So here we are! Thirty weeks into the pregnancy! Woot woot!
This pregnancy has been really hard on my body and given me more weird symptoms and discomforts than I’ve ever had before. Nausea. Digestion issues. Spider veins. Varicose veins. Mood swings. Splitting fingernails. Insomnia. Curly curly hair. Unwanted weight gain. Extreme exhaustion. Hormone headaches. Irritability.
But this pregnancy has also been such a blessing and encouragement and sanctifying event for me. As always, I hope that I’m growing in grace and truth and strength every day, but as often seems the case during pregnancy or other challenging times of the month (eh hem), I put my spiritual walk on hold and say, “I’ll strive be more like Christ when I’m feeling better… or when I lose the extra weight, or when the children are out of the house, or when I’m not so busy and exhausted, or when my husband has made our fortune and we don’t have to work hard for every dollar. Then… then that’s when I’ll really grow in grace, that’s when I’ll put the effort in, but now, during this hard bit of hormones and physical discomfort, let me just give in to the moodiness, the cravings, the irritability, and the desire to NOT. DO. ANYTHING.”
And truth be told, I think many of my pregnancy’s (and monthly cycles!) have been that way. I’ve used them as an excuse to be lazy in both my spiritual and physical health, and to backslide just a weeeeeee bit.
So I’m thankful, truly truly thankful for the work that God is doing in me. He hasn’t given me an easy road of effortless pregnancy, or perfect children who sit angelically still and fold the laundry. He hasn’t given me buckets of money, or a husband that doesn’t have to work hard. He hasn’t given me extra hours in my day so that I can “easily” fit in my personal devotions. Instead, he’s given me this.
He’s given me challenges and heartaches and physical discomfort. He’s given me sinful children. He’s given me uncertainty. He’s given Nick 80 hours of work each week. He’s given me intense Southern summer heat. He’s given me friends who’ve failed and disappointed. He’s given me stress, burdens, and tears.
But He’s also given me joy.
True, deep, beautiful unspeakable joy in my life and circumstances. Its not a perfect life. Nor are my dealing and contentment in it. But still. I’m learning. I’m growing. And I’ve seen the Lord do a miraculous work in me, saving me and conforming me to His image—in circumstances that make taking a step back soooo much easier than a step forward.
He has forced deeper self examination than I ever wanted or thought I needed, and has helped me come to grips with many hidden sins of my heart. He has poured out grace and mercy and forgiven me when I’ve failed time and time again. He’s given me a husband who’s been incredibly patient, and children who forgive and forget perhaps a bit too quickly. He’s given me sweet baby kicks in utero to mingle with the stretch marks and weight gain. He has given me his sufficient grace.
And truly his grace is sufficient. It is all we need to resist, to stand firm on His word, to run the race. And so, I’m running. Running hard… but running on His strength that is made perfect in my weakness.
*a few thoughts on 30 weeks. I’m still gaining more weight that I would like, but because I’m also exercising 4 or 5 days a week, I think I’m staying toned and maybe I don’t look as heavy as the scale indicates?? Not sure, but I’m hopeful. wink wink. I’m measuring 2 weeks bigger (by fundal height) than I am by LMP, so this baby is looking to be another big guy just like his brothers. He is moving and kicking up a storm, making my stomach lurch and causing people to laugh. The boys love feeling him kick. Joshua kisses my tummy before bed each night. We still haven’t decided on a name, but received the advice that we should always name our children something that ends with a vowel, so that the name will carry when we yell. Haha.