Due but Not Done :)

Well, my due date has now come and gone...and we still wait on sweet little Baby Love. He or she is still cookin'! I had a great day today, starting with journaling and reading my Bible on the porch. I read some awesome passages in Psalms 77 and 78. Everything seems to carry more significance during this time of preparing and praying. I did have just a few weary moments of "due date discouragement," thinking okay NOW I'm finally ready...but still dealing with the unknown.

We did go to the doctor and she gave me 2 cm today. Of course still not a good predictor of anything, but I'll take it! Then I had myself quite the fun time at Sephora, playing with all the new products and fun, sparkly beauty goodness. Who knows when I will be doing that again!? Next Kevin and I used a gift card and enjoyed a yummy celebration dinner...the server was awesome and surprised us with the most amazing slice of chocolate cake to celebrate this milestone. After that we headed to Starbucks and Target, completed our "prepare for hospital" list, and came home to take some due date photos, Chai included. :) I'll have to share those later, as I can only blog on my phone tonight. I thought I would end this special day with a letter to my little Love bug.

Dear sweet Baby Love,
Your mommy and daddy are ready and excited, praying for God's perfect timing to bring your precious and priceless life into the world. What joy you have brought us already, watching you grow from a poppyseed into a squirming little pumpkin. It has been the most special experience of my life to feel you grow, move and live inside my womb. So many scriptures have become more powerful and alive since you were conceived. Never doubt God's unfailing love for you, sweet child of mine. He has knit you together and carried you to this time, hours or days from completing his masterpiece. Always know that He will never be finished with you though. You are about to embark on an amazing adventure as a creation of the King, and a powerful process of being shaped by love, defined and refined by grace. Your daddy and I are committed to rely on the God who made you to show us the way in raising, teaching, leading, and loving you well. I'm already amazed and changed by your life, and we haven't even looked into each other's eyes yet. I pray we do soon. I already want to hold you, protect you, and be changed forever by my love for you. My heart beats faster at the thought. You are a real life dream come true for me. For as long as I can remember, since I was an itty bitty girl playing mommy to my own favorite dolls for hours on end, I hoped and longed for the day when my own real life baby I would hold. Then God blessed me with many years of caring for the sweet little ones of others, which brought me so much joy, yet still left me longing. While those experiences taught me so much, each child I was blessed to know and love only increased my desire for you. The many times of waiting and wondering were often difficult, but it was all so worth it, as we're on the brink of meeting you. The reality of you has already been more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

I love that you seem to wake up moments after I do each morning, as crazy as it seems to me. I also love that you seem to respond to the worship music I love and sing so much. One of our favorite songs has been "Praise the King" by Cindy Morgan. That is exactly what I want to do every time I feel your life inside me. If we've learned anything this pregnancy, (and we've learned a lot!), it's to be still and trust God. I pray you will trust Him with your whole heart and life. He will never leave you or stop loving you...He adores the beautiful child He's worked so hard to create with care. The verse God gave your daddy the other day is one we are taking into the delivery room...Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.". I ache, long, and pray to have a gentle and quiet spirit, one that ruthlessly and fearlessly trusts in my almighty Maker. I'm listening to our "hospital worship playlist" and I just listened to a song I will sing to you and we will pray for our family often-

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

You are already a light for the whole world to see, and we give God all the glory for every ounce of you and every moment of this experience. Oh, how He loves us!!! And we love you so much Baby Love. My heart is overflowing with joy because I get to be your mom for life. Your daddy and I treasure the unbelievable gift you are, and we thank the Lord many times a day for your little life! We're so excited to meet you, my amazing firstborn. In God's beautifully perfect timing we soon will!!! I love that you already know the sound of my heart and can hear how it beats with joy for you. Holding you will be one of the sweetest moments of my life. Until then, I will continue to embrace and enjoy you in my womb. I pray we have many amazing days in the adventure that awaits us together in this life. The beginning of you has already been one of the greatest adventures ever, your daddy and I would both agree. We also know that this is just the beginning of so much to come.

You are forever deeply loved by us...but even more loved by the One who made you. I pray you have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that seeks how wide and deep and high His love is for you. Seek and you will be sure to find Him. I pray you are forever courageous to let your light shine for Him.

Whether minutes, hours, or days, my arms long and wait for you...we are beyond excited to get to know you!

I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always,

Your honored and privileged Mommy


2 Days To Go!?!?

39 1/2 weeks pregnant!

Well good grief, where has the time gone my abandoned bloggy friends!!??  The tummy tells the answers, I'll tell you that much! :)  Wow, it all comes down this last month - just when you think you're going to get by without waddling, stretch marks, needing an extra push to get out of bed, a big appetite, sleepless nights...pretty much all those symptoms they tell you about in your "What To Expect" emails come along right at the end!  I sure enjoyed my 8 months of denial and naivete though, I'll tell you that much! :)

Our 39 week doctor's appt.  Will we have another one this Wednesday??

