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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Favorite Pregnancy Moments

At 5 days overdue, I have been spending some time reflecting on the last nine months (and five days). Being pregnant has convinced me yet again that there is a God. And a smart one at that. I've probably read 25-30 books about pregnancy and the first year and I just cannot understand how anyone can believe that this all happened by evolution or accident. There is such attention to detail and every step builds on the last one. It's just miraculous. And then there is the fun of the baby kicking! Or moving. Or bumping around. Or dancing to punk music. (And don't laugh - my baby is a big fan of punk and emo just like her mommy). I think that the first time I felt the baby move I fell in love with her. She started taking on personality and gave me clues to what she might be like. And there is always the fun of me coming up with Charissa's opinions - and who can argue with me? She's in me! I should know her the best, so when I say her favorite show is "Friends" you have to believe me.

I have loved being pregnant, but there have been moments when I have not enjoyed it. And most of those have been because being pregnant is an obvious and open invitation for everyone who sees me to comment about pregnancy and babies. Some of which has been good and helpful, but some has just been irritating. I've tried to learn greater patience and grace through it, but I haven't always succeeded at that. For those of you who have been pregnant you can sympathize. And for you others, you're probably thinking "Oh no - I've probably said those things!" Well ... maybe you have. I bet I have. All I know is that I won't say them again!

I want to share with you my "favorite pregnancy moments." Some sound harmless, but keep in mind that I probably hear them everyday I'm in contact with the outside world.

1. "It's so obvious - you're having a boy!" [Interesting, seeing that my doctor said it is definitely a girl.]
2. "You're getting so BIG!" [I've always been tempted to say "So are you!" but I've never actually done it.]
3. "You look miserable." [Well, I was feeling fine but now I do feel miserable. Thanks.]
4. "You know, none of your clothes are going to fit in another month or so." [Is that an offer to buy me a new wardrobe?]
5. "Are you excited?" [Nope.]
6. "Looks like you've put on a little weight." [Seriously?]
7. "Oh look at your poor legs! They're swelling to look like tree trunks!" [That has got to be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my legs. Thank you.]
8. "Why, I can't even tell you're pregnant!" [I'm 6 months pregnant! Do you think I'm just fat in weird places?}
9. "Still pregnant huh?" [Why no! I had my baby and then immediately began stuffing my shirts to look pregnant again because it's so cool!]
10. *On the phone* "Did you have your baby yet?" [Sure did! And I was so disappointed about it that I decided not to tell anyone about it.]
11. "You should name your baby ____" [Our government is a democracy. My family is not.]
12. "You ever think about labor and how much it's going to hurt?" [Gee, I thought when God said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children" He was just kidding around!]
13. "Wow - you sure do have the 'pregnant glow!'" [It's hot in here and I'm sweating. In fact I think you have the "pregnant glow" too.]

Ahh ... the memories. Sure has been a fun nine months. I just can't wait for the next phase to start. Of course then I'll probably have to put up with things like, "Pregnancy weight sure is hard to lose, isn't it?" and "Your boy is so handsome!" I really am afraid of what I'm going to say when someone calls my beautiful baby girl a boy. God give me grace!

Please continue to pray for us as we enter into our last DAYS of pregnancy!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Servant Song

We are travelers on a journey, fellow pilgrims on the road;
We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for you in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.

Sister, let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.
Brother, let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.

I will weep when you are weeping, when you laugh, I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow, till we've seen this journey through.
When we sing to God in heaven, we shall find such harmony,
Born of all we've known together of Christ's love and agony.

We sang this song at our church service last Sunday morning and I've been thinking about it a lot since then. As we sang the first line I began pondering who I was being a "fellow pilgrim" to and who were mine. What an incredible task! To walk alongside someone through all the trials, tears, laughter and song! We think about this when someone gets married and they vow to love the other in "sickness and health" - but when I came to faith no one said to me, "You know, you are now to walk alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ through all circumstances."

I want to be a fellow pilgrim though. God has definitely softened my heart in the last year to want to be there for someone else in need. And I guess that stems from my desire for someone to be faithful to me in their friendship through all the ups and downs my life brings. And I'm learning what it means to be there for someone when they need to laugh, or cry, or be silent, or be fed, or ... when you need me to help you host a dance party (the last one might be a stretch for most of you, but would probably bless my husband tremendously).

I'm glad God planned for the Christian walk to be one with fellowship. I couldn't do it by myself. So thank you to all those who have helped me, are helping me, and will continue to help me. I pray that I can increasingly become someone who is a faithful friend.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Family, New Gifts, New Year's

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2

My wife and I traveled to visit her parents two weekends ago, and God used it to bless us far beyond what we could ask or imagine. We were overwhelmed with their generosity and kindness toward us, especially after such a trying (engagement, wedding, newlywed, pregnancy) year. Her parents displayed the goodness and grace of God in their overflowing gifts for us, and we were humbled to remember that God does this for us every day. He is the one who showers, rains, waterfalls His grace upon all believers in Christ forever, and that is exactly why He has saved us (Ephesians 2:7).

So we praise God for the E and F families, and we praise Him even more for His overwhelming riches in Christ Jesus.