Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Domestic Revelation

I had a great time with a girlfriend yesterday (love you ED). Even moms need their own play dates sometimes! And I love how God puts people in our lives who challenge us to move forward. Towards Jesus. Through faithfulness. And with perspective and hope.

I had a busy morning of making bread, chicken salad, and hard boiled eggs in prep for our lunch. As I floated back and forth in my kitchen, I kept praying and asking God:
Give me joy in the domestic. Cause my heart to love the things it takes to make my home flourish. Please God, help me! God has been doing a work in my heart lately and giving me heart-core desire to want to enjoy the housekeeping it takes to make a great home. A peaceful home. A home where I don’t feel overwhelmed because laundry piles into a two-day endeavor. A home where my kids can find the toys they like and like the toys we find. A home where my husband feels a rushing joy to walk in the front door.

Most of all: a home where God is glorified.

Praise God my girlfriend is experiencing the same desires. We talked for hours (and hours!) about these struggles. We were reminded how our gracious husbands show patience. We laughed at how we tend to go from nothing to overachieving – like no meal plan to a ten-week meal plan with every vegetable and seasoning planned out, groceries that require a once-monthly trip to the store, and don’t forget cutting coupons to save thousands! And we felt our hearts swell at the women who model this well, not perfectly, to give us hope without causing too much comparison.

This morning I was meditating on Colossians 1 and asking God to give me the wisdom and knowledge to have an organized and easily maintained home. But my prayers seemed little. Like asking Willy Wonka for an everlasting gobstopper when he is offering the whole factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Yum. Okay, back to spiritual insight. My sights started lifting to a broader and bigger prayer:
God be glorified in my homemaking. Yes, that’s it! In my meal preparation, be glorified. In my cleaning and laundry, be glorified. In closets and behind closed doors, be glorified. And hardest of all: be glorified in how I spend my time.

He isn’t glorified in laziness.
He isn’t glorified in chaos.
He isn’t glorified when distraction keeps us from His best.

I believe God places a dream in each woman’s heart for her home. A dream for the what-ifs and why-nots. A dream to see beauty overtaking the tasks that have long weighed our souls and calloused our hands. To close our eyes and picture, imagine, and dream for an environment that can simply cause heaven to break into this earthly structure.

What is God’s dream for your home?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Baby Update

A mom never wants to get a phone a week after having blood taken at a prenatal appointment. They only call when something is wrong, never to congratulate you for having great blood work or for gaining only two pounds in four weeks.

We got such a call last Wednesday and the timing could not have been worse. I had taken Colby to a Build-a-Bear class and about ten other moms had the same idea. Crowded space, crazed children, and obnoxious music playing over the loud speaker. I couldn’t find a quiet corner but could make out enough to understand the weight of the moment: “Quad screen blood work. Down syndrome – fine. Spina bifida – fine. Trisomy 18 – positive. Sending you upstairs to see the high-risk specialist.”

The room whirled and I couldn’t even articulate a question, didn’t know what questions to ask, and felt like the room had turned upside down while the weight of my feet kept me planted. Blinking back tears and trying to occupy Colby with a stuffed military bear, I called Brad and tried to put the pieces together for him.

Inhale. Focus. Faith.

I committed to limit my internet research and especially not visit pages with pictures of children with Edwards Syndrome (trisomy 18 defect). At the three sites I briefly glanced, I found the information we needed: the test is an indicator of
risk and not a diagnosis, only 11% of women who have the positive test actually have a baby with the defect, and most sobering, it’s a fatal disease with most children not living past age 1, if they survive childbirth.

A week later, I walked into the specialist’s office and wondered what kind of change my afternoon would hold.

Genetic Counselor.
God is my counselor.
High-risk Specialist.
God is the author of Life. He is the perfecter of my faith. He knew we would be sitting in this room before the beginning of time and He sits here with us now.
Level 2 Ultrasound. He is knitting this baby together and creating his inmost being.

It’s a boy. A healthy baby boy without a single trace of a genetic malformation. Head shape: normal. Heart chambers: normal. Function of hands and feet: normal. Growth rate: normal. Heart Defects: none. No cleft lip. No swelling around his head. Praise the Lord.

For us, the suffering was limited to a “what-if” scenario and we were kept from having to walk through a deeper trial. His goodness would not have waivered had the ultrasound shown all the markers for the syndrome. His craftsmanship doesn’t stop when He creates babies to have physical imperfections and His promises are certainly not void when an earthly life lasts only a few short days, weeks, or months. He is good. His love endures forever.

And we can’t wait to introduce you to this baby boy sometime in February.