Friday, October 7, 2016

Listening and Learning

It's been a bit quiet here on my blog lately, probably because it's been a bit quiet in my life lately. Since I was 12 weeks pregnant I've had some sort of terrible rib and back pain that's kept me from doing a lot of the things that I typically do. I'm also not teaching this semester for the first time in a few years, and this combination of hurting ribs/back and no classes has left me with a lot of time for counseling and thinking.

It's an interesting thing to be a counselor of children and teenagers and to have a first baby on the way yourself. I love counseling kids and working with their parents, but before it seemed like we had two distinct roles--you are a parent and I am a counselor. Now it feels like I'm somewhere in between. I honestly feel like I must've worked with some of the nicest parents in the world over the past couple of years and it's such an honor to me that they chose me to help with their kids. I've always tried to show my clients, particularly the parents, the respect of learning from them and trying to keep the important lessons they learn in my heart for when the time comes that I need them myself. I find myself doing this now more than ever.

It's interesting to sit in Bible study with moms and just be quiet and listen. They talk about a lot of things that clients' parents have talked with me about over the years, but somehow I hear it all in a new way. It's definitely the quietest I've ever been in a Bible study and I think I like it like that for now. It's good to be quiet and listen sometimes.

People, all the people in my life, have just been so nice and happy for me and Will. It's been the absolute best time. But sometimes people say things that can be overwhelming. Sleep now BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!!! You think you're hurting now JUST WAIT IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE!!! You're not going to have any money EVER AGAIN!!! You'll never have time to speak to your husband EVER AGAIN!!! What cheerful news, I think! Thank you!

And so many questions. Where will she sleep when she comes home from the hospital? What will she eat? What will she wear? What is your birth plan? How the heck am I supposed to know the personal preferences of this little lady who I have never met? But I do know I'd better figure it out because apparently if I put her in the wrong sleeping vessel it will ruin completely everything and no one in the whole house will sleep until she's six.

In all truth, I really don't know the first thing about being a mom yet and I'm ok with that. But it seems to me, that like most everything else, there is an awful lot of noise surrounding motherhood. So so so many books and blogs and opinions. And so much of it is really good, really useful information. But I can truly say that never in my life have I been so glad to know the Lord. I am so thankful that I've got some practice at listening for His voice, and I'm getting better at picking it out from the rest of the noise.  I'm so thankful that I've tried to walk with Him for a while now, and that I have some experience with Him guiding me through things that were foreign to me. He's done it before--certainly He will again.

I find a lot of rest in the fact that the outcome of little girl's life doesn't depend on her sleeping arrangement, whether or not I make her food or buy it, what I register for, or her infant fashion. I pray so many things for her, but it doesn't even depend on me praying perfectly perfect prayers. What a great relief to know a God who loves her more than I ever could, and who has a special life planned out just for her. And I really don't know if I'd be feeling such peace about this if I wasn't having to do so much sitting still. So maybe my breaking back hasn't been all bad.

The past few months have been one of the happiest and most perplexing times of my life. Will and I couldn't be a bit more happy or thankful, and our families and friends have been so wonderful. I think I'll always remember it as one of my favorite times, ever.

I've been doing some work on taking more pictures lately (or having other people take them) and here are a few.

We found out I was pregnant the morning we left for our big trip to Charleston and Savannah in May. The timing couldn't have been better and the whole trip felt like a celebration. I'm really glad we took that trip when we did, because please see above where I've learned we're destined to be poor forever and always. After registering, I've determined there may be a lot of truth to this. Also, perhaps I should've had a moment of silence over fitting into those small shorts on this day, because oh how times have changed. 

Our friends Casey and Chesney were so nice to take some special pictures for us, and I'm so happy to have these. We couldn't leave big brother Charlie out, even though he found it hard to look normal. 

We had a little gender reveal party for just our parents and siblings and it was one of my favorite days of life. Will and I already knew it was a girl, because if you know me at all you know that sort of information isn't something I'm trying to find out for the first time on a public platform. And I'm not sorry for holding Charlie as though he's our first child in these pictures. 

In moving forward with my new attempt at picture taking I've already scheduled some Christmas card pictures for the end of November. Who can even know what I'll be looking like at that point? I guess I'll have to live in suspense. 

Thanks for reading!