My pregnancy is on the final countdown...one more month to go, and as hard as it's been, I've found that it has been one of the most fantastic opportunities for me to grow (not just around the middle either!).
I find myself thinking most of the time that before I sit down and blog, I have to have some fantastic, inspiring story to share that ends in triumph. (I also find that I just don't think very often lately...pregnancy brain!) Then, I remember that some of my favorite times writing come out of laughing at myself in my imperfections and failures. Speaking of failures, I can think of about a hundred that I have tallied over the last few months.
Self on the Shelf. We live in a society that is all about self. Well, shoot, parenting and being self-centered just don't go together very well, and it starts with pregnancy. First of all, I miss my C cups. I miss being able to sleep at night and go for longer than an hour without having to pee. I miss being able to run. I miss pants with buttons. I miss being able to see anything below my belly button. I miss being able to eat Buffalo chicken salad without catching on fire. But, more than I miss all those things, I am thrilled that the miracle of a life is growing inside of me. It's good practice for dying to self, which God has called us to do. I've been getting lots of practice, lots and lots of practice...
Complaining. Just log on to Facebook for a few minutes, and you should get a good dose of how easy it is for our attitudes to slip into the pit of pity. I am no better. I found myself so frustrated with all the side effects of pregnancy until a devotion and a talk with a friend one day woke me up to what I was doing. I was reading from Joyce Meyer's Devotional Content one day when her words struck me: "Truly thankful people don't have time to complain. They are too busy finding things to be thankful for." The sad thing is, it's really not that hard to find things to be thankful for: on any given day, how about being thankful for the fact that we live in a free country, where we don't have to worry about famine, war or being killed for our beliefs? I know so many people that would do just about anything to take some morning sickness and discomfort to get to be pregnant. It's humbling to think that God gave me this gift, and complaining about a gift is not something I ever want to do.
Patience? What is that? My husband told me at some point when we were dating that he was attracted to how patient I was. Hahahahahahahaha. Then, we got married. He has often questioned how I deceived him so well. In my defense, it's not like I get mad over things I can't control, like traffic jams, but send me a Christmas or birthday present early, and there is no way I'm not opening it. Waiting 9 months for a child to arrive while being reminded on a minute-by-minute basis that it is inside of you is, to me, like placing a giant cookie in front of a child for an entire day & telling them not to eat it every 3 seconds. I have had to make a conscious effort to remind myself that God's timing is perfect and that I can trust Him with the timing of my son's arrival.
The good news in all of this is that God never leaves us to struggle through life on our own. He meets us where we are. Sometimes I get overwhelmed at all my imperfections and how short I fall of the person I know God wants me to be, but I know by His grace, that I don't have to stay the same. He makes beautiful things... even out of ashes, oh and pregnant women with heartburn. :-)