Don’t take it! It is MINE!

I was talking with a dear friend a couple weeks ago. She was struggling to give something to God, wanting desperately to hang on to it. She knew that God had give it to her. She believed that this thing would continue to grow in a way that would glorify God. But she was afraid to give it back to Him…..what if He kept it? We’ve all been there. Oh Lord, how I have been there!

It reminds me of the stage that the Peanut is in right now. (And can I tell you how humbling it is to see my relationship with God mirrored in my relationship with my 18 month old…and God shows me that I am acting like my toddler….seriously humbling.) Peanut knows what she wants, whether it is to carry her toothbrush around the house, or more of the cherry-limeade that I got from Sonic for us to share. That she has already had more than half of. But sometimes she doesn’t know the best way to get it.

Take for instance the much sought after cherry Sonic goodness. If we are down to the bottom of the cup, then the straw has to be inserted at exactly the right angle. And you can’t tip the cup up. And the straw needs to be pushed all the way in. Those of us who have been using a straw for twenty-eight years or more understand these concepts so well we no longer think about them. But an 18 month old is still learning the ways of the fast-food world. All she knows, when I take the cup away so that she can access the carbonated corn syrup better, is that she was holding the cup and had the straw headed towards her mouth……and now she doesn’t. NO! DON’T TAKE MY SUGAR FROM ME! I WAS DRINKING THAT! YOU GAVE IT TO ME! HOW COULD YOU TAKE IT BACK! A serious fit ensues.She doesn’t understand that I am not taking it away, but in fact making it so she can drink better. I am improving, fixing, giving her more of the goodness….

How often in my life am I hanging on to something so stinking tight it takes forever for God to wrestle my hands off of it….Then I yell and cry that it isn’t fair….only for Him to give it back to me in a way that makes the whole thing….better. And here I was in the middle of my fit. Pardon me as I pick my embarrassed self up off the floor and attempt to walk away with dignity.

The Moment

Sometimes God gives you those moments. The moment, the one where He whispers into your ear, “This is what I had for you. When you doubted me, this is why it was important to trust me. Your ways, your plan Abby would not have gotten you here. With your heart this full, with your family so rich with the gifts of little girls. I wanted to give you these girls because I love you.”

Those moments don’t always come when you are expecting them. On the way home from the hospital we decided to go get take out. I wanted a bacon cheeseburger (What? My midwife said my iron was low….). So we stopped at Farm Burger where I went in to look at the menu then went back outside so Christian could go in and order the food and then we would bring it home. That was the plan. The line was long so I hopped in the back where I could look at Priscilla and interact with Juliet. That is where the Lord spoke those glorious things to me.

And it was there I was reminded of all of my angst. The angst from college about when and if Christian would propose, the anxiousness I did not surrender when we moved to Atlanta, the angst from my pregnancy with Juliet when I didn’t know if she was the twins….who would care for her when I worked….whether I could even manage to be a mom, oh and the angst I lived in so many of these nine months. Which was so bad the entire month of September I couldn’t write about anything because I knew how pathetically whiny I would sound. What wasted energy, how silly I have been. The worry brought me nothing but misery.

 And I heard the Lord say in the still small voice: “Hang on to this Abby, cling to this moment. Remember why you trust me with the plans I have for you. Your angst is not a part of the plan.”

Minutes later Christian returned with the food and started the car……only the car wouldn’t start. And we couldn’t get a hold of anyone, except a friend who listened to it and said it probably was not the battery, rather something expensive like a belt. And Juliet needed a nap and Priscilla needed fed and she had just taken a giant merconium poo (and if you don’t know what that is DO NOT google it). And I was hungry and sore.

So we piled  out of the car ate our burgers eventually got a hold of Elizabeth to pick us up…..and it was fine. The kids handled themselves beautifully. The peanut was her usual gregarious self and made friends with everyone around she was making faces in the window to the delight of the family inside. Meanwhile Christian has nicknamed the new addition “the amazing unflappable baby.” She snoozed, she gas smiled, she chilled. The owner of the farm burger brought me water, told me to let him know if Juliet needed a snack, and offered to take us home if we were still there when the lunch rush was over.

