Sunday, April 25, 2010

Looking Ahead

O heavenly Father, thank you for the joyful experience to which I look forward, the fulfillment of my dreams, the birth of our new baby. Make that day a hallowed one for the baby’s father and myself, as we put our trust in thee. Amen. Helen Good Brenneman, from Meditations for the Expectant Mother

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:4-5

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

Our new baby's due date is about 13 weeks away. Which will feel like about 13 days, once it's said and done. Life goes so quickly...

Naturally, my thoughts are turning with happy anticipation toward That Day when baby will join our family out here in the bright, real world. For various reasons, the plan is for this to be a completely unmedicated labor and birth. I am truly excited about delivering the baby, and eager to see what God has planned for it.

With my first baby, I diligently made a list of scriptures and other quotes, for the purpose of turning my heart and mind toward the Lord and His truth, because I was nervous, of course! I was nervous about what my labor day would be like and how I would respond to it all. God's Word is the best place to turn for Truth and I knew I'd need it to ground me on a day that could easily be filled with fear.

I'm happy say that birth went fine and it was easy to see God's Hand of protection and help and strength at work on my behalf. All of the girls' deliveries have been safe, happy, and special. But with the last two, I don't think I was as careful to focus on God's Word and His Presence, on His tender care for me in all I face.

So, I don't think it was an accident the other day when I stumbled across the Word document I typed up nearly 10 years ago in preparation for my first labor and delivery! The quote and scriptures above are from that list - except for the Matthew passage. I've added that one because of the poor in spirit part. Being poor in spirit means having a lack of self-sufficiency. I am very aware that on my own I'll just be a fearful mess as my labor day approaches and occurs. At the same time, I have joyful hope and confidence that He will be with me, and that I cannot do it without Him. I cannot do anything without Him!

Oh, I cannot wait for that day! Well, I can wait, because there's much life to be lived, one day at a time, between now and then, but I am so excited to meet the baby, to take that tiny person in my arms and breathe him or her in. Joyful expectation!

In keeping with the looking ahead thoughts, I've been dying to take some pictures of these precious baby gowns. No, we don't know if it is a girl or a boy. But these gowns are priceless treasures, because they belonged to a little boy who became my dad. They were sewn over 63 years ago by the loving and skilled fingers of my grandmother and her cousin.

When CA was born, I forgot that I had the gowns! But the other day, when those happy little stirrings were at work in my heart, I pulled them out and hung them up - partly just to see them - they are real, Baby is real - and partly waiting for a free moment to snap a few photos of them. Maybe when I have more time I can get a good picture showing the whole gown (there are three), or then perhaps I will wait until I dress Baby up in one! And don't you know my heart gives a little skip anticipating that!

Not every person who reads this is expecting a baby, of course, but all of us are facing things, circumstances, fears, uncertainties, and happy events to come. God deserves and desires to be glorified in all things. He is good in all things. His Word is where to go for the truth and comfort you need today to look into that thing that is in front of you without fear. God has told us to call on His Name and to pour out our hearts to Him. Even if it's just a few words, turn to Him, tell Jesus all that's in your heart and mind and ask Him to show You truths from scripture that will encourage you, teach you, comfort you, and set your thinking Straight. He'll do it.


Counting infinite mercies always -

126 bird "traps" and dreams of snaring a bird in the back yard (think the old box held up with a stick, cheerios placed under the box for bait)

127 first sunburn of the year - on our big picnic day a few weeks ago

128 MK deciding suddenly to sweep the kitchen for me

129 the dove nesting in our small, lone oak tree, the one the mockingbird sang from each morning in the early spring

130 long phone talks with faraway friends - such a blessing and refreshment to my spirit

131 going with the girls to the garden center for flowers and tomato plants (it was hot, and a little chaotic, but these days are to be remembered...)

132 the piles of fallen petunia blossoms the girls collected off the ground at the flower nursery and carried home, put in water

133 daddy home safe from a thousand miles away

134 baby kicking my Bible while I was reading the other morning

135 Instant Messager - the way God used it recently to allow me to pull closer to a dear heart far away

136 accidents and how the Lord uses them to accomplish little tasks I might not otherwise attempt: a bathroom accident that resulted in my cleaning the baseboards in there, something I almost never do (gasp!); some pizza crust that didn't work for my purpose one night, but Providentially I was able to "repurpose" it, thereby making the next night's supper prep a snap

137 evidence (messes) left behind at the end of the day of the girls' presence and plans. In this case, it was rubber bands, tape, paper, and Tinker Toys all over the couch, because they were forming a music band, trying to make their own instruments

138 MK, with her arms inside her t-shirt, to CA: "CA, I have no arms!"
CA, in response: "I have YES arms!"

139 the confusion and conflict inherent in parenting (at times) that are pushing me closer to Christ, and putting me on my knees in greater dependence on Him

140 it occurred to me the other day that in this season of unusual abundance and promise outdoors (wildflowers! unexpected blessing of some planting here!), I'm blooming myself! There's a bud growing in me that will be a treasured bloom before too long.


  1. beautiful beautiful gowns!

    I had 2 unmedicated deliveries (by the time I wanted drugs it was too late) and my sis sang hymns with me to help me focus. Wonderful memory that your post brought back.

  2. Oh how I too cannot wait to meet your little one!! Love the gowns, how special to have something passed down from your dad. I am hoping to keep some of the boys special outfits to pass down to their children one day.

  3. Purely providential... a tender mercy... that He allowed you to "stumble" upon a 10 year old file of holy meditations! Start meditating on them now!

    The gowns are breathtaking... so delicate and gauzy, perfect for a summer baby.