So, it's my birthday this weekend.
Yup another year wiser!
I do not feel old AT ALL.
I do on occasion feel exhausted from a full life, but it's a good life, and so I am very thankful.
God has taught me a lot this year.
He taught me A LOT.
And it wasn't easy for me to learn.
In fact I was down right angry.
Last June I had three kids.
Three very planned kids. And in my mind I was finally content. I was finally happy. I had all my ducks lined up in a neat 3 person little row. My older sister calls them my three little bears. And 3 is a big number. Micah totally outnumbers me and John and my hands were completely full with 3 very active children.
Julia was 5, Mark was a new 4 year old, and Micah was a few months old. I was still adjusting to this life of 3. We were now a party of five and I was feeling very overwhelmed at times. Micah wasn't the great sleeper that Julia and Mark were. Micah was 20lbs at 4 months and I had to carry the beautiful chubby baby everywhere. It was hard. I was homeschooling and still feeling kind of not super secure in it.
When 2014 came I felt like God was going to do something HUGE in my life. I could really feel it. I was finally "done" with babies and we were starting to think about moving. I started to think about putting both kids in private school and was praying about what God was about to do in my life. I felt this change coming and I was kind of excited!!! Dream Big I blogged on New Year's Day!
Then, on January 1st I started to feel sick...
On January 3rd I knew I missed a menstrual cycle...
On January 4th I took a pregnancy test...
Psalm 27:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies."
God what are you doing!!!???
This was not in MY plan!!!!!!
"Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
How can I dream big God when I keep getting pregnant? I thought.
I felt like this pregnancy in particular would somehow slow me down from the BIG thing "whatever that was" that was going to happen to me/us.
I couldn't even tell John that day. I found out on a Saturday while he was at Chinese school and it wasn't until Tuesday night sitting in bed that I finally told him. It was 3 days of torture.
John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
I knew I needed to tell John. I was so afraid he would be devastated. I was so afraid he would be mad. I was so afraid he would be disappointed.
I told him, and he said, "Kristi why didn't you tell me sooner? There's always room for one more!" He made me cry even more because I was so relieved he knew and we just laughed at the shock we were both in.
We kept our pregnancy a secret until after my sister in laws baby shower. We wanted the day to be all about her. We didn't want to steal her thunder. And quite frankly, I was deathly afraid of her reaction and my in laws reaction. We didn't tell them until I was already 13 weeks and heading into my 2nd trimester.
We get home from the baby shower and help Laurie and Kelsey bring all the many baby gifts into their house. We make Laurie and Judy (my mother in law) sit down in recliners. We hand them a wrapped present and say, "Guys we have one more gift to give you." To which Laurie goes, "No more gifts you spoiled us enough at the shower!" To which we said, "Open the gift!!!" and laughed. So they both open up a baby frame of an ultrasound and say "Awwww" at the same time. I think they thought the picture in the frame was the hallmark photo. I look them both in the face and say..."I'm due this August!" They SCREAMED and SCREAMED and SCREAMED! Laurie tried to jump up but she's pregnant with twins so she couldn't... we all hugged and laughed. And I saw their faces and there was no judgment...there was only joy and love.
God taught me 4 things so far....
His ways are not my ways...his plans are not my plans. This baby was meant to be growing inside of me. This baby was in His plans. This baby has a purpose in our lives.
I never have to feel afraid or alone because He is always with me. When you get shocking news it is okay to be shocked. It is okay to not "feel" happy about it. Sometimes God has to do a work in you and help you and guide your thoughts so that you don't focus on the overwhelming part, but focus on how He will be with you no matter what. And God will eventually help you to feel joyful again. Maybe not right away. Be patient with yourself. Emotions are a tricky business.
Trust my spouse. Tell the truth right away. Don't hide something and torture yourself. I came to realize that John always has my back. That we are in this together. And that we really are a team. And we are a great team.
The people who truly love you will not judge you. They will only share your joy with you. Don't be afraid to share your joy with those you love.
God also taught me that it is great to plan, it's wonderful. But he taught me that when things don't go according to "my plan" it doesn't mean something is wrong. It means they were not HIS plan. And HIS plan is the best plan. We fool ourselves in thinking we decide who we marry, where we live, how many kids we have, and what career we choose. We often put God in a box and forget that we may think we have great plans for our lives, but we need to remember that God has a BIG plan for all His people. Sometimes God over rides birth control! Sometimes God plops the man of your dreams in your homeroom class. Sometimes God says no to one career or job and opens the door to another. We do not control our lives. We only "think" we do. God is in control. And it's best to accept that God's plan is best, even if we have no idea why or how it happened, or how we will manage. I still struggle with how to answer people when they say things like, "Oh, you didn't plan this pregnancy, huh?" Maybe I didn't "plan" this pregnancy, but God did. And He gives perfect gifts.
James 1: 17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights..."
God also taught me and he continues to teach me that...Yes, my hands are full. Very full. But so is my heart. My heart is so full of love for my husband, and my children that I could continue to fill a blog with the joy I feel. Yes, I was scared and overwhelmed at first. Who wouldn't be?! But I am not alone. I have an awesome husband, a great support system, wonderful family and friends and a God who is so loving and gracious with me that He decided I got to be blessed with another amazing gift. A baby girl.
I don't know if you've seen our gender reveal post but after you see the pics and watch the video you will feel the joy and the love we have. We are so excited for what God has in store for us.
I will choose to continue to dream big. My hands are full and so is my heart.
36 years old feels pretty amazing.