Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 34: Dream Come True

34 1/2 weeks pregnant. That's a dream come true in and of itself, but it's not exactly what this blog is about.

My dream came true today when I entered our bedroom and found Erik on our bed, scratching our cat's head. That's obviously not the dream. :)

I wiggled my way onto the bed between them, angering the cat (as usual). After adjusting for a few moments, we settled into a comfortable position with me a little bit on my left side and Erik on his stomach with his head on my belly.

And this is where the dream came true!

My husband and I giggled (well, I giggled mostly. He maybe chuckled. Do guys giggle?), chatted, and just enjoyed taking a moment to chill. And then Bubba kicked. He kicked his daddy right in the chin! Erik continued to lay with his cheek to my belly while his son wriggled around inside me, doing his best to pelt his daddy with solid jabs with whatever appendage it is that he loves to slide back and forth on my left side.

Part of a dream come true.

The second part was when I asked Erik about his friend, Josh, who our baby boy will be named after. I asked him questions I think I've asked before, like, how long were you friends, when did he get sick, what did he have etc. But I also asked questions I'd never asked before. Like, was it hard, did he know Christ, how close were you really and did he quit school?

And Erik shared. His eyes kinda got this far away look--the look his eyes often get when I ask about Josh. And he answered my questions.

He and Josh played together every day from 1st-4th grade. They ran around, built forts, fought off bad guys--just the two of them, all the time. Then one day, the summer after 4th grade, Josh got cancer. (Erik mentioned that the family cat was diagnosed with cancer at the same time, which he deemed to be completely and utterly unfair.) Erik said it was explained to him that Josh had liver cancer, and it was really bad. There really wasn't hope. But they did chemo, and Josh lost all his hair. But Josh was confident, very, that he would be with Jesus. By the end of 6th grade, Erik's best friend was gone. And yes, Erik said, it was very hard.

And sometime in the years after that, Erik decided to name his firstborn son Joshua, in honor of his childhood friend. (I was told, when we first started dating, that if we were to marry and if we were to have a son, I'd better be okay with the name. :) I am.)

And so this is my dream come true: relaxing with the love of my life, with his head on my belly, feeling and seeing our son flexing his tiny little muscles, and sharing a tender moment, honoring the memory of Josh, and dreaming of the little Joshua who is to come.

In no more than 6 1/2 weeks, our little Joshua Lindeen will come to meet us--a miracle fulfillment of so many dreams.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Week 33: Weebles Wobble ...

Weebles Wobble but they don't fall down!

Both of my parents in the last few days have compared me to a Weeble. I vaguely knew the term, but it wasn't until I googled it that I realized how humorous the comparison was.

Apparently, this is what I look like to my parents:

Tip me any which way, and I'll wobble--but I won't fall down. Rolly polly and cute. I guess it's not so horrible ...

I have noticed a change in the way I walk. All of the sudden, I'll realize I'm leaning back and, dare I say it, waddling--just a little. I try to command myself to walk normally, but I can't! It's so funny!! And it's only going to get worse ...

But to compare me to a Weeble ... I don't know ... I'm glad my parents are having fun with this pregnancy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quite the Journey Together

A week less than 9 months ago, my good friend and her husband sat with me on my guest bedroom floor. They had just flown in from Minnesota for a visit, and we were catching up. At one point, my friend’s husband said, “So, can please talk about how annoying it is that everyone’s getting pregnant?”
See, this friend and I had bonded over our struggle to conceive. Well, actually we bonded years before that when we voted together, and ran together—all in one day—but that’s another story. For the previous many months, we had walked side by side on a nasty infertility journey. And here her husband was joining the conversation.
Less than 2 weeks later, my friend and her husband joined the pregnant club, and two months after that conversation with friends on the guest room floor, Erik and I did as well. Absolutely incredible!
Last night, my friend texted me around 9:00pm that she was in the hospital, ready to have her baby! Is God good or what? We never would have guessed we’d actually be here. Well, I know we hoped and trusted, but to actually be here is truly incredible.
God is so faithful!
As overused as it is, this verse comes to mind:
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to bring you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
It’s with many many tears and a very full heart that I welcome my dear friends’ little girl into this world.
And greatly anticipate the birth of my son!
They will be married, you know. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week 32: I Didn't Plan This

It wasn't long into college before I realized that I naturally mentor. I naturally teach, guide and counsel. Do I do it well? Well, that's a whole other topic. But I realized quickly that I am a "developer of people," as one skill set test creatively put it.

So, I always assumed that I would mentor people. First I wanted to be a high school guidance counselor, then I did become a R.A., and that led me to setting my sights on some sort of role in Student Life on a college campus. I tutored a young girl in NE Minneapolis and pondered a non profit path. From there I moved on to academic advising, got involved in youth mentoring through youth group, and poof--

Here I am shepherding women who struggle with infertility.

What?! I didn't plan this ...

I figured I would develop life plans, help choose colleges, provide a listening ear through nasty break ups, help discover skill sets, encourage healthy habits ...

Never did I guess my ministry would veer sharply into the heart broken world of infertility. Neither did I guess that my life would veer sharply into this lonely, silent, hazy world. The world of questions, and no answers. Or questions, some answers, but not the right ones. The world of disappointing hope, endless cycles, and painful procedures.

It's a strange position to be in--especially now that I'm pregnant. I of all people could possibly cause a lot of pain for the women that reach out to me. Me with my rounded belly and excitement glowing in my eyes.

But oh wait--right now there's no excitement. My eyes are shadowed in pain and filled with tears. My heart is breaking. Why?

I am remembering.

Yet another friend of a friend has been pointed in my direction--Praise the Lord for His use of my pain and struggles--and I am suddenly in her shoes, asking those desperate questions, waiting, waiting, waiting and wondering. I am remembering the pain, the fading hope, the countless angry tears.

