Friday, February 22, 2013

Fighting the Urge

Did you know that the urge to compare begins even before birth?

Last week at our 16 week check up, I heard static and loud, random sounds along with the heartbeat. I thought the machine was old. Turns out that those noises (besides the bay's beating heart) came from the baby twisting and jumping around in my stomach.

You can't feel that? says our nurse.

Nope. Not yet. And this is normal, so I've read. While I can't wait to feel the baby move and add one more layer of legitimacy to this pregnancy, I trust that the baby is still safe and growing, even though I can't feel him/her.

There are a few friends/acquaintances of mine whom are also pregnant right now (all ranging between 12-20 weeks along). Their comments exclaiming "flutters" and "bubbles" and "baby kicks" make me believe the baby inside me wants to operate on his/her own timetable. And you know what? I'm okay with that.

I wish I could proclaim that I will never be the mother who compares the progress of her child with that of other children, because here's what that turns into: My child could walk at 3 months old. He was potty trained by age 1, and could play all 27 of Mozart's piano concertos by age 3.

Humans make comparisons and rank each other both knowingly and unknowingly daily.

While I know I won't be a perfect mother, I can at least promise not to compare this baby to others before he/she is even born. That's just not fair.

But--- should he/she want to kick me or move about sometime soon, I would be okay with that!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The God of Time

I was praying with a friend today and during her prayer she said, "God is the God of Time."

Of course we know that God controls the events of our lives and orchestrates the pieces and people within our days purposefully. Have I heard God being called the God of Time before? I'm sure I've heard the reference but have not ever really paused long enough to consider it fully.

We want to be our own Dictators of Time. We want control and we want events to happen we we think they should. Oh how God must shake His head when he sees us attempting to string together the days and months ahead of us.

But what we have to remember is there is so much we don't know, that we don't see. God's provision and care for us extends further than the promotion at work we think we need or the new car we want to put our tax return money towards. His provision is so great, yet so infinitesimal that we often miss it. 

His provision is seen in each tick of the second hand, in each near-miss on the drive home, each purposeful placement of a person of encouragement in our grocery store line at 11:37 AM on a Tuesday.

He's the God of Time--- time past, time present, time future.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

I am trying to judge if I am just a cold-hearted, unromantic, non-creative creature, OR if Valentine's Day can really just be lame. Wait, no. It's not the day that's lame; it's the people who call each other, text each other, tweet each other, and Facebook post each other with photos of roses, chocolates, and love notes from significant others. 

Here's the thing-- no one is posting or texting or communicating to their spouses or significant others. No, that would make sense. They are posting to the WORLD on social media. They are one-upping each other left and right with tales of Valentine's Day gifts. That makes me want to puke.

I mean, I'm not anti-love. Love is a great thing. It's addictive, fulfilling, humorous, and requires commitment. And by commitment I mean that each couple must work to attain their best marriage and best relationship DAILY. Not one a day a year.

I'm all about bragging up my husband. Have I told you lately he's awesome? Maybe I should boast more of the man who strives to make me laugh daily and who legitimately looks to my needs before his. 

I don't need the world to know all of the ways that my 365-day-Valentine-husband rocks. But he needs to know he does and it's ME who should be telling him.

I admit that I can take for granted his sensitive nature and the way that he totally does not act like "the typical guy." Sometimes he gets in trouble for setting the bar so high. If he happens to do something that is slightly "typical-guy-ish" I get upset. I tell him, "You're the one who set the bar! Blame no one but yourself!'  

I am not anti-Valentine's Day. I do like the way it sparks people to communicate the awesomeness of their spouses (even if they post it on social media. Sigh). Conversely, I don't like the "show" of the day itself. The only person who needs to know that you adore him is your husband (not your Facebook friend that you haven't had a conversation with in three years).  

I won't lie though, I did buy the Valentine's Day conversation hearts. I am a sucker for those every year. I'll spring for the .39 cent box. Each year I think they are going to taste good and they never do.

Oh well, I guess I too am a sucker for hearts in a cute box, even if I've never uttered any of those heart phrases to my husband without sarcasm or laughter of some kind.

Maybe I should string them together and make a meaningful phrase:

UR KIND and I' think it would BE GOOD if you would feed me and MY BABY (in my stomachmore food; we would LOVE YOU to make something SO FINE for dinner.

I'm sure Chris would love that.

Gotta run. I'm hungry. Happy Valentine's Day to all! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

16 Weeks

Documenting the bump. It's there. I swear.

Thankful for praying friends... and strangers

A few weeks ago, our pastor announced our pregnancy at church. At first, I had mixed feelings. I was glad he wanted to share our news but at the same time, I felt badly because I know knew that are individuals in our congregation continue to struggle with infertility. I can almost guarantee there are other couples who are secretly navigating infertility too.

The pastor asked me, prior to the service, if he could announce it. I smiled and told him it was fine, but I just felt conflicted. What he said next really amazed me (and I'm not sure why). 

"I want to tell the church you're expecting because I am excited for you. Foremost though, I want to tell them you're pregnant because there have been many people praying for you over the past few years, people you didn't even know about. Those people deserve to see how God responded."

I do have some close prayer-warrior friends who have been walking this journey with me. But strangers? Who even knows about our infertility? It's not like I walked around with a banner that read, "I can't get pregnant." Or maybe I did?

After the service, a woman came up to me whom I slightly know, but not well. I know her name. I know who her husband is. I know that she sits on the lefthand side of the sanctuary, in the back. That's about it.

"I wanted to let you know I've been praying for you for over a year. I just can't explain it. Your name has been on my heart, and I have been praying that God would give you the desires of your heart. I didn't know that meant a baby while I was praying, but now, I do! I will continue to pray for you and for the baby."

She hugged me, and walked away. 


As we were leaving the church, an older man approached Chris. He is the greeter every week. He has seen us walk in and out of the church since we first stepped foot inside a few years ago. 

"Chris! I have to tell you this! You won't believe it. Each Sunday morning, I pray for the mothers of our church. I go through the directory and pray for guidance and wisdom for them. Today, I prayed for Rachel, and then I thought, Oh wait, no she's not pregnant. She's not a mother. But today, Pastor Tim announced that she is!"

It's humbling to know that strangers have been lifting us up, without us even knowing it. Humbling and heart-warming.