But Elizabeth and the truck got there at the same time, and while we were sure it was not the battery, he jumped us anyway and we were on our way. No harm, no foul. I am so grateful I didn’t waste any angst over that. Perhaps I am learning. I know I am certainly blessed.

Mixed Feelings

I have been having some mixed feelings about welcoming this new baby recently. I know, I know, I am considered full term so really… is kind of late for all of that. She could literally come at any moment, and medically speaking that would be just fine. But me? In the spring I was all, “I could have this baby tomorrow, and I wouldn’t need to do anything! Yeah for another girl!” and now I am all “I could have this baby tomorrow and I wouldn’t have done anything! AAAAH I am having another baby!”

Yesterday I did manage to go to Target and get a diaper bag that is big enough for two kids, and a sizing stuffed animal for Priscilla. I don’t want to make the Peanut share her bear. Teddy is the only thing she seems genuinely attached to. So now there are just a few things that are on my MUST DO list. They are not things like get the newborn clothes in order or set up the new crib and pack and play upstairs so the baby has some places to sleep. I guess I figure if I don’t do that someone else will.

I did find out yesterday I have to take the water birth class again, so that sounds like a heck of a Friday night! (I really want to bring a flask….just to see what would happen…..). I suppose I should be grateful North Fulton had an opening this Friday. Because for a minute there last night it looked like if I wanted a water birth, it was likely to happen only in my own tub….and my midwives don’t make house calls. But as is so often the case with me I was freaking out about one things because I did not want to deal with the other.

Then I read this amazing post and suddenly I understood what I was really freaking out about. My family is about to change. Forever. And that is scary, and a little sad. The weeks before my wedding I cried a lot more than I thought I would. But looking back it made sense. I knew this would be the last time I would celebrate Christmas with the family I had always celebrated with. I would no longer be calling the house I grew up in, home. I no longer claimed exclusive rights to my bedroom, because it wasn’t anymore. My bedroom, my life, my family would now be the one I shared with my husband, not the one my parents provided for me. My new life was what the Lord had for me, and I am so grateful He did. But the old one was no more, and sometimes, even when it is good change, change is sad.

The Lord allows for that. Besides Ecclesiastes, where I am assured there is a time for my sadness, many times the psalmists mourn and grieve. So here it is. While I am thrilled to meet this perfect little girl who the Lord has picked out exactly for our family, I am sad. I am sad that Juliet will no longer be the baby. I am sad that there will be parts of her journey that I will miss because I will be focused on her sister. I am wistful that this marks the Peanut as a little girl who is quickly leaving her babyhood behind. That while she will always be my  baby, she will no longer be the baby. And while I know how very amazing the sister relationship can be, I am a little sad that Juliet and Priscilla will not always share their secrets with me. They will have each other to run to, it may not always be Mommy who best soothes those bumps and bruises. Sisters only is an important creed. I know. I have said it….to my mom. I am so glad Juliet will get to be the big sister. And I know that God has designed her to fill that role. But I am sad that that means that she is growing up, in a way that is more concrete to me than weaning, or a first birthday, becoming a big sister is a line in the sand.

Lately she has been cuddling more. The Peanut likes to lift up my shirt, pat my belly and say “baby, baby” (granted she also does this with Christian so maybe it isn’t as impressive as it sounds.) She likes to cuddle with my bump, wrap her arms around the sides, her torso around the top and rest her head on her sister. I wonder if she knows this time where she does not have to wait her turn is coming to an end. She still is not walking, she could, just no interest. It is as though she is reminding me that she is still a baby, still needs me to hold her. I do feel guilty changing her existence like this. With little warning and no input from her, her family will be altered. Another little person is coming to live at our house……permanently. How will this change her?

Ultimately I know that this is what the Lord wants. Not just for me, but for my daughters. Both of them. And I trust His judgement infinitely more than my fears.