Lord, quiet my spirit on this day of darkness. may i reflect upon my Savior’s passion as i ponder the darkness of my own heart. may i recognize my sin that put my Savior on that cross, that i may appreciate all the more the joy that sunday brings. may my fervor be refreshed. may i understand more deeply the consequences of my sin and the greatness of Christ’s sacrifice. and may my spirit rejoice in my redemption.
sometimes, God uses the most interesting of people, places, or things to speak into our lives. recently it was ben affleck, at the oscars, gold statuette in hand. he spoke about his marriage during his acceptance speech and it just got me thinking about the true meaning of marriage. and then i read this article. good stuff.
yes, there are moments of fairytale bliss - birds chirping and swirling around, flowers in bloom, forest creatures singing, glitter and clouds, and such. but then there are hard days. hard weeks. hard months. hard years, even. times that are trying. seasons of sickness. poorer instead of richer. when the “worse” part of those vows stares you in the face, knocks the wind out of you, and becomes real. but i must say that i agree with mr. affleck, “it’s good. it is work, but it’s the best kind of work.”
my God + my hubby + me the three of us work at it together. but it’s the best kind of work.
and in those moments of bliss make you understand that God is true to His promises. and then you just let out a contented sigh as you bask in the blessings of God. grateful that He has given you someone to walk with and talk with and cry with and laugh with in this life. He is a good God. He is a kind and sweet God. and He has given me a husband who loves me deeply with the love of Christ and who really truly likes me. we enjoy each other’s company and have so much fun together. and as long as we keep walking with our Savior…that love grows truer, our life together is a blessing to others, and the work pays off.
our family was asked to light an advent candle at church this past sunday. the third week is the candle of JOY.
and the angel said to them, “fear not, for behold, i bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. for unto you is born this day in the city of david a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
joy is our awareness of God’s grace—it is grace recognized. God exhibited His grace by this act of unexpected goodness, by extending his favor, by condescending and giving us His son. Immanuel—God with us.
therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
and you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
our response to this great act of grace can be nothing less that utter joy. Gloria in excelsis Deo!
yet i will rejoice in the Lord, i will be joyful in God my Savior.
hello there miss peanut. i hope you are having fun hanging out in my pelvis! must be a nice change of scenery for you. i can tell that you are reveling. i must say, while i like that you have shifted down out of the ribs [sweet full lung capacity!] you are making things a bit more goofy in the “walking” arena. hmmm. please don’t make me resort to waddling, little one. not a cute look.
on a super adorable note: we got your diaper starter pack in the mail and they are just the cutest things! your papa even brought one into work with him to show off how tiny you are and how precious those little BM-collectors are. i think he’s got it pretty bad. papa-citis has taken over. and i am no better. we are officially those people. the ones who tear-up over smooshy, squiggly, and goofy-looking ultrasounds. the ones who show off diapers to co-workers. diapers! the ones who ooh and ahh over crocheted baby hats. the ones who sniff baby lotion. [that one might be just me] we are your parents. your earthly stewards. the ones that God has predestined to care for you and raise you. what a tremendous blessing and calling. what an overwhelming gift. and you are stuck with us, little one. all our flaws and eccentricities and personality. in spite of it all, please know that our hearts’ desire is to be godly parents…with a generous helping of grace and plenty of prayer. we love you and we take you and our new role very seriously. such a prodigious, substantial, considerable [and all words BIG] responsibility swaddled into such a tiny package. you are a precious gift from our Heavenly Father that we will preserve, cherish, love, cultivate, and polish. for His glory and for our good.
hello again, little one. i trust that all is well inside the belly. things are going pretty well on the outside. we are getting so very close to your joining us out here! very, very close. i am now seeing the doctor weekly until your arrival. she will be checking that heartbeat of yours and making sure that things are strong and that you continue to grow. at our last appointment, she told me that you are on the small side of the scale. but teeny in a good way. as in, a good size for your mama… they are going to keep an eye on your fattening up in the coming weeks. they want to make sure that those duck fat fries make it to you instead of to my booty. it isn’t very kind of me to hog the fatness.
did you know that in less than two weeks, i am considered full term? that means that if you were to come early, they wouldn’t stop you. wow. we have almost made it, sweet girl! but if you don’t mind, please stay in there a bit longer than two more weeks. your papa would relish the extra time to get those final ducks in a row. and i don’t mind the extra baby chub that you will gain. however, if you would like to join us a few days early, we wouldn’t mind that one bit! for some reason your papa thinks that you will be here by october 27th. i guess we’ll see if he is that smart and intuitive. october 27th! if you arrive then, that means you will be here with us THIS MONTH. oh. my. goodness. so soon! and we are so excited to see that little face of yours. eyelashes and all.
um, would you look at those little headbands? too cute, right? i bet you just can’t wait to wear them. i wonder what you look like…hair? peach fuzz? blonde? brunette? straight or curly? whose nose will you have? whose profile? ears? eyes? so many questions. your papa and i just can’t wait to meet you and discover the answers to all these questions and so many more.
what will your personality be like? quiet, contemplative, reserved. boisterous, outspoken, bold. sweet and shy. serious and sassy. will you have your papa’s musical ability? will you have my dramatic tendencies? will you be an avid reader? will you have a dash of nerdiness?
so many things are swirling in our minds right now. we like to talk about you before we fall asleep…and after all the discussion, we just pray. knowing that God is knitting you together and knows everything about you. we are comforted by this fact and we look forward to meeting you and discovering who he has made you to be. sweet girl, we pray that you love Jesus and follow hard after him for your whole life. may he be your identity, value, and joy.
