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Monday, January 26, 2009

Another month, come and gone


I must say, my heart longs to be a mom. People can say we haven't been trying for very long, and realistically ten months isn't that long, but I see people walking around with their babies and as much as I smile on the outside it makes me sad on the inside. The other day I asked Dan if he would totally freak out if I told him I was pregnant, and he said that he would just be excited (not scared at all). He said that he really wants a baby and is completely looking forward to it. He mentions it sometimes and I know how badly he wants to be a dad. Our little one will come at the right time, but sometimes I just feel like crying that it hasn't happened yet. I have friends in the same boat and I know that God uses all of our experiences to accomplish his will in all of our lives. I just get my hopes up sometimes that I might be pregnant and when I find out that I'm not it feels like another step back. I just have to keep trusting God.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This control thing


I've come to a big realization lately that has hit me square in the face. I am a control freak. Little did I know it until now when things aren't quite working out the way I thought (although I'm sure Dan would tell you that he's had my control-freakness pegged from the beginning). If it were up to me, I would be in the hospital right now giving birth to a beautiful baby. What I have learned is that it's not up to me. It's about allowing God to teach me something about myself and ultimately growing more like Him through what I learn.

I have never seen myself in a position to control anything, but at the same time when there is something I want I try to find a way to get it. I'd never considered that being controlling, just focused and determined. Through this experience of not getting pregnant on my timeline, and having absolutely no control over it (no one to convince of something, no calls to anybody to make it happen faster) I thought initially that God was teaching me patience. What I learned is that I'm already a fairly patient person with a pretty long fuse, but what I've been waiting for is ultimately what I WANT. It's like, "if I just sit here and wait long enough I'll get pregnant and I'll have what I want...it's just a matter of time." I can wait as long as it takes for people to come around to my way. What God is teaching me is that ultimately it's not about getting what I want, regardless of how long I can wait. It's truly about surrendering to what He wants. Not just His timing for my desires, but His perfect will for my life.

The patience thing is easy, but the control thing gets me. I start wondering when we're going to get pregnant and I start thinking about how we'll tell people, and decorating the nursery, and names. But, the most painful memories are of things that haven't happened yet (or never did, or never will), so I circle back to the place of wondering when it will happen, why it hasn't happened yet, is something wrong, etc. Truly surrendering means focusing on God entirely and learning what He has to teach me about Himself. God is actually the least control-freakish even though He has the whole world in His hands. He leaves us to do whatever we want. He might not be happy with our decisions (and sometimes neither are we), but He never stops loving us. Some people might ask why He continues loving us when we constantly turn our backs on Him, but it's actually the ultimate example of relinquishing control to someone who can love you more if you give them the choice rather than if you force it on them. True spiritual growth happens by letting go of things so that something new can be born.

Through this experience, I continue to grow more towards the person of surrender that I desire to be, but it is a growth process. It's like someone telling God, "I want patience NOW." Growing from control to surrender is like telling God "I need you to make me less controlling." It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without going through the experiences that challenge us into those places God is leading. While there have been some ups and downs along the way of my life, I have always had everything I need and quite a few "wants." We have food on the table, often with leftovers going bad in the fridge. We have closets overflowing with more clothes than we even want to wear, and we have a house (granted, still with blue carpet in the bedrooms) that we come home to every night complaining of not enough storage space. What I wrote a few days ago was that I don't want to let my focus on the one thing that's not going the way I want distract me from appreciating all the things that are going well. Thinking about it even more now, what I really don't want is to let the thing that's not going my way distract me from God. It's not about the fact that I have everything that I need (although I'm so grateful for God's provision), and it's not about my focus on not having a baby yet making me any less thankful for what I do have. It's about it not being about what I do or don't have at all. It's about God and His character revealing Himself to me and through me during this particular experience.

