Friday, June 22, 2012

Growth and Lists

Swollen hands: check
Swollen feet: when I'm hot
Big belly: double check

After a week of traveling (as in driving every day!) and then a string of events at home, things are finally settling down. Although, it won't stay that way for long. I'm almost 37 weeks (considered full-term) so really, the baby could come at any time. He's really growing.

He's not the only one growing around here (and I'm not referring to my body...). I feel awed and blessed at how my husband has stepped things up around the home, without me having even wished he would. I'll go to dry the dishes after dinner while he washes, and he tells me to go sit down. I don't even pretend to object. Last night he did the mopping, before I got off the couch to do it. He'll randomly rub my feet and even my back. He's making sure I drink my water. It is so different than last time I was pregnant when one night I had to tell him, "You know, pretty soon I'm not going to be able to do ____ (it was something simple an adult can do for themselves) for you!" And when our daughter came, he surely did step it up. So much so that I fell madly in love all over again. But this time, he's ahead of the game and I am falling deeper in love. It's amazing to see the growth and maturity in him, not only as a husband, but as a wonderful father.

Sweet Girl is growing too. So much. She's singing now! First song: Ring Around the Rosies. Second: Happy Birthday. Third: an adapted line from a song I made up for her. Now, she's only singing the first line over and over, but it's singing! More about that third song... I sing "Oh how I love, oh how I love, oh how I love my sweet, sweet girl" (very original, I know). Yesterday I was holding her on my lap and she was hugging me over and over (yes, wonderful!) and then she sang, "Oh how I love... my Mama!" I can't tell you how that makes me feel. If you're a mama, I'm sure you can relate.

But that brings this post to me. And my growth. Or rather shrinking it feels. It's been really hard for me to sort out my emotions. I feel like my big belly is squishing my brain and heart like it's squishing my bladder and stomach and they just can't function normally. I only stay "with it" and productive through lists and lists. Remember that traveling and busi-ness I mentioned? Before that was all over, I was extremely stressed by these lists. And I knew that I needed to trust God. Not trust Him that I would get everything done before the baby comes (and that labor would be smooth and fast, baby would be healthy and nurse great, and all those other things I was worried about), but to simply trust Him that everything would be okay regardless of the state of my to do lists, or body, or baby. But I just couldn't.

And I didn't. Yet, because God is as gracious as He is, I felt better. I felt better because He blessed me with a calm day that was as productive as I would have liked, where Sweet Girl added an hour to her nap in which I simply relaxed, and Coach was home unexpectedly early. Things I wanted to pray for, but knew weren't the solution. Yet, He gave them because I think he knows how weak I am right now, and how hard it is to sort through trust issues and muster up spiritual strength.

After feeling nourished by some extra time, help, and a lighter checklist, I do trust Him... mostly. I still struggle. Last night I went to bed wondering what in the world I'm doing by having a baby! How did I expect to get through labor... nurse through the night... and raise another soul? I felt despondent. Partly because I was exhausted, partly because those are my fears right now. And my answer to it all came this morning in a quote that stopped me mid-cat and cowing:

"One must never, for any reason, become despondent, for we are carried in the hands of God's Providence. Our concern is to be true to the Lord." ~ St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Our concern is to be true to the Lord. Not easy, but simple. I can digest that, even with my squished brain and heart. I am trying, trying... to move past my lists (and expectations) and simply do and be for God. My lists serve a purpose - they are tools - but they should not rule my life or my sense of worth or contentment.

And as I do so, which slowly I've been better at these past few days, I am able to relish the growth of my family and cherish them how we are now, before we change even more drastically when the baby comes. These truly are sweet days. And I thank God for reminding me of that.