Well, hello blog. I cannot believe how long it has been since I've written, even though it was a conscious decision to have a little hiatus, but this week is going to be a slow one for me so I thought there is no better time to start up again.
So how can life be slow with three kids? I dropped my oldest two at the airport with my mother-in-law this morning and said a teary good-bye, and so my life is much quieter for the next nine days as I hang out with sweet Nicholas and pray that Lucas and Bethany behave and have a wonderful time in the tenacious Texas temperatures.
As I left them at the security check-in this morning, I noticed a marked change in me. If I had written this post two years ago, it would have been more panicked, as I'd wonder if they were actually going to land, if I'd really hold them in my arms in just over a week. As I've begun to live in thanksgiving and notice the miracles in mundane moments, my faith and trust and hope have been renewed and restored. Sure I checked their flight progress and was happy to hear that they had landed, but I never believed for a moment they wouldn't. That, for me, is HUGE!
This Summer has been filled with the ups and downs of parenting three children ... tantrums, arguments, discipline, redirection, frustration, joy, laughter, spontaneous play dates, sprinkler fun and victories at swim lessons. In the midst of it all, we were blindsided by the discovery that we are expecting an unexpected fourth miracle.
For a perfectionist planner who had just agreed that the third "completed" our little family, that my arms were full, that I was just finally figuring out after a year to hold down the fort with three in tow, this was quite a shock. Not to mention that for weeks it didn't seem real to Matt, while it was all very real to me as I begun to hit walls of exhaustion and never ceasing morning sickness.
And for a girl who has had a miscarriage, pregnancy is of course wonderful and thrilling, but can be filled with fear, terror and loneliness. So we held off telling people at least until our suspicions were confirmed at the doctor.
I've been asked if I'm excited and my response has been "I'm getting there." It's not that I'm not excited, it's that this is an uncertain season for me and there have already been scares along the way, but every fear has been answered fully in the reassurance of his peace. If I've learned nothing else in the last two years, I have learned that in all things He is good and in every situation there is grace.
So we are excited to announce that our fourth child will make his/her appearance sometime in late February when our family will be complete.
As I think back on all my plans and the way many have come to fruition and many have been outdone by His plans for us, I begin to realize that while there is nothing wrong with planning, sometimes the things that shock or surprise us, the times when we can't seem to get a handle on life, the seasons where plans fall apart are the very moments when God chooses to step in and say "Just step back and let me handle this one. Wait and see what I can do!" After all, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9, NIV)
As I struggle to take care of the cooking, cleaning and child rearing in the midst of intense nausea, I am reminded with every glimpse of their little faces that this is all worth it. Sometimes the difficult seasons and the sweet surprises of life are blessings in disguise. I'm joyfully anticipating this blessing!
"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one's youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. Such men will never be put to shame ..."