Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Desire for a Full House

Stephen and I had the conversation that all dating couples, who intend to marry, have:

"How many kids do you want?"

Back then we agreed on four. As close together as possible. Hopefully, by the time I turned 30.

Yeah, we were naive. But cut us some slack, most newlyweds think everything in life will go as planned. We can plan every second of our future but, we are not the sovereign ones.

Our story looks nothing like our plans:

Three miscarriages in two years.

A fourth pregnancy in which the Lord was so gracious.

A healthy little boy who is now 16 months old.

No pink lines since.

I turn 29 this year.

I realize that even typing a post about the yearning I have for more children risks coming across as ungrateful for the little boy we do have.

I assure you that is not the case.

However, I would say that my heartfelt desire for several children is just as strong (actually, stronger) as was my desire for one child.

Life doesn't go "as planned." Or, at least according to human plans. You'd totally think I would have learned that lesson by now. Obviously, I haven't and, obviously, the Lord knows I need more opportunity to let go of my plans and trust him.

So, instead of asking, "When, Lord?"  We decided to ask, "How, Lord?" How can we use this desire for a "full house" now, in this current season? Instead of waiting idly, how can we use our time, resources, and desire to glorify the Lord, right now?

And, here is where we have landed...

So, pray for us. We are hopeful, scared, excited, and a bit unsure of what to expect. We have just begun the certification process and still have many hoops to jump through, but hope to be certified by the beginning of summer.

And, we are still hoping for some pink lines. :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

When Valentine's Day (and other days) Don't Go as Planned

We have not been on a date night since we moved to Oklahoma.

It is not that we haven't tried. Finding a sitter when you know very few people and have no family nearby isn't always easy. Oh, and we are kinda cheap. There's that part.

I had a sitter all lined up for Stephen's birthday evening, only to have Jude come down with an upper respiratory infection - so plans were canceled.

We had a sitter all lined up for a Friday night a couple weeks ago to attend a concert. But, Jude came down with a stomach bug that morning. Then, it was my turn that evening.

Today, we didn't have a sitter lined up. But, we did have plans to FINALLY get outside (our temps haven't gotten above freezing for like 10 days, so it has been a while!) We hoped to enjoy the beautiful day with a picnic at the park and a hike.  

But, instead we have spent today cleaning up bodily excrement as our toddler has yet another stomach virus. 

Suffice it to say you won't see any awesome Instagram photos of how we are celebrating today. You're welcome. 

It is tempting to feel sorry for yourself when you are a parent. To think about all the things you are sacrificing and missing out on. But, what this really is is God revealing my selfishness.

Because I am selfish, I am tempted to get upset when parenting interferes with what I want to do. I can quickly forget how much I prayed and dreamed about becoming a parent. I can forget how many people I know who would do anything for that title. I know, it's ugly. How can I forget so quickly? 

Truthfully, I love, love, love being a mommy. Having a son is an amazing blessing. Being parents has made our marriage stronger and sweeter. 

But, even though we are spending Valentines Day in the stinky (literally) trenches of parenthood, I am reminded of what a beautiful picture of Christ my husband is. I am reminded that he is such a grace of God in my life. His gentleness, patience, kindness, humor, optimism, and passion for the church captivate me. I love him so much more than I ever thought possible. He is absolutely my best friend and my favorite person.

Frequently, I look at our marriage and just marvel at how blessed we are. We enjoy being with each other. We are unified as parents. We team up to minister to others. We have learned how to handle our disagreements better (and continue to learn). And, all of this is a testimony to his leadership. 

So, today is not the Valentines Day I had pictured. Yet, it is a good day. I am challenged to look beyond our broken plans to the blessings I have been given. I am thankful for the title of wife and mom, but more thankful for the individuals who make those titles possible.  I praise God for them.