Over the weekend I began the big job of transforming the nursery from pink to blue. I'm less than three weeks from my due date... what's the rush? Ha! We also moved the girls into one room together. Wish us luck on that one!
More on those breaking stories later, complete with pictures.
There is a shelf in the nursery that runs around the entire room. For the last 4+ years, it has been home to many a stuffed animal, picture frame and trinket that the girls have collected. One other decoration on the shelf holds sentimental value for Gary and I, and as I took it off the shelf this morning, I thought fondly of memory it represents.
When Gary and I were first married, I decided I wanted children immediately. It was never our plan (we had talked about waiting at least a few years), but I got the baby bug and always felt like I was just waiting around to have kids. I quickly - QUICKLY - figured out that I just thought I wanted kids right away, and that we actually were having the time of our lives being newlyweds. We got to travel, splurge on things, love each other uninterrupted, and just enjoy being MARRIED. I learned not to wish away the time, but to enjoy the present.
However, after a few years, the bug was back and I really, really wanted a baby.
Whenever I mentioned it to Gary, he'd always remind me that our plan was to wait a few years; that we weren't "ready." We'd never be "ready," I tried to remind him over and over, but he wouldn't budge. We were still completely happy enjoying married life, but I felt like enough was enough, and it was time to move on to that next step.
My friend Michelle was in the same boat, and daydreaming about babies together probably didn't help the situation at all! I remember having several conversations about how we could convince our husbands that it was time to start our families.
For those thinking ahead, you're right, it was the wrong approach. And as a side note, I cannot imagine having gotten pregnant without Gary being part of the decision 100%. Convincing him to have a baby would have started us on the wrong foot at a time when both of us needed to be "one" more than ever!
Gary didn't need convincing. He didn't need to be persuaded. He didn't need me to change his mind or coerce him into wanting kids NOW. Michelle and I realized that what our husbands did need was for us to trust them and the way they wanted to lead us. We needed to submit to them.
Scary thing, that whole submission idea.
So instead of harping on them and nagging them (which, I think we were always pretty careful not to do. I don't think either of us really nagged them much about babies), we prayed for them instead. Sure, we prayed that God would change their minds and want kids sooner than "their plan." But mostly, we prayed for US. We prayed that God would show us how to be content, how to wait on Him, and how to honor our husbands by being happy with their decisions as the head of our homes.
The ache in my heart to have a baby still lingered, but was small compared to the peace I felt while submitting to Gary and waiting on the Lord. As soon as I chose to be obedient and follow God's wish for me (Ephesians 5), everything got brighter. I no longer felt any resentment in my heart against Gary (because I think I did - how could he hold me back from my dream of being a MOM?!), our relationship grew stronger, my relationship with God grew stronger during that time, and all because I was living according to His Word.
Submission is hard though. Whether it's submitting to our boss at work, our husbands at home, or our God, it's a daily decision. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking we're in charge and we know best. I learned that submitting didn't make me less of a person or a weaker person, but instead strengthened me through obedience and honor. I still had days when I'd cry thinking about wanting a baby and being a mom, but realized that God's plan was way better than what I could imagine. I had to decide each morning when I woke up that TODAY I'd submit, TODAY I'd wait on the Lord, TODAY I'd be patient.
A few months went by, and one day in early January, Gary silently handed me a note. It said: READ ME!
So off I went on a scavenger hunt around our one-bedroom condo. Each note was hand-written and filled with encouraging words. Just when I didn't think my heart could love Gary more or my smile could be bigger, I'd find another note to show me otherwise.
The last note led me to our TV cabinet. I opened it up to find a blanket with two pacifiers attached, and note that said, I'M READY IF YOU ARE!
I remember feeling dizzy and not knowing what to say or feel next! I do remember praying together, that the decision to start our family was what God wanted. I remember thanking God for my husband who I trusted completely (if not after a little heavenly nudging) to make every decision for our family. I still do.
We've always been blessed by the fact that we barely have to think about being pregnant and we are. We were pregnant within a couple months, and Emma was born November 5th.
As I'm typing this, that blanket is in the washing machine. It sat on the shelf as a reminder to us how our family began, but its blue and green colors are about to be put to good use. I can't wait to wrap our new baby boy in it, a constant reminder to wait on the Lord and give all of our cares and decisions to him.
When Emma saw it today as I unrolled it, she held it and said it was a beautiful blanket. I can't agree more!
I hope this post doesn't embarrass Gary if he reads it. It shouldn't at all (okay, my love?). I just remember what a turning point that waiting time was for me in my journey with God, but also what a turning point in my life it was when Gary handed me that note!
When I read those notes and held that blanket today, it reminded me what a struggle that time was. My heart goes out to any of you who are waiting for something to make life better. Whether it's waiting for that new job, waiting for a spouse, waiting for a baby... just know I'm praying for you today and hoping that you learn that waiting on the Lord and submitting to His plan is better than any plan you could dream up.
Remember, God makes everything beautiful in His time (Ecc. 3:11).
Oh! I'm adding this after it's already been posted, but it's not too late to share that God answered Michelle's prayers too! Our first kids, Carson and Emma, are exactly 1 month apart. So we got to be pregnant together and have raised our kids together (although not together distance-wise being that she's in California). Yay!