Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I lift up my eyes

I will be 32 soon. This fact actually has nothing to do with what I want to write about except that with the passage of time I am reminded of the brokenness of this world.

All our bodies are riddled with brokenness. We are broken people. Some of us (more than others) are reminded of our brokenness from the moment our eyes open in the morning. Our bodies ache, our hearts grieve and the undeniable not-rightness of this world screams for attention.

But some of us can ignore our brokenness- content to go days, weeks, months or years without thinking much about our broken state. We can exercise, eat healthy food, and convince ourselves that this is enough. We can deny the hurt in our hearts, and keep busy with work, school and play. We can maybe even fool ourselves into believing that we have our 'stuff' together, that things aren't so bad.

But the fact remains... we are broken and dying. Our bodies need more than healthy food and exercise. Denying the hurt and needs of our hearts will only suffice for a time.

Our bodies, our souls need regeneration. And this broken world, the one where babies are stillborn and people die and marriages end and people knowingly and willingly hurt each other, this world needs regeneration. And that is why the Good News of the Gospel is so freaking good.

Jesus has promised to come back. And when he does, he will set all things right. He will mend our broken bodies, heal our broken hearts and separation will be no more. This world will be remade and it will not be broken.

We don't have to ignore the brokenness in the world or in our own lives. Sugar-coating the hurt in our lives and putting on a positive attitude will not heal hearts. Only Jesus and his promises can fix what is broken.

When we pretend that the hurt does not run deep, we are denying ourselves the comfort of the Gospel. Jesus did not smile and pretend that things aren't bad here. He wept. He overturned tables and was angry. He died because things really are that bad.

There are a lot of hurting people in this world, and we are part of the broken masses. We need Jesus, and that's a good thing because He is real and He is bigger than we can even imagine.

I am not a pessimist. I don't sit around and hand out Debbie downer comments left and right. But I am a sober realist. Ignoring reality will not give us an accurate picture of what an awesome Savior, and Father God we have; but embracing the depth of our brokenness will lead to such joy and hope in Lord, I promise. Much more importantly, Jesus promises this.

We are in the already/not yet. We are free from sin, though we will still struggle with sin until Jesus comes back. There is no remedy we can trust that will keep us safe from the effects of the fall. We are safe with Him, though the effects of this broken world still hurt and grieve us.

The Gospel is sweet, good news to us, the broken people of this broken world. Jesus came to save, and we are saved when we put our trust in Him.

We wait with eagerness and joy because He will return to make all things new.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills
from where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

"For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in Heaven, making peace by the blood of cross." Colossians 1:19-20

Out of body experience

Ever since the first week of March when I got that first (of two) positive pregnancy test, I've been feeling a bit like I'm having an out of body experience. I remember feeling this way when we brought Ruby home from the hospital- and how it lasted months and months and months. Is this our life? Do we really have two daughters?

Except now I'm thinking to myself, Am I really pregnant again? Am I really having another boy?
Late last week I was lying on the couch after the girls had gone to bed, and I felt this small tap tap in my lower abdomen... the unmistakable kick of a baby. I smiled and told Chris that I felt him move, and then I started to cry. I really never thought I would feel a baby move inside me again... or that I would experience the beauty of pregnancy again.

I spent more hours than I'd like to admit reading through old blog posts tonight. I started reading back in November of 2009... when I was 16ish weeks pregnant with Hannah Mae. I am now 16 weeks pregnant with our baby boy. I needed to go back and remember what it was like to be pregnant with her (not that I had really forgotten).
I kept reading, and I read the next four and a half years worth of blog posts, because I just couldn't stop reading. Reading the anxiety ridden words during HM's pregnancy, and then the relief and joy at her birth, the words of an exhausted new mom who had no idea that her fears would continue well beyond pregnancy.... on and on I read.

I was such a broken record during those pregnant months with HM. I was SO anxious. I was terrified. I had so much time on my hands too, because I was no longer working and I had no children in my home to look after. I obsessed over every little thing and I freaked out all the time. I didn't feel like I could trust myself or my body to know what was normal... especially towards the end.
To top off an anxiety/fear filled pregnancy, her birth was not what I expected. I remember so clearly how severely disappointed I was in my body that she too was born small and early... that she too struggled in my body. I remember what adamance I had about not wanting to experience another pregnancy because I felt so betrayed by my body. 

This pregnancy is so different in a lot of ways, as I have two children in my care each day. I have two small people who follow me around, watch me take my twice daily shots, fight and play with each other, and fight and play with me. We are busy, even if at the end of the day I have nothing to show for it... nothing except a messy house and two amazing and sleepy baby girls tucked into their beds. 
Generally I have less time to worry, but I still worry. Oh, I still obsess... but I am thankful (as I told someone the other day, who then laughed with the truth of it) that I've only had three panic attacks this pregnancy. I know it could be many, many more. 

Most of the time, I don't feel like I'm at the edge of a cliff with anxiety... like I did with Hannah Mae's pregnancy. This time it is more of a dull, constant ache of anxiety. I am worried. I am scared. But I am hopeful. This time I know what it is like to take a baby home from the hospital, what it's like to experience all the joys of motherhood after pregnancy. I can imagine what I only dared to dream about when I was pregnant with Hannah Mae.

I am still a broken record this pregnancy: I am worried. I am scared. But I am hopeful too.

Some of my favorite pictures lately...

A sweet new friend is an amazing photographer and she asked us to be her models. We loved it!

Easter Sunday 2014

It is still the little things about having living children that mean the most to me. I love reading to them, singing with them, and cuddling after bath time. Rocking my girls in our rocking chair is so precious to me. I love picking them up after church in the nursery and seeing their sweet faces as they run up to me. I treasure tucking them in bed each night and rubbing their chubby faces, telling them how precious they are to me. Oh, they are so precious to me.