Monday, April 18, 2011

Waiting and much more

Eagerly and somewhat anxiously my husband and  I are expecting the birth of a new baby soon.  The due date is in a day and as excited as we are, frustration has set in. For the past five days we have been involved in what I have found the term to be, prodromal labor. It has been emotionally taxing, trying to endure on and off early labor. We even headed to the hospital one of those days. At one point we were sure, but as we approached the hospital all certainty ebbed away. Another disappointing verdict proved that we would just have to wait- even longer.

It is for sure, one of the things that all of us struggle with from time to time. As soon as as we think we have the waiting thing under our belt we are faced with a situation that implores us to go beyond our own ability to wait, and once again rely on the grace of God to carry us past our own strength to wait.

It is in these periods of waiting however, that we recognize our ability to rely on God's strength. His Word comes to life - His strength really is made perfect in our weakness.

This morning I read in the book of Lamentations 3:35, "The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him."

So waiting is not just  standing still, but it is a work of seeking that should be done in conjunction with it. I found myself in the last 5 days,so consumed with counting and timing contractions, and labeling the intensity of labor contractions, that I was neglecting the one who had control over the very situation.
Oh I was praying, but they were me focused. I was reading, but it too was me focused, dutiful rather than genuine.

It was 3 days into it, that I decided I had to take a mental labor vacation and return my focus back to God. God, I told myself, has a purpose for even this. Trials work patience, patience, experience, and experience, hope- according to Romans 5:3-4.  During this ordeal, it has also been embarrassing. I find myself constantly remarking to my observers that , this is something new for me. After 4 children I would think I would know what labor is and is not. It is causing waver in my self confidence. Everything I thought I knew, is being pulled by the thread.
 Again the Lord reminds me , in James 1:3, that the trying of my faith works patience.

 Patience, like I said is one of those things, that we can never have enough of. I am still battling frustration and lack of faith in my instincts, but my consolation is in knowing that God is faithful. His intention is for us to have a closer walk with him. In this I will find myself closer to the Lord than if I had not experienced this. Not to mention that the experience this is giving me, enables me to help another mother in the future, and it builds my faith for when I am again- 

Friday, April 1, 2011

I guess i'll be cuddling with two

The pink peeks through as a dusky rose.
The morning yawns with the rising sun;
and it dawns on me that I'm stuck- 
mid-stretch between my little girl and my newborn son.

Moving is tempting, but after a while
the quiet has more rest appeal.
I laugh to myself as thoughts collide,
of how blessed I am;
how annoyed I feel.

I imagine this scene from a different view-
Arms peacefully sprawled close to my head.
Silently they say " I Love you".
I wish I could take this picture from above the bed;
I guess I'll be cuddling with two.

(C) Chantel Dillard, 2011
Words and images by Chantel Dillard

Do you under-stand?

I recently told my husband that I feel like I can not connect to our son. He is only 8 for crying out loud- I didn't expect this until, well, not anytime soon. I feel for my son, being the only boy , for now, of  four children. He is the oldest.  So much is demanded of him, not because he is the oldest, but because I have seen what he is capable of.
Overall, he has a big compassionate heart, he loves the feeling of helping. He is a guys guy for sure though. He likes to get his work done, so he can sit back and relax and meander the rest of the day away on video games.

Beside these things- I sometimes feel like I don't really know who he is . Our discourse is made of me "reminding" him- over and over and over- about everyday things.
"Make sure you close your drawers, hon"
"Are you going to sit down while you eat that?"
" You just walked over that, you can pick it up."
"Make your bed."
"Is your room clean  according to my definition or yours?"
Moan, Groan, bah humbug.  I feel badly sometimes that I come off as the merciless dictator whose only motive is to burden him with trivial tasks for the sake of pure misery.  I feel like he looks at me and sighs a big sigh.

So yesterday during one of his normal morning moaning sessions, I said
"Come in here son. What's going on: What's wrong? Why every time I turn around you are moaning and groaning and harumph-ing about the house?"

He says, "Well..." and proceeds to say things that I so much want to rebut. I want to say, " But you're 8!" I want to say, " I know it doesn't make sense now, but you'll understand later." I didn't. I smiled. I listened. I focused on listening. Listening to more than what he was saying from his mouth, but trying to hear his heart. It was hard. He's eight. Most of it surprised me. It left me wondering if he really felt the way he said or was it just to have something dramatic to say, with mom as my personal audience. He wondered if I would still pay attention to him and his siblings after the baby. He said he is sad for me when I have to say no to them about things they ask, because he knows I really don't want to say no. It sounded like he heard some things and was projecting them as his own. What surprised me was I thought he was going to say,  things like
 "I'm always getting in trouble" or
" You're always telling me to do stuff" Nope.  Hmm. The conversation  left me with question marks. The conversation also left me feeling oddly bonded to him. It wasn't what was said, it was just that there was something said. We talked.

Me, mom, standing still, and listening, made him feel appreciated, and listened to. Later he said,
"that was a good talk, mom." And I said , " Yes, it was very nice- we should do that more often."

It took under-standing, or standing under; a humble act of self-lessness, to give him my attention and time.
Understanding is more than being able to comprehend, it is a humbling- it says right now, I stand under you, for you are more important than _______.

"Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your path."