"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My 100th blog post and my 4th baby...

For any of you who haven't heard in person, or missed our Facebook announcement last week, here it is...we're having another baby!
The girls are just a tiny bit excited.... :)
This little one, baby #4 (goodness, that takes my breath away!), is due to arrive around September 13th. I am 14 weeks pregnant now and waiting...and waiting...and waiting...to start feeling that second trimester glow! I had morning sickness with Ashley, just for that first trimester, and I thought at the time that it was pretty bad. In looking bad I think that my rating of it was definitely influenced by the fact that it was my first time experiencing it. Then with both Hannah and Bethany I was hardly sick at all, which was fantastic, and I figured that I just got my morning sickness over with my first pregnancy and wouldn't have to deal with that again.

Heh. Not so much. I have found myself with extreme morning sickness (why do we call it that?? it's all day sickness!) for at least the past two months. It has been a challenging, stretching time for me, and yet also an incredibly special time of being cherished so amazingly by Lamont and the girls. Lamont is always amazing when I feel unwell, so it's been no surprise that he's stepped up repeatedly to help me or even to completely take over some of my duties -- even though he's working 60 hours a week as well as teaching at Gonzaga University again. (I honestly don't know how he's human. Honestly. God is so very strong in my husband.) 

But it has been so precious watching the girls decide to help ease my load as well. They have grown up so much in the last few months, and it is wonderful and sad all at the same time! They sweep and dust and vacuum, they dress themselves and put away laundry and put their coats and shoes on by themselves so they can play outside. They set the table before meals and clear it afterwards, they unload the dishwasher onto the counters for me, and a couple of weeks ago Ashley decided to become the official toilet paper roll changer in our house. :) They have taken on so many little chores and have done it with joy, excited to be helping me "take care of the baby". And countless times as I have lain on the couch with my eyes closed in the middle of the day, motionless and holding my breath, willing the nausea away, a soft little hand has stroked my hair or a gentle kiss lands on my forehead. I have felt so very loved by all my precious family!

Everyone wants to know if we're going to find out whether it's a boy or a girl, and the answer is: does anyone actually think I am patient enough to not find out?! ;) Plus, on the very small off chance that it may be a boy (ha!), we will need some time to prepare. We are very prepared with frilly pink things, but not so much with adorable blue things! And I know that from now until forever, even complete strangers will feel they have the right to tell us, "I hope you finally get a boy." So let me just say up front -- I don't. I would love to have a boy. I would also love to have another girl. End of story. Thank you. :)

So I know this is rambling...that's kind of the state of my brain right now. It's just nice to finally be able to blog about this pregnancy, since we waited until the second trimester to announce it but it has been a very significant presence in our home since the beginning of the year! I think we would all appreciate prayers for the toll on my body to ease up a little, and thank you all for rejoicing with us over the coming new addition to our family. :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Of being made perfect in weakness...

It was an evening of failure. Failure on my sweet girls' part to behave like sweet girls, as they instead fussed and whined and let petty arguments take hold between them. Even worse, failure on my part to intercede with compassion and gentleness, to lovingly correct and redirect them.

To say that I raised my voice would just be an attempt to pretty up the ugly fact that I yelled at my daughters, these three precious gifts God has given me to raise up in pursuit of Him.

Did they deserve it? Oh yes. As much as disobedience and stubborn selfishness ever could deserve anger.

As much as my selfish frustration and cruel lack of self control deserve the anger of God.

Pajamas on, teeth brushed, they stood before me. Unable to face putting them to bed with a mountain of hurt feelings and frustrations between us, in despair I could feel clearly how deep the unrest was in each of our hearts. I opened my arms to them -- and by the mercy of God, they came to me.

Such precious ones, clinging to me rather than turning from me.

We huddled together on the couch, and we prayed. I poured out my apologies to God and to my daughters, and as prayer bathed us all, I watched in wonder as little hands found each other and clasped tightly. Words of love were whispered, and gentle kisses pressed to sisters' cheeks.

God's forgiveness was poured out on us as we prayed together and reached out for each other, and it healed our brokenness.

It was an evening of failure. But it was also an evening of forgiveness, and of powerful love, and I am so very grateful for it.

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9