Our fifth daughter!
I'm still walking around in a daze of utter bewilderment...am I really going to be the mother of five daughters? Am I really going to have my very own version of the Bennett family (plus a son!)?
Yes! So that is our news! We are expecting.
We are so happy!
But oh...yes yes yes...
Oh, I would be lying to you if I didn't admit how I was really wrestling in September..and March, April, May, June, July..about having another child.
As my youngest was getting older, as my body was recovering, as my sister welcomed a son, as life went on and as I lived this life with Justin, I thought about the possibility of this little one.
I was reading some pretty powerful words from Cormac Burke's Covenanted Happiness and I was wondering if Justin and I might just have one more child.
I was wondering about one more as my dear friend told us in late August while on a visit that she was expecting and my neighbor and bestie was growing another little one.
I took these things in. I took words in and the faces of my children in and I was very aware of this gradual expansion of what I thought was my limit. A limit I had imposed on my own life, was being tested by a distant quiet...yet very constant..call.
At times I was all out wrestling in a very "must get on top" or "must have control of things" way. I have my own agenda of starting an atrium, wanting to get some skiing in this winter, wanting to reach a certain weight goal, etc. I can be a slave to wanting to look "together" and wanting to "be organized" and wanting time to breathe some more. An infant means putting off our summer trip to Alaska
And still..other times, usually in the quiet of the morning or the sigh of an evening when kids are tucked in, I would HOLD this WONDER of a sixth, the POSSIBILITY of a sixth...in the palm of my hand like a tiny mustard seed. And sit with it for awhile.
I walked Theresa's pregnancy as my last, which is so interesting considering I believe so much in life-giving love. My husband was on a boat at the time and my varicose veins were only manageable by wearing hardcore compression hose. I had asked a lot of my body and there was pain and I kind of coped by just knowing...this is it. Five children is so nice and I am blessed.
And well..here I am..21 weeks along and wearing compression hose again. My husband is home every night and so, things are already different there. I also have big helpers. Like...eleven year old and nine year old kind of helpers.
I AM tired but at the same time I surprise myself for what I do have the energy to do. For example, I took the kiddos iceskating Friday, no problems! They loved it! We loved being outside and I enjoyed watching them.
My eldest wanted a break so she took her skates off and then took her two year old sister for a little walk around the rink. And well..as you can see I was just taking it all in and snapping pictures.
Lord, if you had showed me these things!
Oh...but showing you the graces before you give the trust...no that is not how this covenant works!
Does it hurt you Lord that I thought this would be different? I thought there would be so much suffering and hard work? I was prepared to make a martyr of myself by taking on the work of another baby and then you laugh and make this all gift. I have uncomfortable times and yet I have friends and family and big children encouraging me and cheering me on. You knew all these things.
And it makes me settle into a deeper love for the Good Shepherd. He called this little girl by name. He called her here into this family in this particular moment in history. He called upon Justin and I to love her and serve her, here, in this time, now.
I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life. (John 10 vs 27-28)
Sophia Cavalletti wrote
" ' Eternal life' is an expression that may be very vague. If we substitute 'life in abundance' it gives a new and different concreteness to the term 'eternal life'."
"Each time we grow beyond certain stages and overcome certain limits in our life here and now is evidence of the presence of eternal life. After death there will be new ways of living this life. We reach it by being enabled to go beyond the limits of our life here and now, by a continual overcoming, and a gradual growth to higher levels of our existence."
"Every time that we pass through one of the limits in our life, we are living in a way that is more abundant than that which proceeded it."
I think when other mommies or well meaning friends or neighbors are surprised that we WANTED another child, that we said...YES GOD if it is YOUR WILL please BLESS US! I think that last thought by Sofia sums it all up, I would say:
Every time we have another child, we live a family life, we live our own marriage, more abundantly than before.
I am overjoyed that the Good Shepherd gently called me past a limit and goes before me and blesses.
If you could please pray for a continued safe journey for this little girl, I would be so grateful. I want to tell you next how my Justin is a rock and how his goodness surprised me and makes me want to be a better wife and mother.
God bless and enjoy your Sunday!