Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you know how to make God laugh?

"Tell Him your plans!"

Since Bryan and I had Jackson and moved to TN, we've talked a lot about our plans for when we wanted to have another child.  We know we want more children (at least 1 more, maybe 2) but were trying to be smart about the timing of it all.  We wanted Jackson to have some time to feel like an only child, we wanted to wait until his speech development caught up, and MOST OF ALL we wanted to keep our guest bedroom for a while.

Now, I know that sounds silly, but keep in mind that we live in a 3 bedroom home, at least 9 hours from family.  That means if people want to come visit, they need a place to stay.  The entire time we lived in SC, we didn't have a functioning guest bedroom.  And, it's the one thing I looked forward to the most when moving to a larger home.  I wanted a place for our family and friends to come and visit and feel comfortable.  And, I've loved having it!  So, Bryan and I decided we would wait to add to our family for a few more years.  Maybe by then we could afford to move into a bigger home...or maybe the baby itch would be so bad by then that we didn't care.

Well, God had other plans.

While visiting family in Maryland, I was supposed to get a visit from my "monthly friend."  When she didn't come on the day she was supposed to, I was perplexed.  I'm never late.  NEVER.  My cycle is like clockwork.  I can just about predict the tides by it.  Nonetheless, I pushed the concern to the back of my mind...Maybe it's the stress of the 17 hour drive?  Maybe I calculated wrong or didn't write it down correctly?  She'll come tomorrow.  I was determined to enjoy my vacation and really didn't think about it until the next evening, when she still hadn't paid me a visit.

I broke down and told Bryan that I was a day late and was a little concerned that something was going on.  He was wide-eyed but immediately asked me if I "felt" pregnant.  See, when I was pregnant with Jackson, I felt it before I even got a positive test.  In fact, I had so many symptoms so early that I got a positive test almost a week before I was supposed to get my period and we even thought I could be pregnant with twins because my hormone levels were so high.  I told Bryan that I didn't feel pregnant at all, so I just thought I was late.  If I didn't start by tomorrow morning, we'd go get a pregnancy test.

Well, the next morning rolled around and I still hadn't gotten my monthly friend.  So, we went to the store and bought a test.  I decided to wait to take it until the next morning, just in case.  Plus, they're more accurate if you take them first thing in the morning.

On the morning July 4th, in my grandmother's bathroom, we had our own little fireworks show when I saw this...


Bryan and I were SHOCKED!  I had convinced myself I wasn't pregnant, and I couldn't believe I was.  We proceeded to tell our immediate family, and I began the process of going through the bag of emotions that comes with an unplanned pregnancy.

Bryan was over the moon, and I was too.  But, I was also scared.  Scared of miscarriage because I've had one before.  Scared that I wouldn't love this baby as much as I love Jackson.  Scared for my sanity of being a stay at home mom of two children.  Scared about finances.  And, what would happen to my lovely guest bedroom?!  Where would family stay when they came to see this new baby?!

I don't have the answer to the guest bedroom question yet.  And, for some ridiculous reason, it seems to be my biggest concern.  I know it's silly, I know...but I can't help it!

God has given me peace though.  It took a scary weekend of some pretty severe cramping, which just turned out to be a bad UTI, but I got peace.  We praised God and breathed a huge sigh of relief to see that the baby was just fine and already had a strong heartbeat at just 6 weeks and 2 days.

Hello, little Sweet Pea!

And, we are VERY, VERY excited to welcome this new baby into the world in March!

Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby as miscarriage is never far from our minds.  We know that once you get a heartbeat the chances of miscarriage decrease significantly, but we also know from close friends that there is never a "safe point."


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Control Freak

Today I feel like control is absolutely slipping through my fingers.  And, for me that is a big deal.  I am a control freak.  I love to be in control - control over the daily schedule, my emotions, my family dynamic, my career, my ministry.

Most days I feel like God knows this about me and lets me think I've got everything under control.  Then days like today happen and I realize I have no control at all.  No control over a teething toddler who clearly has a mind of his own and has since birth.  (I think he may have inherited the control freak gene, which should make things VERY interesting!)  No control over our family unit and our future (sorry, gotta be vague here but it's nothing bad I promise!).  No control over my teaching career (I should mention that one of the reasons I love teaching is that I have control over MY classroom).  No control over various aspects of the college ministry Bryan and I are leading.  And, no control of my own emotions.

