Tag: I love being a mommy

The Best Desires (2014)

When are you going to write again?

Rod and Kelly 12-21-13I’ve been asked over and over. I think this year is the least I have written in many. It’s not from a lack of content or desire. Maybe, if anything, it’s been that my heart and my head are too full.

This time last year, we were looking to a “small” set of changes. Rod was beginning a new job, one he’d wanted for awhile, one that would be more travel for him but more financial stability for us. Our oldest had just gotten married. Our youngest two were starting to eat from the big dinner plates… you know… not babies anymore. In our heads, we planned “big kid” trips (horseback riding, maybe New York city) and looked forward to a more mature family life. No. For real. Those were our “plans.”

A surprise positive pregnancy test on February 5th changed the essence of those plans, the essence of our future.

An even more surprising miscarriage three weeks later changed the essence of how I see everything.

fly_away_homeFour years ago right now, I learned what it means to “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) In youthfulness, I thought it was as simple as… trust God, praise God, yada yada, and He will give you what you want. And this very day 4 years ago, after our house had been for sale since May and we planned with all our hearts to move to Nashville, I finished reading a novel that had nothing to do with anything. It was an enjoyable read in which the main characters retreated to Cape Cod during a time of crisis. I closed the cover and asked Rod,

Why can’t we live at the beach?

And The Next Day, we had a lunch meeting that changed the course of our plans, our move, our lives.

Now, when I think of God giving me the desires of my heart, it’s more like, “I trust You, God. Go on ahead.” And then I see His hand wave over me, and the plans He has for me, the ones that far surpass my own, take root and grow in my heart. His desires become mine. He GIVES me the desires He hopes I will strive for when I open myself to Him.

That surprise positive test in February changed everything. It changed our dreams of “12 more years until we’re alone” and “When will the kids be old enough to take on a cruise and not be pains in the butt?” to “Our family isn’t done yet.” So we gave ourselves this year to “try”…

This wasn’t a light decision, folks.

– THE DAY the doctor told me our baby had no heartbeat was the day our son and daughter-in-law told us they were pretty sure a baby of their own was on the way.KK turns 6 (Also happened to be KK’s 6th birthday…!)
– Rod was about to turn 50.
– I had just, just weeks before, after years of waffling, made peace with not having any additional kids. And I was finally getting in shape again…

But God used that sweet baby who was ours on earth for such a short time to plant more desires. In spite of all the reasons why we shouldn’t have wanted more kids, we did.

And in spite of a report in 2004 that we’d “probably never be able to get pregnant,” I got pregnant twice in a matter of 5 months.

Jack's first pictureSeeing our baby boy on the ultrasound screen for the first time, in June, was one of the greatest moments of my life. The ultrasound we had in February was a nightmare in so many ways. But when the screen shined with “new” baby’s little discernible body, his arms waving all around (they haven’t stopped), I felt Jesus fill the room. It was a miracle!

Life after death is a specific joy. And while it doesn’t mean I haven’t occasionally struggled with fear, stress, discomfort, or even a bit of physical misery, the prospect of having our Jack, the preparation for his arrival, the peace in knowing that this will complete our family, is nothing short of amazing.

Poppy, Gigi, and NoraMeanwhile – yes, meanwhile – there is more to life. This year, we have seen our “big kids” grow and prosper in their careers. We were given the gift of Nora, our first grandchild, who is healthy, peaceful, and a sweet, blissful blessing.

Our little girls have continued to go with the flow. They mourned the loss of our February baby (David) with us. They’ve coped with their Mama’s abilities being hampered much of this year…and let me take naps when I needed them! And they have blossomed more into their awesome selves. One of my most treasured memories of this year will be the road trip the 3 of us took to Chicagoland in June. We made it straight through together and had fun stopping for caffeine, listening to a favorite book, and getting through a torrential Midwest thunderstorm. I can’t wait to see them being Big Sisters together.

I started this year planning to go back to school for a ministry degree… taking on a second part time job as an editor…losing my last grandparent when Gramma passed on my 37th birthday. It’s been a weird year. I guess, in many ways, I’ve been reset. Just when I was feeling my strongest and most confident, I find myself most vulnerable (because at the end of pregnancy… oy! I can barely put my own pants on!) and quite unsure about how things will look in 2015.

road trip!But… I know I am living out the right plans, the best desires for me… because God put them here.

