Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trees of Life

Recently, I shared pictures of our nearly completed nursery on Facebook. There were many comments and "likes" on the project, but I wanted to share just one more thing (or a few) about this room.

It started over 3 years ago, with a free crib, and a new house. We knew what room was to be the nursery...the smallest one. It was painted purple. After 1 supposedly "Light coral" color that ended up looking like a peachy pink, it was changed to brown. After a while, the brown was too dark, but didn't need to be changed, because we were still waiting for that special time of actually being pregnant and not just dreaming about it.

Fast forward 6 months, that happened--then "un-happened" on Christmas Day of 2011. Unsure is the word best used to describe that time. We didn't know we had even been pregnant, so finding out that we had more than likely gone through a miscarriage was...shocking? But it set even a deeper desire to begin a family.

Fast forward 3 months...we found out we were expecting yet again, on the day we went to see Tim Hawkins in Lincoln no less. There were many reasons to smile that night. 2 months later, we lost that child as well. This time, it was crushing.

After that, time seemed to drag on. I remember repainting the nursery for what would be the last and final time. Not because we were expecting, but because I wanted something tangible to do--I called it "operating on faith". It seemed to pay off in a sense because no more than a few months later, we found out that we were indeed expecting...yet again! 3 months later, devastation.

The following year went by and I could not bring myself to go into the room to work on it. If I wasn't watching girls (since toys were primarily in that room), the door remained shut. The door to both the nursery and my hope was closed.

Finally, after a year or more  of prayer, we felt being led to adoption. In January of 2014, we stopped trying so hard for a child, and felt confident in our hearts to give another child a home--and not just because we couldn't have any at the time. We resigned our dream, and began another one. Imagine my surprise when that month, I had my first cycle that I had on my own in over a year (something that I had been able to manage with diet and exercise before that just wasn't yielding results this time). And again a month later, when Simeon was gone, and I found out that God was indeed faithful.

I didn't work on the room for a long time. Yes I was excited, but there was so much fear--why bother opening up my heart again, if in a matter of a few weeks, it could very well be crushed again.

This room, this nursery, if you will, is so much more than a room to me. It is so much more than a baby's room, or a nursery, or even a cute room for a child.

This room is hope deferred, but not lost.
This room is preparation when it seemed there was nothing to prepare for.
This room is faithfulness amidst faithlessness.
This room is a labor of love, when there was much bitterness in my heart.
This room is what reminds me of who God is.
This room is what reminds me that "Never once have we ever walked alone"

The trees mean something different in this room. For years, I wondered if I would ever feel a baby kicking inside of me. If my stomach would grow and swell. If Simeon would be a father to his own children. If he would be able to have the expression of awe at feeling baby kick. I dreamed of the day he would first see his first child. For years, hope was deferred. For years it made my heart sick. There are still some longings that have yet to be fulfilled, but there are so many that already have been. Those trees in there, that I painted simply because I liked them and because they went with owls, mean so much more. Those, are trees of life in there, and pretty soon there will be another life in there to enjoy them.

 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Proverbs 13:12

Many hurts along the way, but a song that will be forever close to my heart, that I have referenced before in this blog, has been Matt Redman's "Never Once". In  my opinion, the lyrics speak for themselves, and need no explanation. 

"Scars and struggles on the way

But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful"

Friday, August 22, 2014

He is Still, and Always Moving

It has been quite awhile since I have jotted down anything on this blog--or anywhere for that matter. We've been so busy! Getting carpet cleaned out, painting, getting ready for new doors, trim, and flooring is such a lot of work!

I am officially 29 1/2 weeks pregnant, in my third trimester. First off, let's just have a shout of joy and prayer of gratitude to the magnanimous proportions of God's grace...yes?! Something that's funny is that I am making lists upon lists upon lists. I kid you not "What to do Before Baby, What to Buy Before Baby, Packing for the Hospital, Diaper Bag Organization, What to Clean Before Baby, and Freezer Meals Before Baby" are all lists currently being crossed off...slowly but surely. Amidst all of these lists, I find myself freaking out and feeling prepared at the same time. Yes, I may be overdoing it, yes, these lists wont contain everything, and yes, I will freak out when, and after our baby Berns shows their face! Simeon, bless his heart, has told me many times, that we will be fine and to calm down. He's right, I know he's right--but I want to be prepared. I want to enjoy this process of pregnancy, birth, and the arrival of our boy or girl as much as possible, and I feel like if we will be unprepared, then I won't be able to do that. Having a child is hard right?

This week, during all of my crazy hare-brained schemes to finish flooring and all the details that come with it, I was thinking about how Psalm 46:10 says
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
It  really got me to thinking about a direct correlation between having too many concerns, worries, and thoughts, and God being glorified. Am I, with all my lists, inhibiting the exaltation of my Father to be displayed? It's almost as if the Holy Spirit is saying to me:
"Be still, Kristen. Be still. I am Your God! Not this child, not your preparation. I designed you to know what to do. I created you for motherhood. Be still, let others know that I am God. Do not worry. Let me be exalted through this season. I am moving for you, be still with me."
It is such a hard thing to let go of. Oh, I still have my lists, but will I let them consume me? No. Will we be fine if we don't get everything done? Yes. I must remember to not let the thoughts of my mind hinder the thoughts of my God. So that's my perspective. Not deep, probably pretty wordy, and not overly erudite.

I daresay that I will never find a good segue into pregnancy updates!

You know your pregnant when:

1. Shaving up to your knees is a blessed thing....and your husband should consider himself a lucky man when that happens.
2. You, the person who never really sweat in sauna, are now constantly feeling that glistening sheen everywhere (and people think you are glowing....scoff)
3. The Fed Ex guy looks at you weird because you have been receiving so many packages lately (Hey, it's not MY fault they don't ship everything in the order altogether....)
4. The baby kicks and kicks and kicks, unless you want them to then they don't....
5. You get about 3 hours of good sleep a night...after that, you turn all Russel (from Up); "My knees hurt, my elbow hurts, I gotta pee"
6. You figure out that living in Hastings, NE, does nothing for your wardrobe options....
7. You start finding out just how long Zulily actually takes to ship to you.
8. Birthing classes are a whole new adventure of hilarity--and you sure don't mind retelling the story!
9. You mentally kick yourself in your ever expanding backside for doing a flooring project in your third trimester!!!
10. *Looks at clock, realizes it's an hour and a half since you last ate, then this happens* (Props to whomever gets the reference)