What an honor that God gives me the opportunity to grow more like him in the area of surrender. Some people are never faced with such a clear opportunity to grow more like Christ, and here I have it. I'm in the midst of it and I'm so grateful. Not just to learn more about me, but honestly to learn more about God and His character. The clearest lessons are often learned during the most vulnerable times in our lives and the desire to give life to another human being is certainly one of those times. It is not easy to give way to my desire to have a child and fully surrender to God's will, but everything happens to grow me more towards the person I was created to be. My nature is to try to control the situation with deadlines, calendars, and ovulation tests. My desire is to say, "God, my life is yours. Do with it what you will, when you will, and how you will so I can become more like you." So, that is what I say, and if I say it enough then one day I will say it and will realize that he HAS been doing those things, and then I'll be in the midst of another lesson that's teaching me something new and wonderful about the awesome God we serve.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

For our baby-to-be


Hi there little one,
We have been waiting for you for a while (and still are) and we are so excited for the day when we find out that we're going to be blessed with you in our lives. Back in April of last year when you were a little glimmer in our eyes, I wrote a couple thoughts in a journal about what we're excited about, what we hope for you, and our prayer for your life. Here are those thoughts:

~April 20, 2008
In August, 2007, your dad and I went on an awesome cruise around Europe (Italy, Croatia, France, Spain...incredible). Back then, we were only thinking about when we might start having kids. We would talk about it in "some days" or "when the time comes." You were just a glimmer of a thought, but we were already praying for you. Even now, you still haven't even started growing inside of me, but I think about you all the time and pray for the awesome man or woman you'll become. Your dad and I just decided on April 16 (2008) that we were going to start trying to make a baby and already we can't wait to meet you...to see what features look more like your dad or more like me, or will you look more like your aunt or grandpa? No matter what, we already love you...no matter what.

I look at your dad every day and I can't wait to see the way he plays with you, smiles at you, sleeps with you, protects you, and teaches you. He is an amazing man of God and you are so lucky that he's your dad. He's so excited for you to come too! Just this morning he asked if I thought you were growing in my tummy yet, even though he knew you weren't. He just can't wait. We've been married for almost seven years, and I fall more and more in love with your dad every day. I've seen him grow in love and patience and understanding, and I know that you will learn how to live a Godly life by watching him.

People ask us all the time about you. Your Grandpa and Grandma Ellis are already talking about how special you are and Aunt Pam already has clothes picked out. Since your daddy and I have been talking about you, I decided to go to the doctor to make sure that I'm healthy and she said that I am. I've been taking my vitamins and trying to eat right so you'll be healthy and happy.

More than anything, we pray that God will protect you while you're growing inside of me and that he will continue to guide you after you're born. We love you more than words can say.~

~April 28, 2008
Well, there's a small chance that you're growing inside of me right now. I won't know for a week or two, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Last Friday was a lock-in with the high school youth group at church (your dad and I have been leaders there for a long time), and as I was watching the students play dodgeball I started thinking about what you'll be like 14 or 15 years from now. What kind of things will you like? Will you have any brothers or sisters? Will you be in band, or play a sport, or be on student council? What will you think of your dad and me? Will we have been good parents for you and your siblings?

Of all the questions, I know we will always love you no matter what. That's the answer to every question...it doesn't matter because we love you.~

~July 1, 2008
Well, we're still waiting for you to come along, but your dad and I both know that things happen for a reason. Sometimes I get sad because I want you to be here already, but God's timing is perfect so we're willing to wait until he says it's the right time.

In the meantime, I'm still having fun dreaming about you and how fun it will be to have you in our lives. We don't want to wait, but we're trusting God. ~

(Back to today)
As you can see, you are way more than a glimmer or twinkle in our eyes. We are totally preparing for you to come into the world, but while we wait we are appreciating the time together that we're building our relationship and falling more in love with each other so that we can share all of that love with you.

Oh little one, we miss you so much only because we dream about you all the time and can't wait for our dream to come true.



Last night I suggested to Dan that we come up with five goals for 2009. His response..."baby, baby, baby, baby, baby." While five babies isn't quite what I had in mind (nor do I want having a child to seem as trite as a new year's resolution), we are certainly resolute in our desire to add to our little family. We spent a large part of today with my parents and before leaving our home, but after helping us tremendously with some of our projects, they prayed for us that God will guide our steps and that things will happen in his timing instead of our own.

That is all that we want, and more than having a baby our resolution for 2009 (and always) is to fully abandon ourselves to God's will and sink into his love.