Some things have not changed this year. My husband’s hand is still readily in mine, whether it’s over the phone from a distant hotel room, a look shared between us while he ministers with his bass guitar on the church stage and I in the altar praying, next to me in the minivan we said we’d never have, or while we nuzzle our girls or little Nora together. My feet still love being in the sand. My home is still an open place for the friends I feel I finally made this year, the old ones who come to visit, and the new ones in the future.

Not long after I purged our cabinets of little plastic plates and sippy cups, we have crazy new things in our house, like a crib and a high chair and lots of onesies and even cloth diapers. It makes me laugh. We are not living the life I thought we’d be living on the cusp of 2015.

We are living a perfectly-designed adventure that I would not trade.

Happy New Year!

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best co-worker ever

There are a lot of details.

My head is still spinning.

But the nutshell: I have a new job.

And Rod has 2 new jobs.

And we’re still going to homeschool the girls in the fall.

And this is kind of how we’ll be rolling.

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(that is my 4 year-old, sitting at my desk with me. At work).

And I could not be happier about or more grateful for it.

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14 NKJV)

appointed time.

‎”Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” God to Abraham, Genesis 18:13

I once laughed at God, too. When you’re sitting in front of a reproductive specialist after a month of invasive tests and an exploratory surgery, when you’re in your 20s and have tried unsuccessfully for 2 years to get pregnant, and you’re told It ain’t happening, and your strong, faithful husband still believes you’re going to get pregnant without medical intervention because God wants you to have a baby…

Well, you cry a lot. But you also laugh.

And when, 16 months later, after no medical intervention, you find yourself pregnant, you laugh a lot harder. And you should never doubt again.

(I had so much fun being pregnant…)

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I’m not laughing “this time.” I’m not looking for a miracle, necessarily. I’m just looking for some answers. But it’s not time yet. I’ve had to accept that.

And in that, I’ve had to also accept that this time of waiting and uncertainty is not a punishment. It is a gift. It gives us time. We’ve had time to dream and plan and research. We’ve had time to take a break. We’ve had time to fellowship deeply with each other and the ones who hold up our arms. I’ve, obviously, had much more time to write than I’ve had in years. We’ve had time to spend with God, reading, studying, praising, listening.

Just this morning, I read this quote:

God won’t always make the “way” you expect … but He will always make a way!

I admit, a month ago, everything felt kind of bleak to me. While I accepted the notions of ‘God’s ways’ and ‘appointed time,’ all I could really focus on were the deficits in my life, the unexpected challenges that were so much different than the expected challenges I had actually prepared for!

But this past week, for no dramatic reason, I feel the tide changing. I sense the waves rising again and pushing us forward.

When I was hopelessly trying to conceive a baby, there was a breakthrough moment when the latest in a string of friends (looking at you, Mama of my Godson) told me she was pregnant. Though I’d been happy for all my friends/cousins/random acquaintances as they had babies, in that moment, I was free from my own shortcomings and hurts. The happiness and relief I felt for someone else outweighed my own crap. Turns out, my Randa was born 4 months to the day after my godson… Appointed time?

(me, Miranda, and her godbrother Zach).
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Perhaps in finding acceptance and even joy in this time…this standstill, give up control, there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about it time…I’ve had one of those moments again. It feels like maybe God is finally nodding at me and grinning rather than shaking His head and rolling His eyes. So I’m gonna go ahead and let these waves roll on…and I’m gonna laugh with Him, while I wait for the appointed time of life.

Almost Wordless Wednesday : Cookie Edition

You know how baking supplies, likes bags of flour, always have a recipe printed on the back?

We followed one today.

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It was for sugar cookies, which everyone knows are the messiest.
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And we are not afraid to mess it up.
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We have a few special people out there who are overdue for a package in the mail, so this is one way we send our love. (Another way is sending them some of the 6 bazillion beautiful papers Randa & KK bring home from school).

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FYI: Cookies in Ziploc bags or plastic containers stay mostly fresh when sent via 2 day mail.
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And the messiest cookies, of course, taste the best.

Want to share? If you aren’t one of the luckies who gets a few in the mail, you can make them yourself. We recommend real butter, lotsa sprinkles, and a few chocolate chips…

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We also recommend eating them with milk, whilst smooshed together on the couch.