5 DAY BUS TRIP: days one and two (succinct)

(from our first trip out on the bus… going from Illinois to Tennessee to Alabama and back in 6 days with the 2 month old and the 17 month old… This is an important disclaimer!)

I guess the most notable thing about our first trip on the bus so far is NOT…

– the gallon of milk flying out of the fridge and spilling everywhere,
– the two gallon jug of water flying out of the fridge and spilling everywhere,
– the trip to Wal-mart to get a lock for the fridge door,
– Miranda falling off the bed and crying so hard she threw up everywhere,
– washing the thrown-up upon linens in the washer unit as we continued down the highway,
– poor red faced Kaity’s first bout with constipation,
– me having a sore throat, cold, and various other fun symptoms,
– ‘Randa squatting by the speakers because she recognized her Daddy, who was inside, 50 feet away, giving a radio interview,
– breastfeeding pretty much being over :(
– Rod giving one of his best performances ever tonight

… but rather, the fact that we MISSED an EARTHQUAKE at home today! I can’t believe it. My mom felt it, and so did Josh… Paige and my dad, all in their respective houses, slept through it.

OK… the girlies are sleeping, and since we only got about 5 hours last night after a VERY long day yesterday, and because there is a lovely breeze here in Ozark, Alabama, and I am hoping to get the kind of sleep that would also last through an earthquake…

PS: I just finished Jennifer Weiner’s Certain Girls, for which I waited a long time. Why, Jen, why?!?!?

I call this my manifesto / On my infertility

*The story of a miracle after a time of barrenness.

The God I serve – April 12, 2006

I became a Christian – a real choice to become a Christian, when I was 7 years old. The sect of Christianity I practice emphasizes a personal relationship with Christ… prayer, love, dependency, communion. Not rituals… relationship. I’ve had a roller coaster relationship with God. I’ve always loved Him, always believed… but often strayed. Neglected my faith. Neglected the relationship. Made stupid decisions that made me a hypocrite because they went against the things I believed. This cycle went on and on. I think it nearly killed me a few times.

And fast forward… mid-20s. Tumultuous life? Gone. Suddenly, at peace… married… stepmom… OOH…WORST NIGHTMARE: INFERTILITY… finish school… start dream career… make tentative adoption plans… brother gets married/ family at peace… lalala.

None of this probably makes sense, but that’s okay. Here is my point: I’ve been at peace. Since, I don’t know, maybe Christmas, maybe a little before or a little after, I have been at peace. I quit fighting God about things and stopped feeling punished by Him for mistakes I made. I started to believe the verses I have clung to all these years – but never really took to my own heart.

Verses like these:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 54: 1 “Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD….
5 For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the LORD has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
7 “ For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the LORD, your Redeemer.

Isaiah 43: 18 “ Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Psalm 37: 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 84 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

I believe them now. This exercise the past few weeks… the slow, evolving belief that I am pregnant, has been about more than believing I am pregnant. I mean, the doctor said “LESS THAN ONE PERCENT CHANCE OF GETTING PREGNANT NATURALLY (AND WE DON’T SAY ZERO BECAUSE WE NEVER SAY ZERO.” That is what he said. He also said in vitro was a slim to nil chance for us. Why shouldn’t I have a hard time believing that I’m pregnant now? People giggle a little when I say I missed my March period and haven’t taken a test yet. They don’t get it. It is MEDICALLY almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to get pregnant. Thankfully, “Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

And that is the real miracle for me, folks. I finally believe not only in God, not only in His love and grace, but in His desire for me to experience that love and grace. I know He has forgiven me long ago, has blessed me and led me to wonderful people and opportunities, but I always felt this baby miracle was beyond me. I believed God could do it, would do it for other people, but that probably there was a reason why it wouldn’t happen for me, and I also, of course, thought I knew the reasons.

I have been teaching 4 of my classes about hurbris: the Greek term for pride humans feel that makes them arrogant, makes them forget that that they have limitations the gods do not. How dare I decide I know better than God does what He should and shouldn’t, would and wouldn’t, give to me? He is the creator of the universe; I am the creator of amateur stories.

And now, I am a believer in His love for me. After 22 years of saying it, I believe it. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him against that day.” You know how many times I have heard or sang that song? Today, right now, butterflies in my stomach, I believe it.

So it doesn’t matter so much what the little pee stick says in a little while. I hope with all my heart and soul that it tells me I am giving a baby to the world, that I get to be a mommy. But if it does not, I will not be crushed or devastated. The last three weeks have brought me to an amazing place in my heart and in my faith. I have seen my friends and people who barely know me feel inspired by the very idea that this could happen. That is God. That is His power and His love. And whether there is a baby growing in me right now or not, the glory for it all is His.

Amen.

About 40 minutes after writing this, it was confirmed: I was pregnant with our Miranda. Fourteen months later, I was pregnant with our Kaity. I am here to tell you that Jesus still does miracles today! If you are in need of one or would like to share yours, please contact me.