Day 37 – Just Thankful.

Four more days to the finish line of my pregnancy prayer walk.  I am so ready to go.  An earlier arrival would be sublime, but I am getting some good support for waiting out these tough last hours, days, weeks…

Our family/church family just gave us one of the best parties ever, a co-ed baby shower.  I have had one before, but not for a girl.  I felt so uplifted, and encouraged.  One of the best things about it is that it has given me a number of new little tasks to work on.  Now that I am so close to the finish line, I have gotten a lot of my prepping done (great feeling), but I have been so much more bored and impatient (awful feeling).

Now I’ll have some decorating, shopping, organizing, and a bit of new laundry to do…  🙂  That is going to help pass the time and keep my hands occupied —  ‘cuz as much as I love them, books and hanging out with my little toddler ain’t doin’ it!

05-16-11 Monday

Lord, thank you for lifting me up from a very low valley of tiredness to a lovely plateau of encouragement, fresh patience and excitement.  Thank you.  Thank you for friends and family gathering around us at this special and difficult time.  Thank you for gifts.  Thank you for help cleaning.  Thank you for better rest last night.  Thank you for Clay sleeping through the night.  Thank you for fun pictures to celebrate the day.  Thank you for progress in labor, even if it’s not steady yet.  Thank you for fresh stamina in that department.  I can’t ask for anything today.  I love you, Lord!  Thank you for your rich encouragement and your tangible love.

Hugs from friends

A fun gift

Prayer from our community

A Season of Plentiful Provision

This has been an incredible couple of weeks.

It seems that the moment I finished writing that list of things I miss, I was flooded with an awareness of those needs being met.  I am almost glad now that I was hurting before, because I have enjoyed not only the intimacy of asking the Lord for what I need or want, but also the acute specifics of his provision!  Wow!

Here are a few things that have happened:

1) Going to the late movies at 11pm :: I have had two nights of uninterrupted, late-as-I-want movie watching.  Of course this made for a few groggy mornings, but then, they were more relaxed and happy groggies (my own word) than if I had been “good” and gone to bed.  Thank you, Lord!

2) Drinking as much as I want (three crown and cokes usually) :: I’ve started taking my husband up on those offers to have a beer when I look frazzled.  He is so good to me.  Thanks God, for beer and for my husband.

5) Experimenting with my hair without worrying how it will affect others as much :: My hubby and I are contemplating giving me “breaks” from long hair… I would give lengths of it to Locks for Love and then have fun for a bit before growing it back out for his and my enjoyment.  That is not decided for sure…. I really feel my husband’s enjoyment of my locks comes first.  I like it long, and I am sure we will find a way to compromise here, but it’s nice to think about it afresh.  Thanks, Lord!

6) Not having to worry about what’s in the fridge or pantry :: Along with one of those movie nights came a day of NOT having to balance anyone’s calorie intake but my own and the baby’s (and he’s easy! lol).  SIGH.  🙂  How nice!  Thanks, God!

7) Not having to pay for a babysitter or even find one :: Courage afresh to ask around for sitters… pending finding them, but hey…. it’s tough on a tight budget, but — oh, and my stepson actually babysat for an hour while the baby slept, so hubby and I could go on a mini-date.  🙂  What an awesome kid!  Or, as we perpetually tease him, “What a nice young man.”  Thanks, Lord!

9) 100% lazy days :: I have had at least three full or nearly-full days of rest.  PTL!  That makes all the difference.

11) Buying things for myself without worrying how I’ll pay for something that someone else needs :: A huge area of my life now… and though I am sure the Lord has more to do for my budgeting in this area, a dear friend of mine generously invested in my wardrobe almost 3 days after I posted that (and NOT after reading my blog).  There are not words for this gesture.  I almost have to try not to feel guilty for being so blessed.  Thank you, Dear Friend.  What a gift.

12) Sleeping as long or as late as I want :: I am finding creative ways to get extra naps… one is to let the baby sleep with me, so he can nurse as long as he wants.  He almost inevitably sleeps longer that way.  And then I get a few winks too.  SIGH.  So nice.  Also, once in a while, putting the baby in the playpen and a movie on quietly while I sleep on the sofa so he can see me, helps too.  He doesn’t tolerate that for long, but hey — it’s better than nothing.  Thanks Lord, for that creativity, and for a baby that trusts me.

13) Cooking/baking as long as my energy will hold out, that being my only focus :: One of the reasons I used to like to do this was the quantity I could crank out on my own… well, recently I have started hanging out with some jr high and high school girls from church, who incidentally love to bake!  So, the nice thing is, they do half the work or more, we get to hang out, someone holds the baby, and I get to have a goodie to eat, to share, and to fill my home with yummy smells of buttery goodness…. SIGH…. Lord, this list is almost getting too long! (Wayne’s World: “I’m not worthy!”)  So much rest, so much joy, so much more peace.  Thank you, Lord.

16) Bible Study or prayer uninterrupted :: This one has taken a different sort of turn.  I realized that I have been afraid again of not measuring up to what Bible Study should look like.  I got prayer at church yesterday about this, with some good results… too much to go into here, perhaps more on that later.

18) Drinking coffee without worrying about how baby will act after nursing :: I’ve started planning to drink caffeinated coffee only when he’s NOT about to nurse or just after he’s asleep.  Just planning that has helped me to stay away from the caffeine the rest of the time, and enjoy it like the treat that it is.  Man, that makes it sound like I’m fixated on drinking coffee all day.  Don’t worry, I’m not.

26) Crying in privacy :: The amazing thing is, after realizing this enough to type it out, I actually allowed myself to cry in front of my husband the next day.  He had to be reassured that it was just a passing storm and it wasn’t his fault, but I told him it was just part of myself that he hadn’t seen much because I had been so shy about it…. good stuff.  🙂

29) Clothes fitting :: You already read the amazing answer to this one.

More to come, I’m sure!  Praise the Lord with me!  🙂

Past Fears to Present Confidence

Today I hosted a group of women at my home, complete with kiddie pool and sprinkler in the backyard…. a far cry from where my mindset has been in my life up until now, which was that I must protect myself from being known too well since I might be judged or rejected.  It is amazing to me the healing that the Lord has brought to my life in the past 5 years or so.  I am so deeply thankful for the women and men in my life who have pioneered this healing frontier with me, praying and listening and advising and supporting.  All in all, their safe friendship has allowed me to walk as a new person in the identity which Christ engineered from the very beginning, and which Satan has tried in so many ways to squelch and ruin.

I have come to realize that it really is true: To have a friend you must be a friend.  I have spent years trying to instill in my brain the basic questions one can ask a person whom one barely knows: Do you live near here?  Where do you work?  What’s that like?  How do you feel about that?

I have also had to learn that my responses are not nearly as important as the listening and loving part.  I might have a certain thought which I can think about sharing, but really, if I want this friendship to blossom, I can first get to know their side and what we have in common, then go from there.

For example, one woman who was here this morning seemed somewhat scared.  I took that in, and realized that I might be able to help her know she is in a friendly, safe place… so I took to asking her those safe questions and letting her responses be whatever they were… awkward or whatever… I have been that awkward girl who doesn’t know what to say, and so often have ended up saying something dumb-sounding, and have been kind of eyebrows-raised-at, and it is not exactly the best way to make me feel like I want to come back… so though there are balances to social standards, I also think that catching whatever ball someone else throws is the best way to have good improv… theatre talk, sorry…

That’s all for now… thanks for reading!  🙂