Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Little Bean

For the past several days I have felt this little bean move more and more than I have before. He must be getting bigger and stronger, because in the past I would feel him a little bit at different points during the day, but now it is happening all the time, and the feelings are stronger. It's not just the sharp kicks and jabs that I feel, but I feel him stretching or turning over. It is great!

It has got me thinking even more about what a miracle this is. I was praying this morning, and just praising God for this wonderful little guy that He has created. It is amazing and comforting all at the same time to know that He has known this child from conception. Before I even knew I was pregnant, God knew. And He knew it was a boy, and what color his eyes will be (they open this week!) and what his favorite color will be, and what he will want to be when he grows up. What an honor to have a God who knows and cares so much for my child.

I was thinking that, even now, God is preparing the road for this child. He is knitting together other children who will be his friends and classmates. Somewhere right now He is training up a teacher who will impact my child's life. He is developing the man or woman who will someday be his boss, and his co-workers. He is training a great person who will lead him in Kids Club and help him learn more about Jesus. He is forming the perfect woman to be his wife. Amazing!

And this child that He has formed isn't just a coincidence. It's not just that we happened to conceive on a certain date, so this is the baby we are having. God put this specific child together as the perfect child for me and Michael. This is the child He created for us and I just ask His blessings on our family, giving us great relationships, giving us knowledge and discernment as parents to raise this little guy right.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Called To Be A Wife

Recently, I have been reflecting a lot on being a wife. Maybe this is because I am thinking so much about the baby, the changes that will occur in our life, etc, I don't know, but it has been on my mind a lot. Everybody has a different idea of what being a wife is all about. For some people it is a decision they made, something that just happened, something they put up with, a status that causes them to expect something or certain treatment from their husbands, etc. But I truly feel I am called by God to be a wife. For some of you that might make total sense, for others you may be scratching your heads. But I feel that God has called me to be a wife to Michael, and that is one of the most important callings in my life (along with being God's daughter, a mother, etc.)

So, what does it mean to be called to be a wife? For me, it changes day to day, but fundamentally it means I am to honor, respect, and submit to my husband. Lately that has come to fruition in a lot of little things in my life. For example, I used to be obsessed with efficiency. (God is helping me to let go of this one.) When Michael and I are both at home, if he is working on a yard project I feel like I should be getting the laundry done, or the dishes put away, you get the idea. But often he asks me to help him. My help is usually fetching this or that, or being an extra set of eyes, or even just sitting and talking to him while he is working. That used to grate on me a bit. I had other things on my to do list that I needed to get to and wouldn't the efficient use of time be for us to both work on our chores simultaneously? But what I have learned is that there is a lot of joy in spending that time together. When we are doing things like that together we end up talking, sharing ideas, telling about our day or something we are thinking about, just doing life together, and that brings us closer as a couple. The dishes will be there for me to do later, and laundry can get put away tomorrow, but that time together is precious and priceless.

It also means trying to think of things from his point of view. Simple little things, that may not mean much to me but do to him. In our house, I know he loves to have the island in our kitchen clear of cluttler and cleaned off. It's a little thing, but the first thing he sees when he walks through the door. I have a habit of leaving odds and ends or mail or what have you on there, or not thoroughly wiping it down every time I use it. But, if I make an effort to spend a minute cleaning it off before he comes home, it can make a big difference for him. Maybe that sounds like a 1950s wife to you, but to see the smile on his face when he walks through the door, it makes all the difference.

And on the submission piece...before you quit reading on me, hear me out. I know the idea of the submissive wife is not exactly trendy in our society. But I have done some study on the Biblical principles surrounding marriage, and that is what Jesus called us to be as wives, and who am I to argue with Him? Besides, submission doesn't mean I am a doormat, that I have no opinion, and that Michael dominates everything. What it does mean is that I share my opinion in a respectful way, not shouting or demanding or fighting or crying to get my way. I can calmly and rationally discuss what I think with him, and we can work things out together. (By the way, because I am married to a Godly man who knows that Jesus tells him to love his wife as Christ loved the church, that also means he would never take advantage of my submission, but will seek to make decisions that honor me!) What I have learned in practicing submission is there is a lot of liberation in it! It is amazing how much less stress I feel when I realize that, when tough things come up, I can hand it over to Michael and let him take responbsibility. It is freeing! When I try to take charge and do things my way, I end up with an enourmous sense of stress and tension, but when I turn it over to him, and know he will take care of things, I feel free and joyful!