So I'm still here, no baby yet, still embracing all things pregnancy.  If the first half of my pregnancy was crazy, so has been the second.  Our second car ended up dying about two months after the first, (which died on my way home from my first baby shower), and we have officially gone almost a month driving different cars loaned to us by gracious, amazing friends at different times.  Wow.  God is amazing with His provisions as always.  And on the day that picture was taken in front of the cabin, (July 17th), we actually had just moved all our stuff out and were on our way over to move back in with the sweet and gracious couple who had taken us in for 9 weeks at the beginning of my pregnancy.  And shortly after that photo was taken I found myself in the parking lot at Starbucks with my Bible having one of a handful of "weep fests," those times where you just have to let the tears flow and surrender all you've been holding in.  I love the verse God gave me on that day too.  "Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah  43:18-19

Kevin was out of town one night last week so my mom came and my brother surprised me by coming as well!  Fun 39 week pre-baby memories made!! :)

He will no doubt be a fabulous and FUN uncle!

After church at 38 weeks

Kevin miraculously fixed the washer after it endured some pain through all the different moves it endured.  This was a proud day for my handsome hubby!!

And a new thing He has certainly done.  I am happy...or should I say OVERJOYED to say that as of a week and a half ago, we have a place to call HOME.  It is so wonderful.  Also, as of TODAY, we have decided on and bought a car!  Whew...what a process.  I might win the prize for being closest to my due date before I have the car seat installed.  It's all been such a long road, but so worth the wait.  Last night a handful of friends from church came over to pray over our home and me for the labor and delivery, and it was a special, wonderful, powerful experience.  God has humbled me a million times over during this pregnancy.  Kevin and I have cried and prayed, fought and laughed, felt filled with hope and have honestly struggled with serious anxiety at times.  Yet we have held fast to the truth that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and He is for us.  He is not afraid of our emotions, and He can certainly handle whatever we dish out. :)  And He has known what He's had in store for us all along...no matter how long it's felt like to us.  It has all been a priceless experience that we never would have sought after, but we know God will use forever in our family, our lives, and our ministry.

My mom brought baby clothes that my brothers and I wore!!  Can you say sweet, sentimental take home outfits?!  She has been AMAZING in helping me to prepare, praying for this process, and sharing in our joy!

About the abandoned blog...I have no good reasons.  I honestly think this road leading to motherhood has been such a huge emotional and mental experience for me that it's been hard to put into words.  Or maybe I've just avoided coming face to face with the depth of the experience and being able to write it down??  I also obviously can't seem to work out a short blog post...so I know it will be an investment of time.  Who knows.  Today I made myself come to church to get on the internet, (because we don't have it yet), and this might sound funny...but if I have to choose between going somewhere to get online for an hour or two and going home to be with Chai, I'll choose him and home every time.  I will find my way back and get my blogging groove on though...especially now that I have our big comfy red chair out of storage as my place to sit and surrender my thoughts again.  AND I will surely be more consistent because very soon I will have a beautiful, amazing, wonderful baby to reveal!!!  We are SO ready to find out if this is a boy or girl!!!  (The guesses are about 50/50...I'm clueless and will be shocked either way!)  Because we've had names picked out for both for a long time, and we've referred to either/or for a long time, I kind of feel like I should be having twins!  Yikes! :)

Look at that belly...I mean baby!!!  Can't wait to meet you little Love!

I have truly embraced every day of the privilege of carrying this precious child, and I praise God each and every time I've felt this sweet Baby Love move.  The heat has been hard, but the dresses and tan have been great.  The emotions have been crazy, but the tears have been refreshing.  Motherhood started for me at the beginning of this adventure, having to surrender this child that I know is ultimately God's, but He is graciously allowing me to hold as my own.  I know every day I have to trust Him with his or her life, and I can only imagine how much greater the magnitude of that will be once I hold this little one in my arms!!  I can honestly say while I've loved being pregnant, I'm ready to be a mom.  God has made beautiful things out of all the years He asked me to wait and pray for the dream to come true of having a family of my own.  And I am so thankful that He's choosing now to bring those dreams to life. 

Tired mommy, finished crib...the night before 39 weeks.

Super excited Daddy putting together the crib!

My sweet, furry first born!  Get ready for some fun Chai!!!

To any frantic pregnant women, take it from me when I encourage you to simply be still.  Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, a huge inspiration for one of our names, and what has carried me through many days of this journey.  "Be still and know that I am God."  I finally packed my hospital bag at 37 weeks, we didn't have a nursery until I was almost 38 weeks pregnant, and we put the crib up a day before I was 39 weeks.  The room still isn't finished...but I at least have the fabric ordered!  Ha!  As for all those projects...I am hoping to have them all done by the time the baby is 6 months old.  ;)

This experience has proven to me over and over what really matters.  And so little of what the world focuses on has much significance at all in light of eternity.  But I am so thankful God allows us to delight in the little, fun, frivolous things...like elephant hampers, front facing bookshelves, and aqua colored paint!  Ooooh...speaking of which - after months of deliberating and obsessing, I LOVE the color.  Which, for a perfectionist like me, is a huge blessing.  (Because I certainly wasn't going to ask my husband to repaint it...no matter what!!)  I am trying to make myself wait to show you once I get it all put together.  So be on the lookout around October or November.  Ha ha.  And you know I will insist on telling the untold stories, sharing the pictures, and filling in whatever I've forgotten, whether it's after the baby or not.  I can't leave anything out, but I just can't fit it all in. :)

Okay, that's all for now...time to get back home and take a nap!  I'll get back with you either a few times before....or not until the big reveal.  Who's excited!?!?  (My hand is enthusiastically raised!;)  Thanks for sticking with me friends.  Happy Monday!