I feel like the more I try to hold on, white knuckled, for control -- the more I am losing it.

In fact, I've done this a lot today --

I know that God is trying to teach me a lesson in this.  It seems to be a lesson that I'll never learn --

First, that my life is not mine.  Second, that I was not designed to have control.*

Jeremiah 10:23 -- I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

I know that I should, "Let go and let God."  But that is SO HARD for me.  Sometimes I just want to shout, "I've got this, Lord! I promise I'll do a good job if you just give it to me!"  

But, then I hear him say the same thing right back.  Except His is a promise that can't be broken.  Because, how many times have I failed if I try to keep control?  Do I have to think back over time, or can I just count today?  Because, I think the dozen face palms I've given myself today answers that question.

My grandmother's favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 

Days like today, find me leaning on this verse with all I am.  I know that I will fall short of fully trusting the Lord and not trying to do things my way, but I acknowledge that; and I acknowledge that His plan is so much more perfect and wonderful than mine.  

So, right now I promise to give all the control to Him.  Even if that's the hardest thing in the world for me to do.  

Is it bad that I still hope He'll clue me in a little? :)


*I'm so thankful for wonderful online devotionals like this one that can direct me to scripture and explain how it is relevant to exactly what I'm going through.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Family Vacay

Sorry it's been a bit since I posted, but we've been out of town of vacation.

We had a wonderful time but are finding more and more that vacations with a toddler are mixed with times of pure delight and times of pure stress.

The drive from TN to the Eastern Shore of Maryland is 17 hours.  On the way there we stopped through WV to see Bryan's dad and Grandmother and stayed the night.  We were able to see some friends of the family and they were able to meet Jackson for the first time which was great.  On the way back we drove straight through because the water went out at our house.  Jackson was such a trooper and did great with NOT ONE MELTDOWN.  Bryan and I were absolutely amazed at how well he did.  We are so lucky to be his parents!

In Maryland we ate more steamed, blue crab than seems possible, spent some quality time with family, and even got away on our own some to have Mommy, Daddy, and Jackson time.

It's funny how vacation teaches you things.  We learned that Jackson loves the pool, but not when there's a lot of people in it.  He is terrified of fireworks, but is absolutely addicted to watermelon.  Both of which are staples for celebrating the 4th of July, in my opinion.  Hopefully next year will be better when it comes to fireworks.   He wouldn't eat any of the crab, so we'll definitely have to work on that in the upcoming years!!  No one can be in our family and NOT eat blue crab! :-)  I also learned that I'm TERRIBLE at taking pictures.  I only got a handful of pictures of Jackson with Bryan and my brother in the pool.  I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I forget to take time to try and capture the moment on film.  I'm vowing right now to fix this.  Especially now that I've got a DSLR camera and can learn how to use it to take spectacular pictures.

This vacation also taught me to live in the moment.  Don't dwell on the stresses of less sleep and a different schedule, which can cause mini-meltdowns.  Instead, enjoy the change because the good times outweigh the meltdowns.  Things like - sharing a cup of mint chocolate chip on the sidewalk of a quaint, shore side town, watching your little one run joyfully through a family owned toy store, laughing at the squeals of delight when playing in the pool, and kissing the sticky-sweet, watermelon skin of a little boy that just can't get enough of the stuff.

Plus, vacation with my brother and sister-in-law always makes for good laughs.  Here are just some of the things that made us laugh this week:

"Rub in your chapstick.  It looks like you ate paste for lunch."

"The drive's not that bad.  Think about the positive.  See...we don't get to see corn that often."

"What stinks out here?"
"It smells like taco night at our house."
"Surely your tacos don't smell that bad?"  
"I think he was referring to the gas emitted after the tacos."
"Oh, ha!  Yeah that makes more sense."

"In the summertime he prefers the satin ones bc they're a lot cooler."

"Free Willy!"

I hope you had a wonderful 4th as well!