I didn't plan this, never would have planned this, never would have thought that a part of my ministry in life would be in the shadowed realm of infertility ...

I didn't plan this, but I'm glad God did.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week 28: Hospital and Bedrest

Did anyone else realize that I totally didn't post a "28 week" blog? I JUST realized it. Wow ...

Well, looking back, the week I would have posted the "28 week" blog, I was at home on bedrest. Strange, that during a week where I had nothing to do and was chained to my house and basically forced to lay on the couch, I didn't remember to post a blog. And must not have had any desire to. But that's kinda what bedrest does to you. It sunk me into depression, slowly but surely, each day a little bit deeper. Having all the time in the world left me feeling like I had no time at all. It was fairly awful.

How often does a person spend a full 24 or more hours in the house? Not very often. At least I don't. And it is NOT good for the soul.

Some might say, "Wow, what an awesome chance to catch up and spend good quality time with the Lord!" Well, I would say that's just idealistic. It didn't happen, because being couped up with little outside interaction, and no exercise makes me want to do .... NOTHING.

I woke up, moved from my bed to the couch, checked a couple emails, and attempted to avoid full out depression. Not exactly an inspiring environment to write a blog in. :)

I'm so grateful that I only had one week of bedrest. I know if I needed to do it for the sake of my baby, then I would--and could--get through. But boy am I thankful that I don't have to!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 31: Opinions

I love how everyone has an opinion about my pregnant belly, and how everyone loves to share said opinions.

It just cracks me up because no one is right, because everyone is different!

I had one lady also choke on her cookie when I told her how far along I was. Her response was an indication of her absolute disbelief that I still had a few months to go, because in her words, "But you're so big already!"

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

I'll have one person say, "Wow--two months to go still? My my my...." and the very next person will rub my tummy in awe and say, "You're so little!! How cute!!"

What the ... ?!

I get such a kick out of Moms, who apparently know everything about my pregnancy because they've been pregnant before, who love to tell me:

"You're carrying so high!"

"Wow--he's sitting low isn't he?"

"Aren't you just a little basketball?"

"Oh, he's going to come early! He's running out of room!"

"You'll go late--just get ready. You'll definitely go late."

"You think this is tiring? You just wait!"

"Yep! That's his little butt! I'm dead sure of it!"
(come to find out the next day, it was his foot....U/S are much more accurate than over confident Mamas!)

I'm just getting such a kick out of it all--and I'm sure as I get bigger, it's only going to get funnier!!

Let the random and inaccurate, but well-meant pregnancy comments continue!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Week 30: Didn't, Wasn't ... Did, Am.

For so many months, I didn't.

For so long, I wasn't.

Many months, others did.

Many times, others were.

And I didn't, and wasn't.

And yet, here I sit--I did, and I am.

I'm the lady breathing heavily while wandering around the grocery store. I'm the one seeing stars after bending over to pick something up. I'm the one hitting my belly on the corner counter because, even after so many weeks, I'm still not used to it being there.

There are still women out there who, month after month, don't. Who time after time, aren't.

For 881 days, I didn't and wasn't. Compared to some womens' waiting, that's not that long. I remember when I wasn't. I used to say that I actually worried about the day where I was the waddling one in the mall who caused pain in some flat stomached woman's life. And it pains me that my blessing of a bulging belly has and will continue to cause others stomachs to twist and jaws to clench. I don't judge them. I would never tell them to be happy for me. I know how it feels.

I wish I could wear a sign. The sign would say, "This did not come easily." "I do not take this miracle for granted." "I understand and shed tears over your pain." "I know the infertility journey."

Because of God's goodness, I did and I am. And I pray I never ever forget how it felt when I didn't, and wasn't.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saddened at the Dumpster

I took the trash out the other night, and had my heart broken.

This was the scene in the dumpster's little "cage":

One of our neighbors recently moved out, and here on the concrete, amidst various trashed household items, was a set of wedding photos and invite frame with friends' handwritten well wishes. Just tossed out with the mountain dew, old rugs and broken furniture.

I literally just stopped and stared, so saddened by the state of marriage. The broken dreams, the dashed hopes ... It made me want to cry.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Photograph

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
Colossians 1:15

I've often wished that I had pictures of Jesus. Oh I know there are hundreds of paintings that depict what some artist thinks Jesus looked like, but we all know these are not accurate. I desire a photograph. Can you imagine stumbling across a tattered and worn photo in your grandmother's attic, and realizing as you wipe away the dust that the man in the picture is none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God?! That would be incredible. Incredible because He is the image of God. I would be looking at an image of the "image of the invisible God"--how cool would that be? Those early early Christians--the disciples and other followers--they have no idea how blessed they were to actually see Jesus. To witness His visit to this earth; to possibly even touch his hand or foot. How absolutely divine ...

I've been with Jesus for a long time. I don't say that pridefully; it's just a fact. Since I was a very little girl, I have loved Jesus. The Bible, I must admit, sometimes becomes very dry to me. Some might struggle with reading the Bible for an variety of reasons--I struggle with reading it because it feels like I've heard it all before. I battle this daily, and wish the feeling would go away. I wish I would cherish and love the Word, and only want to dive deeper still into it. But, sadly, that's simply not the case right now.

However, when I read passages like this (Colossians 1), and really consider what Paul is saying, I am astounded by the Lord that I follow.

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1: 16-20

Christ is, does and did all these things. He's not just the pretty face sent down from heaven to be the point person for God. He's not like that creepy green wizard guy in the Wizard of Oz with no real power. Jesus Christ, well, He is God. And He desires a relationship with me--and with you. Isn't that incredible?