Living, Just Today

November 15, 2012

in The Good Word,The Parenthood

The wait has most definitely been longer than we expected. Since the ‘due date’ suggested by the doctor’s office was November 4th, towards the end of October, the expecting became very ‘expectant’ around these parts. I started slowing down on other projects and focusing on finishing things directly related to welcoming this new little one into our lives. We started making mental plans for how we would navigate different situations, who would come to be with the boys when I went into labor, what we might do if things progressed quickly and HH was at work in Greenville, and so on.

{The Bear, at about the age the Tank is now!
I miss this and wish I could relive it!}

That due date they suggested, though, I’d been questioning her all along. My records, which I was 100% confident in, gave us the due date November 12th. And since my first ultrasound happened later in the pregnancy than ‘normal’ and that can throw things off significantly, a part of me felt all along the 4th just wasn’t it. But there was of course the other side of me, which said, Wouldn’t it be nice and Well we better get prepared just in case.

So life took a right turn, and moved into a very slow lane. I started slowing down on commitments that happened anywhere besides inside our house. Slowing down on work. (I haven’t told you much about it yet, but besides all the behind-the-scenes Quiver Tree work, I’ve been building websites! Fun! Hard work! I’ll tell you more later.) I set personal goals like Get to the bottom of the laundry basket and Change the sheets for your Mom and get everything else ready in the nursery. And I managed to tick those goals off the list {my laundry basket DOES have a bottom — it DOES exist!} and then I kind of stared at the ceiling, and took extra naps and after a big long sigh at 3:30 or 4:00 pm decided I probably wasn’t going into labor and I was going to have to decide what was for dinner.

Again.

It has been such a soul-displaying challenge — this patient waiting for the arrival of this little girl. I’ve watched my frustration occasionally take its toll — bless my poor boys. I’ve been graciously blessed by a husband who has been so understanding and kind and helpful. I’ve been showered with love and time and assistance by my Mom, who has also been patiently waiting ‘on call’ knowing she is that special someone who will come and be with the boys whenever this precious girl decides to make her appearance.

The funny thing is, this reminds me a lot of a discussion we had a while back about the price of {in}convenience. One of the nurses at the doctor’s office commented on my attitude being a “refreshing” one when I came in at 40 weeks and wasn’t bursting at the seams and hoping to be induced as soon as possible. (And in their opinion it was 41 weeks!) But what I’m clinging to is the certainty that there is something better than convenience, if I’m willing to wait for it.

Isn’t a lot of life like that?

It would be really convenient for our baby girl to arrive, pretty much, now. So that it would feel like we could move on with getting adjusted to life as a family of five. So that we wouldn’t have to be concerned each weekend over whether I would go into labor while the Hubs was in the middle of a photo shoot. So that I could go back to making menu plans and buying groceries for more than a few days at the time. And just so that things would feel normal.

But isn’t the really good food we’re about to enjoy for Thanksgiving the stuff that usually takes time to prepare? And aren’t the special events in our lives the ones that we take weeks and months to prepare for — perhaps even spend years dreaming about? And aren’t we seeing the cost of leaning toward convenience take its toll on our wallets, our waistlines… our world?

More than I want the convenient, I want the God-ordained good. And even though it’s uncomfortable, and this season is stretching me and expanding my capacity, yet I’m certain these words are true:

“Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed…” {Psalm 25:3, NASB}

And there is glory for observing in the waiting.

Every day I’ve seen it, when I’ve been willing to open my eyes and take off my shoes.

Tiger Tank is at my absolute favorite age. Toddling about gloriously. Suddenly asking to pee pee in the potty and successfully doing so on a regular basis. {What? 20 months. Yes, I know. A week before we are supposed to have another baby this starts… it’s kind of wild.} His communication skills are flourishing — he is observing his big brother carefully, learning, mimicking, bringing us heaps and heaps and heaps of joy every day. He plays a mean air guitar. I would defy you to watch and not smile. I should take a video.

The Bear is a deep, deep mystery it sometimes seems — an old soul in a four-year-old frame. He has mastered some of the books he started reading aloud for us just before that fourth birthday back in August. With confidence, he points at the words and tells us what they are. The preschool teacher sends home books I’m supposed to read to him in the evening, but he points to the words and reads them to me instead.

He does things with a box of blocks that make us rush to find a camera. But when we’re not looking, he does things to hurt his little brother that make us sigh and look for the wooden spoon. He seems incredibly tender. Thoughtful and understanding.

And this slowing season has given us so much pause to consider each of the boys, deeply and carefully. To remember that these are the days that we have — so fleeting and so few — to help them learn how to navigate the world well, how to know that God is true and to love Him and to trust Him. How to love the people around them — including each other — with patience and kindness.

Every day, by the end of it, a part of me is a little sorry that it wasn’t the arrival day for our third child, but another part of me sees the glory, the goodness, the redemptive purposes of that day, happening exactly as it happened. And suddenly, every day is a good day for chocolate milk with dinner. Every day is a good day to drop everything and go on a quick adventure, even if it might mean getting home a little past bedtime.

Every day is really a good day to just be willing to live the day, knowing everything could absolutely be completely different tomorrow. Because, yes, a menu plan helps me get through the week. A cleaning schedule will help me get through the month. A to-do list does help me accomplish goals and get things done.

But there’s a balance in there somewhere — and I wholeheartedly want to keep looking for it. It’s a balance where accomplishing does not outweigh acknowledging. Where spelling love T-I-M-E is never overshadowed by ticking off tasks. Where serving dinner is not as important as teaching a servant’s heart.

I am thankful for you, friends. Your prayers and encouragement have helped me to possess my soul in this season that has required a lot from me. If for gratitude’s sake I could share one thing with you, wrap it up inside a pretty box and tie it with a big bow, I would share with you the encouragement to open your eyes to today. To focus a little bit more on living, just today.

Although it can sometimes seem incredibly inconvenient, even taxing, trying to stay present right here in this moment, yet somehow it makes it so much easier to receive each of the moments we’re given as gifts. The breath you just took. The smile you just gave. The meal you just enjoyed. The song you just heard. One by one, we can take hold of these gifts — the challenge is finding the presence to untie the bow, open them, and truly receive them.

Have you seen a good reason to take off your shoes today? Could you sit still for a moment and find one?

xCC

 

Other thoughts for focusing on facing today well: It’s Who You Are When Nobody’s Looking

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