Anyway, these are just small examples, but I find that more and more God is calling me to try to understand things from my husband's point of view, or do little things that I know will help him out, make him happy, or ease his day. Sometimes I ignore those inner promptings, but I'm always sorry when I do, because when I follow through on them it brings a new joy and closeness in our marriage that can only benefit all of us!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Amazing Godly Husband

Is there anything better than being married to a godly man? I know I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband, but a couple of things lately really drove that home to me even more than usual. First, there was our wonderful, wonderful anniversary celebration last week. Our anniversary was last Wednesday, a day full of a flooded basement, meetings for Michael, and barely a moment to even see each other. Yet, in the middle of his busy day, he still found time to bring home a dozen red roses. He totally made my day, despite all the time I had to spend sucking water out of our basement carpet!

Then, Saturday night he took me out for a fabulous night on the town! We haven't been out in awhile, you can chalk it up to me being tired, us watching our money, busy with family and friends, etc, but it was a big deal to have a great night out! And, my night out included some sushi and some wine, all of course on the pregnancy 'no-no' list. Michael totally encouraged me to celebrate on our anniversary and asked me several times during the week if I was going to have some wine at our dinner. I had told him yes, because I really felt God was ok with that. While we were having dinner Michael looked across the table at me and asked if I was worried about the wine. I told him no. His response? "Good, because God is taking care of our baby." Wow! That is how I feel too, and it was so nice to hear him confirm that and to know we are on the same page with trusting God to protect our child. I just looked at him with such admiration, realizing all over how amazing this man is. (By the way, he also gave me an amazing necklace for our anniversary. It has two diamonds in it. He told me one is for me, one for the baby. I about cried, it was so sweet!)

Today, Michael also helped God answer a prayer. After leaving my job, we have been dealing with all of the paperwork and logistics of getting me switched on to Michael's insurance. Nothing horrible, just the general run around you get from insurance companies. Anyway, I had prayed about it, asking God to make everything go smoothly, no hiccups along the way, just easy, breezy, presto. Today was the day Michael was first able to file all the paperwork with his insurance company. They told him it would take several weeks to process it and get me a new insurance card, and I have a doctor appointment tomorrow. He called them to talk through it, and long story short, he got me a temporary insurance card today so that there is no problem tomorrow. I thanked God for answering my prayer, and for using my husband to do it. Beautiful!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yesterday I was blessed to get to hear from some people who are truly walking with God. Three people from Crossroads are in the process of selling off homes and businesses to move to Mamelodi, South Africa. For anyone out there not familiar, Crossroads has developed a partnership with a church over there. We have worked together on many things, with teams going back and forth between the two churches at various times. I have several good friends who have gone on week long trips to Mamelodi and come back with amazing stories of growth and seeing God first hand. But these people are going even one step further, following a calling from God to move there permanently. (You will be able to hear all about it on Crossroads website if you like.

I don't know if God will ever call me to something as big and visible as that trip. He may, or He may call me to be a great mothere right here in Cincinnati, or to reach out to someone who will then in turn be the person to move far away and do something grandiose. I have no idea, but I was inspired to hear their story. Whether what God calls me to do is what Brian Tome referred to as 'grunt work' or 'glory work' I want to be in tune with Him so that I can follow that calling. What I am learning is that in my life a lot of times that means slowing down. It is hard to hear God when I am trying to cram too many things into a day, a week, my life. As much as that feels efficient in the world's eyes, something to be glorified in getting everything done off of my to-do list, it isn't bringing glory to God, or bringing me in closer contact with Him, which is after all what I want. It is amazing how, when I spend some time with Him, suddenly the rest of my day falls into place. He multiplies my time and smooths the way for things to get done. Or, when things aren't done as quickly or easily as I would like He gives me a better attitude and it doesn't bother me.

It's funny - when I am spending time with Him, walking with Him, hearing from Him, everything in life is so much better! Yet it is so easy for me to forget that, to get caught up in my lists and my agendas without spending time with Him, and how quickly I then get off track. It is an ever-evolving process as to how my time with Him works, but I need it to work to continue on the growth and path that I want with Him in my life.