So thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words, and for always coming back to read even when I express frustration here. I absolutely LOVE being pregnant, and I am so grateful for a baby this late in life. Please don't ever think I'm taking this for granted...I know I am a blessed, blessed Mama.
Today I feel especially blessed, and I wanted to share a few reasons why. If you read here often you know that I am a Christian...and I'm not ashamed to say that I am what some might consider a Bible thumping Christian. I don't believe God is "out there" somewhere just watching life here on earth, and I don't believe He's whoever we want Him to be. I believe in the literal, very personal, very present God of the Bible, and it isn't just because I heard about Him in church one day. It's because I talk to Him every day. And He moves in my life and answers prayers and meets needs and breaks habits and fills me up and speaks to my heart - He is a real and present and tangible and living God who I have a personal relationship with. You could not convince me that He does not exist or that He is just a figment of my imagination anymore than you could convince me I don't have a relationship with my husband or kids. He's that real to me.
And sometimes - like today - He goes out of His way to show me how much He loves me and cares for me and is here for me. Even when I'm at my grumpiest and hormonal-est. Even when I'm the least lovable...He cares for me.
One of my favoritest scriptures - and I know I say that a lot - is "Cast your cares on Him, for He careth for you." That means when we're worried, grieving, anxious, mad, anti-social, sad, lonely, frustrated, whatever- we can take it to God. We can be honest and say, "Dear God, I suck at this." Okay, I know I probably have readers offended by those words. Sorry. "Dear God, I'm a sinner. Please help me. Please take all this mess and help me." And He can take it. He can handle it. Because He cares for us. He's not only willing, He is waiting for us to hand it to Him.
Yesterday I was having my third meltdown of the day... and feeling incredible guilt on top of the meltdown. Because I know I am so blessed, and somehow that makes me feel like I'm never allowed to be human and have meltdowns. After all there are women who lose babies, women who can't have babies, babies who don't have families, and the list goes on and on and on. And here I go again, calling my husband on the phone so I can cry and go on and on about very trivial things, and everything is upsetting me and on top of that I am upsetting me, because why can I not rise above these raging hormones and get things under control? Why can't I be Michelle Duggar for crying out loud (literally !!!). She has twice as many kids and I bet she never has daily meltdowns at the end of her pregnancies !!
So right after my third meltdown of the day I went into the bathroom to wipe the mascara off my face -again - and just poured out my heart to God. I told Him how cruddy I feel physically, said I was sorry for being frustrated with everyone, told Him how large and un-in-charge I feel, told Him I feel physically unable to take care of everybody right now, and asked Him to just help me. Help me to be a better mom, better wife, better friend, sister, daughter, etc.etc.etc. And on top of all that could He help me find an affordable carseat for this baby, because I just priced them at Target and is it just me or did carseats suddenly triple in price over the last three years?
See how random my mind has been lately?! While asking God to basically give my brain an overhaul, I throw in a request for an infant carseat. Because that's right up there with fix-my-life kind of prayers, dontcha know ?
Anyhoot, fast forward to this morning. Mackenzie had asked me to go get a pedicure with her, as we're leaving this Monday for a week of Bible conference out of town. I'm going to be wearing sandals all week, and I can't even put on my own shoes right now, let alone paint my toenails. So I gladly agreed. I spent a glorious hour relaxing in the salon and talking to the kind Vietnamese salon owner while he painted my toes with pink glitter. (Hellooooo, midlife crisis ?) I asked him all about his life- how he came here, why he came here, how he started his business, etc.
What I heard just touched my heart in such a profound way... he told me about his family coming to America by boat when he was ten years old. They traveled three nights and three days in a little boat to Malaysia. They stayed there for months living off what food they could find - fish, fruit, whatever was edible and free. Eventually they sailed to Hawaii, where he lived for twenty years. Life was work- he and his family ran a kitchen cart, basically cooking out of a van all day and selling meals. The work was hard- getting up at five to prepare the food and working all day til six or seven. In a hot, humid little kitchen cart, just serving people all day. He said they had no days off - when they weren't open they were buying supplies for the next week. But they were free and they were together and they were happy.
Eventually he traveled back to Vietnam and met his wife...they returned to Hawaii to start their own family and then later moved here to give their children a better life. Things are very expensive in Hawaii, and he wanted his kids to have better opportunities here in school and when it came time to go to college or find employment. So they started all over again here- studied and learned and began a new business, and for the first time they work normal hours and have time to relax a bit.
And the whole time he was talking, I just kept thinking about how very easy I have it. Not a "how dare I have meltdowns" kind of thinking, but just an appreciation for what I have, and what I've been given. And it inspired me to be that kind of a parent- the kind who is willing to sacrifice personal comfort to make a better life for my kids. I was so impressed with this man and his kind and smiling wife working beside him... there was not a hint of bitterness for all they have gone through, or what their families went through. Just appreciation for where they are now.
I left there feeling so refreshed and inspired. Kenzie and I went to lunch together and I just sat there talking with her and soaking it all up....just being out of the house for a little bit, enjoying time with my adult daughter, and feeling like myself again. I texted Sam thanking him for watching the kids and encouraging me to go take some time for myself - I didn't realize how much I needed it.
When I got home I walked in the door and looked around- instead of the usual chaos of Saturday mornings, I found everything sparkling clean and vacuumed. The kitchen was swept and morning dishes put away, the laundry was folded and put away, the beds were all made and rooms cleaned, and the kids were getting ready to leave to get haircuts before conference next week. Caleb had been working feverishly to do the last few loads of laundry, so that all I had to do today was pack us up for next week. My older three boys had packed themselves, and Abigail had made an impressive start on her packing as well. I was in awe of all that had transpired while I was gone for the morning.
Later today, while I was putting the last of Lily's outfits into a suitcase, Abigail came upstairs and into the room. She placed a beautiful, expensive carseat on the floor- the exact one I had been eyeing at Target the other day. "Our neighbor wants to know if you want this. Her baby outgrew it and she doesn't need it anymore."
Do you ever have moments where you say- God, You are really real. I mean - I know I'm basing my whole life on that belief, and I'm a pastor's wife for Pete's sake, but when little things like this happen, just complete answers to prayer when I least deserve or expect it ? I say things like that to God. You are really real. And I'm so thankful.
And the icing on the cake came just after that...Jason and Naomi and Baby K came over to pick up a bed we were giving them. When they were getting ready to go they asked if they could take all the kids home to spend the night, and they would bring them back in the morning to get ready for church. I all but threw myself at Jason and Naomi's feet to worship them, and then
So here I sit in my quiet, clean house, enjoying these moments of peace, and I just feel so very spoiled. And relaxed. And blessed.
And I just realized I made it through the ENTIRE day without one meltdown.
If you only knew what a miracle that is.
So there you have it. My little.......okay long testimony.... to what God did for me today. You can call it coincidence, or just a good day, but I believe - no I know - it was a loving and merciful and personal Savior who hears my prayers and forgives and gives, because He careth for me.