Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 29: Belly Rubbing

I've mentioned before that blog ideas roll around in my head, fragmented, for an unspecified amount of time before I get them down on "paper." Well, this week's blog hit me hard and fast--at Perkins.

Erik and I had made a late night run to Perkins, as we often did when we were dating. After finishing up our pancakes and various other late-night breakfast foods, we went to pay for our meal.

I noticed that the cashier was pregnant--she had a very cute little baby belly! And before I really understand what is happening, I find myself gently rubbing my very own cute little baby belly that is clothed in a bulky sweatshirt.

Slowly, I became aware of what I was doing and started to ponder why I feel the need--an unavoidable urge really--to make my baby belly more noticeable when I'm around other baby bellies. Is it a competitive urge? Is it a maternal call to arms? Is it a deep need to ensure that this other blessed woman knows that I too am blessed? Is it some form of bonding?

As I am thinking through this, to my private shock and amusement, the cashier raises her right hand ... and begins to rub her baby belly as well!

What is this? Is it some pregnant woman secret language? A silent agreement to acknowledge each others' belly blessings without words? A non-spoken contract of congratulations made without even any eye contact? Seriously--has anyone else noticed this? Or is it just me?

As we walked to the car, I was chuckling. I told Erik, "I just got my blog for the week." He asked how, and I explained the whole 2 minute experience, to which he said, "Oh--she was pregnant? I didn't notice."

Ah, to be oblivious like a man.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dark Tunnel, Bright Light

Colossians 1:13-14

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Picture this:

I’m rollerblading through a dark tunnel that runs under the very busy main road near my house. The graffiti-stained cement walls are rounded; there are light fixtures every two feet, but the lights are not on. The ground, which I can barely see, is bumpy. Perhaps it’s dried mud; perhaps it’s debris. Either way, I can’t see whatever it is that is causing this seasoned blader to stumble. When I entered, I cruised with confidence, sure of my path and ready to go. As I near the center of the tunnel, it is so dark—dark enough to force me to slow my pace and creep carefully along. I begin to feel that even though I know there is light at the end, it seems like eons away. I doubt. It’s so dark in the depths of the tunnel, that I can’t see the light. Will I ever reach the sunlight at the end of this dark, cold, cement tunnel?

Picture this: The dominion of darkness. There is no light at the end of this tunnel; there is no light at all to guide a person along. Your dominion of darkness does not look or feel or smell the same as mine did. You struggle and fight and blade toward what you desperately hope is the end, but you never make it. Not on your own. It is endless.

Light bulb:

The light that you hope is at the end of the tunnel—it is there. It is the kingdom of Jesus Christ! God rescues us from our dominions of darkness and brings us into the light. The light that somehow we knew all along was there, but could not get to by ourselves. When I’m rollerblading through the dark cold tunnel, I despair that I will ever again see the light of day. As I finally burst into the sunshine, my eyes drink in the bright blue sky, the green buds of spring, the glistening water of the pond before me. My ears tune in to the meadowlark singing her song, and the hum of the roads around me. My muscles tense and release as my body swings into a natural rhythm and settles in for a perfect blade … I feel right. I feel complete. I’ve left the darkness of the tunnel behind me. Just as when I was brought into my Lord’s kingdom, felt His forgiveness, and knew I was home. 3-08-06


So, back in 2006 (seriously, a loooong time ago), I determined to sit down and write my thoughts on my favorite book of the Bible: Colossians.

I started ...

But didn't finish.

So I figure if I'm writing blogs about Colossians, I will be more accountable for my progress because I'll see on here when I last actually did one! So, here we go! I'll post the ones I wrote in years past, and then start on new ones.

I hope this challenges me--and you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week 27: Did I Just Say That?!

It was during Week 27 that I first had this thought, "I don't want to be pregnant anymore."

GASP! What?? Did I just have that thought? How DARE I?

I even voiced this thought to Erik one night. And I even guiltily told my closest friends ... "This is the first week I've felt 'inconvenienced'." And I feel such a burden of guilt for even thinking, let alone saying that.

When I was in the midst of struggling to conceive, the most hurtful, frustrating thing, of many hurtful frustrating things, was when a beautifully pregnant woman would openly complain about her growing body, whine about the pregnancy ... I remember trying to understand, trying to sympathize (knowing I could never truly understand) but it was so difficult for me, since I so badly wished I could swap places. I remember declaring to Erik that I would never wish for my pregnancy to be over, that I would never complain about whatever aches and pains would come.

So now that I'm here, and my understanding is more clear, I feel such guilt when I whine even a little bit.