1 samuel 1:27-28
for this child i prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that i made to him. so now i give her to the Lord. for her whole life she will be given over to the Lord.
you will be wearing that sweet little onesie oh so soon!
well hello. guess what? i got to hear your heartbeat again a few days ago. it was as wonderful as ever. and, it was wooshing away at a nice, strong pace. good work. all is well in there as far as the doctor can tell. you are growing and seem healthy and strong. that sweet doctor of mine made a note in my file that my “belly was measuring on the smaller side” so that i could have a medically justifiable excuse to see you again on an ultrasound! that means that at my next appointment, your papa and i will get to see your little face again…one more time before we get to see it in person. wahoo! it will have been almost 17 weeks since we’ve seen you. and that is much too long. in a short while, we will be so spoiled by getting to see you ALL THE TIME. happy day.
sweet little peanut, we love you so much. we have been thinking about you and praying for you and reading Bible stories to you. you will be here with us so soon and we can’t wait to get to know you. we have so much to learn about you. we have so much to learn about us. we have so much ahead of us as we begin to understand what it means to be parents and what it means to be a family of three.
hello, little miss. i hope that all is well inside the bump. i know that you are getting bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. you have been kicking up a storm! i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. a lovely, bright, sparkling light.
speaking of light…your tiny little chandelier lamp has arrived and been placed in your room. it is small and a teeny bit glitzy. perfect for twinkling and casting warm shadows on the wall during our late night feedings. it is our new favorite.
guess what? starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are officially on the menu now! and that means that fall is on the horizon and october is right around the corner. october means that you will be here soon. i love the fall. and now, i have another pretty big reason to like that time of year. and while it is still warm outside, i know that we are getting close to sweaters and boots and hot chocolate and pumpkin pie and turkey. it is so much fun to think about all the wonderful things that we will get to experience together. you will be here for thanksgiving this year! we will get to wheel you around in your stroller while the whole family shops for christmas gifts. you will get to watch all of our christmas movie favorites with us. you will have your own little ornament on the tree. and that is just the beginning, sweet girl. aren’t we just going to have the funnest times? i think so.
hi baby girl. would you look at that cute little corner of your room?! we are going to spend so many hours there. your papa lovingly placed that rocking chair in the corner for you. it is a pretty special place. this week, we are adding nesting tables [tout à fait approprié, oui?] and a sparkling little chandelier lamp. that should make the nook complete. and then…we wait for your arrival. have i mentioned that we can’t wait?
let me tell you, little one, you are growing. a lot. my little bump is becoming a full-on preggo belly. and my belly button is so itchy! i know that things must be getting cramped for you in there. according to all the pregnancy resources, you are 16 inches long. that is a lot of length to squish inside my belly. at least you are bendy. i hope that you are comfortable all balled up in there. but, don’t get too comfy. we have a nice place all ready for you. with plenty of space for stretching, soft outfits for cuddling, and blankets for swaddling. i think you will prefer it on the outside. no rush – keep growing and getting healthy. but, promptness is appreciated. and, a bit early is on time. no need to linger for too long.
oh! we have another doctor appointment this week. this one will trigger the “final countdown” schedule. every two weeks from here on out. and, we might just throw in one more ultrasound for good measure. just to check in and see how much chub you have put on since we last saw you. it will be fun to see you again. and even better when we get to meet you in a couple months.
hello, miss elinor. i hope you are continuing to enjoy your stay in belly-land. things are going swimmingly out in the big world. your papa and i have been busy bees getting your room ready, reading books, making lists, meeting with pediatricians, and preparing your birth plan. there is much to do before your arrival…but, it is all so much fun! and, all of these new activities sure do help the weeks to pass by quickly. can you believe that we are getting close to the 30 week mark? that means that you will be here super soon. how i wish we could just fast forward to your arrival. then, hit the pause button and just savor our first moments with you. we are so excited to experience all of the new things that you will bring to our life. we pray that God will help us to slow down and enjoy those moments. they will be special.
speaking of special…i just want to gush a bit about how wonderful your papa is. he has been putting together your furniture, painting walls, lifting heavy objects for me [he recently informed me that the laundry basket is technically classified as a "heavy" item and that i should let him handle that], taking care of me, cooking for me, reading books about birthing [he is a trooper, let me tell you. there are some bizarre terms and foreign objects on those pages], and doting on you. the other night, i was rubbing my belly button trying to get you to wiggle for him. he told me “oh, no, nevermind, it’s okay…don’t poke her little brain”. it was pretty darn cute. inaccurate, but cute, nonetheless. he is already so attentive and sweet. i think he is pretty smitten with you.