when it’s first and foremost in my mind, and other times when i live so selfishly. :( grateful for God’s redemption and mercy – yes yes yes…

    and i think of you so often these days, and breathe a prayer… my heart really goes out to you! ♥

  27. SherriMonCheri

    I know I already commented, but I wanted to thank you for your words on being a treasure chest while pregnant.  I had never thought about in that way before.  Just yesterday, I was able to share this with a friend who is pregnant, but is having such a hard a time with it.  So thank-you!

  28. erlinyoder

    Just now getting to read this post. Love, love the photo shoot pictures! I’ve said it before, but you wear pregnancy so beautifully!! Such an encouraging post all around! I hope your two wks at home are fun and rich, and that you feel as one can at your stage.(: love you.

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