It's incredible to me that A) Something I wanted for so long really is here, and is truly so amazing. B) My body can do this miraculous thing and C) That even in pregnancy, I find something to feel guilty about.

So let's talk about the truth:

The truth is, I am so grateful to be pregnant. Rarely a day goes by where I don't shake my head in wonder, and thank Jesus for this gift that I do not deserve!

The truth is, Infertility was so hard--obviously. And I don't fault myself for struggling when pregnant women complained; it's where I was at, and it was real.

The truth is, Pregnancy can be hard. For me, not much of it has been. But there are moments, now hitting third trimester and really feeling the burden of my growing body, that I just want to be done.

However, the real truth is, I love being pregnant. I wouldn't trade it for the world--aches, pains, heartburn, loss of bladder control, fatigue and all--this is the greatest experience of my life!

So even if I voice a little complaint, or heave a sigh and wish for May, it's okay. God who blessed me with this little boy understands--it's not for lack of gratitude. It's just real life ... and there's no need to feel guilt. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 26: Finally My Turn

I was cleaning out old documents when I found this. Written March 3, 2008--it's so weird to hear my voice from the past. These emotions seem so recent, and yet, so long ago. It's weird how things change so quickly ... But it's good to be reminded from where I've come. From where God has brought me. During a week where I was continually amazed at the experiences of pregnant, it was so good to remember how badly I wished for this. Why would anyone complain about being pregnant?? I'm so blessed to get to experience this miracle. Former me would be so happy ....

I have a headache. My legs hurt. I feel like I need to stretch but don’t have the energy to do so. I hate that I know that the energy would come if I would just get up and move around. But that takes effort. I feel like effort is not something I can put forth right now. Because I have a headache.

I want to be done with school. I want to not feel guilty about not being heavily involved in a ministry. I feel like I’m tired and slightly burned out, which is dumb because I just got back from vacation.

I feel that it’s unfair that all these women in my life can all have babies and I can’t. I feel that it has been long enough—how much longer until it’s my turn? Do I get a turn? Maybe I won’t!?

That feeling scares me. I feel like it’s not going to happen. That I’m not going to be blessed with my own baby.

I want to experience pregnancy. I want to feel my baby kick inside of me. I want to have horrible heartburn, I want to puke every morning, I want to have swollen feet and I want to have to buy a fake cheap wedding band at Wal-Mart because my fingers are too big to wear my real one.

I want to have beautiful hair and strong nails. I want my pants to be tight. I want to be able to sleep only on one side and have to hug a body pillow just to be comfortable. I want to fight with Erik over names.

I want to avoid coffee and deli meats for 9 whole months, just because they ­­­might harm my baby. I want to feel fat. I want to waddle. I want to wonder if I’ll ever see my toes again. I want to have to ask for help to tie my shoes. I want to not have to clean the litter box. I want people telling me that I’m the cutest pregnant woman they’ve ever seen. I want to not be able to travel.

I want to be pregnant. And it’s my turn.

GOD!! I just keep plodding along, but I’m tired Lord. I’m tired. I want to be a mom. Is that too much to ask? For me? For Jenni? For Erin? For Heather? Why not us, God? Why are we the statistics? What did we do to deserve the loss of our CHILDREN?! Not matter how big, or how miniscule, those are our babies. And it hurts to lose them. It’s devastating.

So when is it our turn God? When do we get to hold our babies in our arms? To see their little eyes looking up at us with such love and trust?

When do we get to watch our sons learn to play baseball, and our daughters dress cabbage patch dolls?

When is it our turn to clean up spaghetti stains and organize millions of toys?

When do we get the privilege of getting no sleep and making multiple runs to Target for diapers and formula?

When, God, is it my turn to feel a baby kicking, to deal with hiccups at 2am, to feel the pain of Braxton Hicks?

When God? How much longer? Where are You in this???? You could snap Your fingers, and I could be pregnant. Is this not what You have for me? When in the world IS Your timing? Soon….please God soon.

I feel so obligated to write something about how I know it’s Your timing, I know You are here, I know this is for my own good…

but I just sometimes want to ask the questions. I want them hanging out there, unanswered, because it feels good to let them hang. Good in an extremely empty, desperate way. Good in a strangely depressing way.

After so long, it feels good to question—to honestly vent, question and not feel obligated to remind myself and others reading that I know His words on waiting, growing, challenging, disciplining. Sometimes, I just don’t care. I want to be sad. I want to play the victim; I want to whine.

When is it my turn??

Dear Former Me--it's my turn!!!!! Bubba's strong and healthy and coming very very soon! The Lord is good--no matter how I'm feeling.